Wikileaks founder Julian Assange will not be extradited to any country with capital punishment, Britain's Minister for the Americas and Europe, Alan Duncan announced Monday in Quito after a meeting with Ecuador's Foreign Minister José Valencia.
Duncan told reporters that the United Kingdom was guaranteeing Assange's right to due process and that his government was concerned about his health. He added that his country will not allow him to be extradited anywhere where he could face capital punishment.
He added that it is a fundamental term of the agreement we reached that we would not allow him to be extradited to any side where he could face capital punishment, said the representative of the British Foreign Ministry.
After pointing out that the Australian activist broke the law and that he chose to enter the Embassy of Ecuador in London seven years ago, he commented that he was never involuntarily detained and that it was necessary to remove him from the diplomatic headquarters to take him.
Ecuador revoked the diplomatic asylum of the founder of Wikileaks on April 11 and since then is under the control of the British Justice, which sentenced him for violating precautionary measures that had been imposed on him in 2012.
Assange faces possible extradition to the United States, where he is required for the crime of spreading secrets, or to Sweden, where he is being investigated for alleged sexual assaults.
When there are competing extradition requests in the UK, the home secretary decides which country should take priority.
The activist was a refugee in Ecuador's London embassy for almost seven years. But Ecuador chose to terminate that concession amid diplomatic tension coupled with Assange's repeated violation of the terms of his benefit.
Assange reportedly sued Ecuador for alleged violation of his rights. But Valencia insisted there were no open international proceedings against his country for the termination of Assange's asylum.
It was a sovereign decision of the Ecuadorian State adopted on the basis of Ecuadorian law and international treaties that govern diplomatic asylum, the foreign minister explained.
Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno was sent letters signed by British Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, and his predecessor Boris Johnson, dated 7 March 2018 and 10 August 2018 respectively, confirming a person cannot be extradited if they could face the death penalty, according to British legislation.