Ecuador Revokes Assange's Citizenship - Lawyer
Faizan Hashmi 2 months ago Tue 27th July 2021 | 12:53 PM
Ecuadorean court revoked WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's citizenship last week, his lawyer in Quito, Carlos Poveda, told Sputnik
The activist received Ecuadorian citizenship in 2017 while he was an asylee at the country's embassy in London. In April 2019, Assange's citizenship was suspended based on the National Comptroller's Office report on irregularities in the procedure of granting citizenship.
"Administrative court judges agreed with the foreign ministry and nullified the naturalization letter that had been granted to Julian Assange. We were officially informed of this [on Monday]," Poveda said.
The decision can still be challenged through so-called horizontal appeals for clarifications and final appeals in the appeal court.
National Comptroller's Office report was politically biased and no evidence of procedure irregularities was provided, while there were procedure inconsistencies impeding legal defense, Poveda added.
"Since the first hearing we insisted that Assange had not been legally summoned, his documents must be translated, because his language is English... I found out about the legal process when accessed the court website," the lawyer said.
The WikiLeaks founder faces US espionage charges following the leakage of classified documents. In 2012, Assange took refuge at the Ecuadorean embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he was facing sexual assault charges which were later dropped. Assange has been held in a top security prison in Belmarsh, the United Kingdom, since 2019, pending an appeal in an extradition case initiated by the United States.