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Tuesday 20th March 2018

Ecuador defends Handover of Assange Documents to US

Politics

7Dnews London

Tue, 14 May 2019 20:13 GMT

Ecuador has said it would hand over documents and computer hardware that belongs to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the US, adding that they were doing so to comply fully with the law.

However, the foreign minister Jose Valencia said in an interview with Ecuador ETV, that the prosecutor's office in Quito would determine "what goods should or should not be shared."  

Also, he added that the delivery of Assange's documents would happen "in full compliance with the law." 

Assange's lawyers stated that Monday May 13th that they had received an e-mail from prosecutors notifying them about the planned handover of items left behind by Assange, when his seven-year stay at the London embassy ended in his arrest last month. 

An authorisation was issued by prosecutors, allowing the police to conduct a search next Monday May 20th of the room where Assange was staying and seize his personal belongings. 

Meanwhile, Valencia defended the handover, saying: "this is derived from a very clear order from a competent judicial authority." 

"It will be the prosecutor's office that decides what goods should or should not be shared with the U S authorities and which are personal effects that must be returned to its owner," he said. 

The belongings, including computers, mobile phones, memory sticks and other electronic devices, will be sent to the US as part of Ecuador's response to a request from the US department of justice for cooperation into its investigation into Assange, according to an e-mail cited by the Australian's legal team. 

However, a petition was filed by Assange's legal team in Ecuador, in order to seek to block the handover, and failing that, at least allowing Assange to be present at the search. 

Currently, Assange, 47, is held in a London jail. A US indictment charges him with conspiracy for working with former US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to crack a password stored on department of defense computers in March 2010. 


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