WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Picture: AP
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Picture: AP

Julian Assange faces ‘imminent expulsion’ from embassy

JULIAN Assange's time in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London may be up.

The Times of London reports sources as saying Assange may be forced out in "hours, days or weeks".

A source with detailed knowledge of the case said yesterday: "I expect (Assange) to lose his asylum status imminently. This means he will be expelled from the embassy. When this will happen is impossible to say.''

His lawyer Jennifer Robinson reportedly told The Times, that she was concerned for Assange's health.

"We are preparing to defend him in the British courts and will fight extradition to the US,'' she said. "We don't have any indication of time frame.

"This is a very serious situation, one that we are very concerned about. It's a matter for Ecuador, the UK, the US and Australia.''

Australian human rights lawyer Jennifer Robinson. Picture: Getty
Australian human rights lawyer Jennifer Robinson. Picture: Getty

Assange, 47, has been holed up in the embassy since 2012 after losing an appeal against extradition to Sweden for questions about rape and sexual assault allegations. Sweden eventually dropped the case but UK authorities still have an arrest warrant out on him for breaching a bail agreement with them.

Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno has made no secret of the fact that he wants Assange out, saying this week "I have never agreed with what Mr. Assange does".

"The only thing we want is a guarantee that his life will not be in danger. We have spoken to, and of course, we are dealing with this with Mr. Assange's legal team and with the British government."

CNN said this week that US prosecutors may have a sealed indictment and could seek extradition to America to answer questions on Russia's hacking of the 2016 US election.

"The recent indictments issued by US Special Counsel Robert Mueller imply that Assange and WikiLeaks were a conduit for Russian intelligence in distributing hacked Democratic Party emails in 2016," the media outlet said. "Whether a sealed indictment awaits Assange in relation to the Russian hacking investigation is unknown. But according to US officials, charges have been drawn up relating to previous WikiLeaks disclosures of classified US documents."