Julian Assange evicted after smearing faeces on embassy walls, Ecuador president says

Chiara Giordano
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Julian Assange evicted after smearing faeces on embassy walls, Ecuador president says

Ecuador’s president has said that one of the reasons Julian Assange’s asylum was revoked was because he allegedly smeared faeces on the walls of the London embassy.

The WikiLeaks founder’s lawyer Jennifer Robinson has previously said the “outrageous” claims are “not true”.

However, the country’s leader Lenin Moreno has since claimed there were several reasons he was forced out of the embassy building in Knightsbridge – and that the alleged faeces incident was one of them.

“From verbal insults against Ecuador when he referred to our country as a completely insignificant country, and excuse me that I have to say this here, but even smearing his faeces on our embassy’s walls,” he said in an interview with the BBC.

Mr Moreno said the 47-year-old had “exhausted our patience and pushed our tolerance to the limit” during his seven-year stay at the embassy.

He also claimed that the Australian journalist had treated embassy staff in a “very bad” way – and that he even installed cameras to spy on them and broke into his phone.

“The group he led tapped and hacked into my phone, my wife’s, and published private pictures of my family, my wife and my daughters,” the president alleged.

One of the photos showed the president on a bed in a hotel room eating lobster.

Some have suggested the photo was the final straw for the leader as it emerged at a time when austerity was being introduced into the South American country.

Julian Assange inside a police vehicle on his arrival at Westminster Magistrates’ Court last week. (Getty Images)

However, when asked, the president replied: “That was my birthday, I was watching football in bed, it was a great day.

“My wife gifted me the pyjamas I was wearing, and the lobster, as a way to celebrate that special day.”

Mr Moreno also claimed that Assange had interfered in his country’s politics, the Vatican, the US elections and the question of Catalonian independence in Spain.

“Ecuador, like this government, has been excessively tolerant and has been able to make sure that his human rights will be protected before revoking his asylum,” he told the BBC.

“He did not behave the way an asylee should, with respect for the country that has warmly welcomed him, sheltered him and given him food.”

Mr Moreno finished by saying he thought “all Ecuadorians are relieved” Assange has gone and cited a recent survey that showed 80 per cent of the country’s population wanted him to leave.

Police on Thursday forcibly removed Assange from the embassy building where he first sought political asylum in 2012 amid a legal battle over an attempt to extradite him to Sweden, where he previously faced allegations of rape.

In May 2017, Sweden’s top prosecutor dropped the long-running inquiry into a rape claim against Assange, which he has always denied.

But his arrest prompted the lawyer for a Swedish woman who alleged she was raped by Assange during a visit to Stockholm in 2010 to say they wanted the case reopened.

Prosecutors in Sweden have since confirmed that, while the investigation has not been resumed, they are looking into the case.