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WikiLeave? Assange tipped for Ecuadorian eviction

Secrets dealer may be nearing end of asylum stay, on humane grounds

By Shaun Nichols in San Francisco

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The Ecuadorian government has reportedly sought a plan to end Julian Assange's world's longest couch surfing stint record attempt at its London embassy.

Ecuador's foreign minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa told the AFP news agency her country would look to bring in a mediator to help settle the legal dispute that has lead to Assange spending the last five years claiming asylum in its embassy.

"From a human point of view, [it] is not sustainable," Espinosa said of Assange's current arrangement.

"A person cannot live forever in these conditions, and we are searching in a very respectful way with the United Kingdom ... for a solution." She added that a third country might help out by offering Assange a new couch.

According to The Guardian, the UK government has already cast doubt on the mediation offer, saying "the government of Ecuador knows that the way to resolve this issue is for Julian Assange to leave the embassy to face justice."

Assange entered the embassy in 2012, claiming that if he visited Sweden to address a sexual assault investigation he'd be extradited to the USA as Uncle Sam is furious with his leaking.

That fury has not abated: in April 2017 newly-appointed US attorney-general Jeff Sessions said the Trump administration would indeed file and proceed with charges against Assange should he be arrested.

And there's the very real prospect he will be arrested if he leaves Ecuador's embassy, because he jumped bail on his way there. UK authorities have repeatedly said they'll nab Assange if he leaves. And as the UK and USA share an extradition treaty, that's not good news for the white-haired information warrior. ®

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