Mystery swirls around Julian Assange's status at Embassy

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange participates via video link at a news conference marking the group’s 10th anniversary in Berlin. File pic
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange participates via video link at a news conference marking the group’s 10th anniversary in Berlin. File pic

Paris: Midway through releasing a series of damaging disclosures about US presidential contender Hillary Clinton, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has said that his hosts at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London abruptly cut him off from the Internet. The news adds another layer of intrigue to an extraordinary campaign.

“We can confirm Ecuador cut off Assange’s Internet access Saturday, 5 pm GMT, shortly after publication of Clinton’s Goldman Sachs (speeches),” the group said in a message posted on Twitter late on Monday.

With both WikiLeaks and Ecuadorean officials refusing to say much more about the incident, outsiders were left to guess at what was happening behind closed doors at the embassy suite at No. 3 Hans Crescent, a stucco-fronted building which Assange has called home for more than four years.

Had Ecuadorean diplomats lost patience with their famous Australian houseguest? Had they finally bowed to pressure from Washington to muzzle the outspoken ex-hacker following one revelation too many? Had there been some other kind of confrontation?

WikiLeaks said unspecified “contingency plans” were in place and its Twitter account was still active yesterday.

Monday it released the latest tranche of emails from senior Clinton ally John Podesta, suggesting that, for now at least, the group’s ability to publish has not been compromised.

The disclosure was the 10th installation in a series of leaks that have captured the workings of Clinton’s inner circle and included excerpts of her well-compensated speeches to investment bank Goldman Sachs. Agencies

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