WikiLeaks says Julian Assange's cat is safe

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"We can not allow our house, the house that opened its doors, to become a centre for spying", the Guardian quoted Moreno as saying.

Assange had entered the embassy on June 19, 2012 after losing his battle against extradition to Sweden where he faced numerous allegations, including rape.

The Ecuadoran president has defended his decision to withdraw Julian Assange's asylum status, saying that the WikiLeaks founder had tried to set up a "spying centre" from the diplomatic mission in London.

Confined to a tiny bedroom - a converted ladies lavatory - at the cramped 3 Hans Crescent building in Knightsbridge, he spent nearly 2500 days there before being dragged out by British police last week when the South American nation revoked his political asylum.

Lenin Moreno told the Guardian newspaper that Ecuador's government had provided facilities within the embassy that allowed Assange to "interfere" with other states. "Our decision is not arbitrary but is based on global law".

Ecuador's attempted character assassination of whistleblower Julian Assange stepped up since his arrest last week, with officials offering various excuses to justify his expulsion - and the media has been eagerly lapping it up. The first expired in 2015 and the other was dropped in 2017, but the alleged rape victim has now asked for the case to be reopened.

Ms Ridge also said Assange's fears of a USA extradition threat were proved correct this week after allegations were made that he conspired to hack into a classified Pentagon computer.

Britain's Home Secretary Sajid Javid would be expected to have the final say in which claim takes priority.

More than 70 MPs have also urged the Government to ensure Assange faces Swedish authorities if they request his extradition.

"We are absolutely happy to answer those queries if and when they come up", Robinson told Sky News television about the rape claims. He now faces jail for breaching bail and possible extradition to the US.

He also decried what he said was Assange's behaviour inside the embassy: "He mistreated our officials in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, abused the patience of Ecuadorians".

Moreno, who was less sympathetic to Assange's cause than his left-wing predecessor Rafael Correa, had requested that he limit his online political presence, stop riding his skateboard in the embassy hall's and clean up after his cat.

Robinson says Assange has had "a very hard time" since Moreno came to power in 2017.

Williamson spoke to Sputnik at the scene of a second day of protests outside London's Belmarsh Prison, which now houses Assange.

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