Russia’s secret plan to help Julian Assange escape from United Kingdom revealed

Julian Assange is seen on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London Britain

A bold plot that would have seen Wikileaks founder Julian Assange smuggled from the Ecuadorian embassy in London to Russian Federation in 2017 has been revealed.

But Britain's Foreign Office in a 21 December note said it did not accept Assange as a diplomat and that it did not "consider that Mr Assange enjoys any type of privileges and immunities under the Vienna Convention", reads the letter, citing a British diplomatic note.

"As regards the idea that "the Kremlin was willing to offer support" to a secret plan by "allowing Assange to travel to Russia", we are puzzled by the sensational attitude of the authors," the Russian embassy added.

British authorities say they will arrest the WikiLeaks publisher if he ever leaves Ecuador's embassy in London.

One tentative plan involved smuggling Mr. Assange out of the embassy in a diplomatic vehicle on Christmas Eve and transporting him to another country, possibly Russian Federation, where he stood a lesser risk of being extradited to the USA and tried on charges related to his WikiLeaks website, The Guardian reported.

Assange, who was granted political asylum by Quito in 2012, announced he had been made an Ecuadorean citizen after Christmas, shortly after the embassy had been rejected in its...

Ecuador naturalized Mr. Assange in late 2017, but a subsequent attempt to grant him diplomatic status days later was quickly quashed by United Kingdom authorities. Assange denies receiving the emails from Russian Federation, but has not ruled out having obtained them from a third party.

Citing four sources, The Guardian said Russians held secret talks in London a year ago with people close to the Australian-born WikiLeaks publisher on the subject of potentially facilitating his safe exit from the embassy, his residence since 2012.

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

Last December, Ecuador granted Julian Assange the necessary security clearances to work in their embassy in Russian Federation.

Reuters was unable to obtain comment from Russia's foreign ministry on Ecuador's plan to make him a diplomat there.

A tentative plan that would have seen Assange snuck out of the embassy in a diplomatic vehicle on Christmas Eve 2017 and ultimately brought to Russian Federation was the result.

Vintimilla, who discussed some of the documents during a Thursday press conference, said Assange should lose his citizenship as a result of that letter.

The 47-year-old Assange remains in hiding in a back room of the central London building six years after losing a legal battle against extradition to Sweden for questioning on allegations of rape and sexual assault.

The Ecuadorian President has said Mr Assange can not remain in asylum for life.

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