Ecuador has revoked the citizenship of Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks. Assange is currently in a British prison. The country’s justice system has formally notified Assange of the nullity of his naturalisation in a letter. The letter came in response to a claim filed by Ecuador’s foreign ministry.
A naturalization is considered damaging when it is granted based on the concealment of relevant facts, false documents or fraud. Ecuadorian authorities say Assange’s naturalization letter had multiple inconsistencies, different signatures, the possible alteration of documents and unpaid fees, among other issues. Carlos Poveda, Assange’s lawyer, told The Associated Press the decision was made without due process and Assange was not allowed to appear in the case. Assange received Ecuadorian citizenship in January 2018 as part of a failed attempt by the government of then-President Lenin Moreno to turn him into a diplomat to get him out of its embassy in London. On Monday, the Pichincha Court for Contentious Administrative Matters revoked this decision. Assange was arrested by the British authorities in April 2019. Before that Assange spent seven years inside Ecuador’s London embassy before that. He had walked into the embassy in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden to face allegations of rape and sexual assault. He has been indicted by US prosecutors for espionage.