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Russian diplomat slams Assange’s prosecution as US political elite’s revenge

April 12, 3:54 UTC+3 MOSCOW

"First and foremost, Washington is behind Assange’s prosecution," Maria Zakharova said

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Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

© Alexander Shchebak/TASS

MOSCOW, April 12. /TASS/. Prosecution of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is the US political elite’s revenge over information that he made public, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

On Thursday, Ecuador terminated political asylum of Assange, who had spent nearly seven years in the Latin American country’s embassy in London. British police arrested Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy for breaching bail issued in 2012 and on a US extradition warrant issued in 2018.

"Certainly, this is an issue of vengeance or revenge of the US political establishment. It could become reconciled after information that turned upside-down the international community’s idea on the methods of work of [the US] legislative and executive power had been unveiled," Zakharova told Dozhd (Rain) TV channel.

"First and foremost, Washington is behind Assange’s prosecution, and the others play second fiddle, this is evident," the diplomat said.

In 2006, Assange set up WikiLeaks that published classified documents on certain governments, including the US. In 2012, Assange sought asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2012 in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden, which had issued a warrant for his arrest on sexual harassment and rape charges. He was holed up inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London for nearly seven years.

Assange’s attorneys fear that in case of his handover to the US, he may face up to 35 years in jail or capital punishment. However, the US Department of Justice claims that he faces just five years behind bars on hacking charges.

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