Assange sues Ecuador for ‘violating rights’
AUSTRALIAN Julian Assange is set to launch legal action against the government of Ecuador as he continues to take refuge in the country's London embassy.
The WikiLeaks founder, 47, was given a set of new house rules earlier this week, including cleaning his bathroom and taking better care of his cat.
In a memo, it threatened to confiscate the pet if he did not look after its "wellbeing, food and hygiene".
Ecuador blocked Assange's internet and mobile phone access in March after "interfering in other countries' affairs", breaking "a written commitment" he had provided.
The co-founder of Wikileaks has remained at the embassy after seeking asylum to avoid extradition to Sweden over a rape allegation - the investigation was later dropped.
Assange has been in London's Ecuador embassy since 2012, fearing extradition to the United States if he leaves.
The news come after it was revealed the Ecuadorean government attempted to extricate the WikiLeaks founder from his embassy hideaway in London by naming him as a political counsellor to the country's embassy in Moscow.
But British authorities vetoed his diplomatic status, effectively blocking him from taking up his new post in Russia.
The files were made public this week by Ecuadorean opposition politician Paola Vintimilla, who opposes her government's decision to grant Assange nationality.
They largely corroborate a recent Guardian newspaper report that Ecuador attempted the elaborate manoeuvre just before Christmas last year.
Russian diplomats called the story "fake news," but the files show Assange was briefly named "political counsellor" to the Ecuadorean Embassy in Moscow with a monthly salary pegged at $2000.
Ecuador even went so far as to apply for a diplomatic ID card, the documents show, but the plan appears to have fallen apart with the British veto.