Published: Sat, September 22, 2018

‘Special designation’? Ecuador reportedly mulled sending Assange as a diplomat to Russian Federation

‘Special designation’? Ecuador reportedly mulled sending Assange as a diplomat to Russian Federation

The paper, claimed that Ecuador's former London consul, Fidel Narvaez, was in talks with Russian diplomats and in constant contact with a "Russian businessman" who coordinated the proposed operation with the Kremlin.

That could of very well been the case in 2017 - when Ecuador attempted to give the Wikileaks founder a diplomatic post in Moscow, but were forced to rescind the offer after the British refused to play ball, a report says.

"Special designation" refers to the ability of the Ecuadorian President to appoint individuals to diplomatic posts even if they are not career diplomats.

Mr. Assange, 47, was granted asylum by Ecuador within weeks of seeking refuge in its London embassy more than six years ago, though an outstanding arrest warrant issued by United Kingdom authorities and the related risk of being extradited overseas have kept him from exiting ever since.

"The Embassy has never engaged either with Ecuadorian colleagues, or with anyone else, in discussions on any kind of Russia's participation in ending Mr Assange's stay within the diplomatic mission of Ecuador", it wrote. Ecuador could have given Mr. Assange diplomatic documents, and he could have then been picked up from the embassy by Russians and taken away in diplomatic vehicle, the report said.

The Russian embassy in London called the article a clear example of "disinformation and fake news by British media", while the Foreign Ministry also rejected the report.

The Russian Embassy did not immediately respond to Ars' request for comment late Friday evening.

Ecuador abandoned its decision shortly after, according to the letter.

He originally sought asylum in 2012 to avoid being extradited to Sweden after being accused of sexual assault, but the charges were later dropped.

The plan to make Assange an Ecuadorean diplomat was made public previous year, but the effort to send him to Moscow has not been previously reported.

The newspaper said that details of the Assange escape plan are "sketchy".

Assange is a key figure in the ongoing USA criminal investigation into Russia's attempts to sway the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

However, Assange has denied receiving the stolen emails from Russian Federation.

Despite widespread speculation over the summer that he may soon be kicked out of the Ecuadorian embassy by Moreno as part of an effort to establish closer ties with the US, Assange's asylum status seems to be safe for now, his lawyer told RT on Thursday.

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