UK will not issue WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to any country where he could face the death penalty. This statement was made by the British Deputy Foreign Minister Alan Duncan. Experts remind that capital punishment is not prohibited in the United States , however London was hardly going to hand over a journalist directly to the US authorities. A more likely scenario in which he will be extradited to Sweden , where Assange is accused of sexual crimes, and already Stockholm will transfer him to Washington. Meanwhile, CNN television published an article claiming that the founder of WikiLeaks, while in the embassy of Ecuadorallegedly turned it into a “headquarters for interfering with US elections”.
Deputy Foreign Minister of Great Britain Alan Duncan held talks with Ecuador’s foreign minister, José Valencia. Following the meeting, he said that the founder of WikiLeaks and journalist Julian Assange will not be extradited to a country where he could face the death penalty.
“This is a fundamental condition of the agreement reached by us that we will not allow his extradition to any country where he could face the death penalty,” Duncan told reporters during a joint press conference with Valencia in Quito.
Duncan also assured that London cares about the health of an Australian journalist.
As noted on the website of the British government, the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Great Britain cannot decide on extradition if the accused is facing the death penalty in the host country. At the same time, expulsion is allowed if the minister receives written guarantees that the expelled will not be sentenced to death or, if such a decision is made by the court, the sentence will not be carried out.
Vladimir Bruter , an expert at the International Institute for Humanitarian and Political Studies, said in an interview with RT that issuing Assange directly to the United States could damage the reputation of the UK, so London acts quite cautiously.
“With regard to issuing directly to the United States, this will be a great loss for British justice, which has no rights to it. And if someone makes such a decision, then he may further have problems related to this … But this is rather an internal moment of British justice, and not a positive moment for Assange, ”the expert noted.
He also reminded that the journalist did not commit any crimes in addition to violating the conditions of bail on the territory of Great Britain. According to Bruter, the most likely development of events is the release of Assange to Sweden, and from Sweden to the United States.
“From the very beginning, I thought Assange would not be directly extradited from Great Britain to the USA … As for the American request for extradition, its application to Great Britain looks very strange. Therefore, from the very beginning I assumed that the main option was to issue Assange from the UK to Sweden, and from Sweden to the USA. This is still a very likely scenario, although everything depends on the Swedish authorities here, ”the expert believes.
Meanwhile, the US media continues to find new “evidence” of the crimes of the founder of WikiLeaks. For example, CNN TV channel published “sensational” material, which reported that the journalist allegedly “turned the Ecuadorian embassy in London into a headquarters for interference in US elections” in 2016. The basis for such statements were the documents of the Spanish private security company Undercover Global, which allegedly appeared at the disposal of American journalists.
In its material, CNN claims that, according to data from surveillance cameras at the Ecuadorian embassy, the journalist had extremely broad powers at the embassy, which were allegedly comparable to the ambassador’s capabilities. Assange allegedly could determine the list of people who could have entered the mission, without presenting identity documents and without going through security screenings, used high-speed Internet and installed equipment to work on the Web, and also regularly held confidential meetings.
In addition, the material states that the journalist allegedly met regularly with representatives of Russia in June 2016, shortly before WikiLeaks published the correspondence of members of the National Democratic Party Committee , which hit the reputation of Hillary Clinton – Donald Trump’s opponent in the last presidential election.
The text of the article CNN also indicated that Assange has repeatedly met in the representatives of the TV channel RT, including in June 2016.
RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan commented on the CNN “investigation”, noting that the meetings of the TV channel representatives, including the head of the London bureau Nikolay Bogachikhin, with Assange were not a secret. Moreover, she personally met with the founder of WikiLeaks at the Ecuadorian embassy and reported on this in her social networks.
She also added that there is nothing surprising in this, because the journalist for some time was broadcast on RT.
“Dear CIA ! I’ll tell you more. Not only my deputy went to the embassy to Assange. I went myself. And on Twitter fotochki laid out. Throw a link? And what we did not wear it there. Cassettes, floppy disks, flash drives, pieces of paper, technical equipment, candy and other transfers. He actually led the program. It is difficult to conduct a program without technical means, ”Glavred RT wrote in her channel in Telegram.
Experts interviewed by RT say that CNN’s “exposing” article only dishonors the American television channel, giving reason to talk about the lack of professionalism of its employees. Nikita Danyuk , Deputy Director of the Institute of Strategic Studies and Forecasts of RUDN University, noted that the accusation of Assange in connection with Russia seems simply absurd.
“CNN has long been transformed from a respectable telecommunications holding into a real propaganda tool. Especially surprising are references to “secret sources”, the existence of which cannot be neither proved nor disproved … In fact, this accusation (in connection with Russia. – RT) is another absurdity. But public opinion is already so heated up in relation to this person that no evidence is needed, ”the expert explained.
Vladimir Bruter, for his part, notes that even if Assange had wanted to create a headquarters to intervene in the elections, it would have been impossible to do this in his conditions.
“The monstrous idiocy of such statements testifies to the degradation of the American political elite, and not to the fact that Assange turned the Ecuadorian embassy into a headquarters. This is generally impossible, the Ecuadorian embassy would never have agreed to this, not under the previous government, much less this one, which issued it. All these conversations are no more than an attempt to give a literary scenario about what they would like to see in Washington, ”concluded Bruter.