PUBLISHED: 13:55, Tue, Apr 30, 2019 | UPDATED: 14:16, Tue, Apr 30, 2019
The WikiLeaks founder was arrested at the Ecuadorian embassy on April 11 after claiming political asylum since he entered the Kensington building in 2012. Following his arrest, the Ecuadorian president said: “We cannot allow our house, the house that opened its doors, to become a centre for spying. “This activity violates asylum conditions. Our decision is not arbitrary but is based on international law.”
Ecuador accused Assange of spying on them by obtaining classified files without permission, and released footage of Mr Assange skateboarding in a vest and underpants while holed up in the embassy.
But now, Mr Assange has filed a formal criminal complaint in Ecuador, and blamed diplomats for alleged espionage linked to an alleged extortion case involving three Spanish citizens.
Mr Assange claims former Ecuadorian president President Rafael Correa’s government violated the whistleblower’s privacy by secretly recording the journalist’s daily activities starting from March 2018.
Julian Assange news: the WikiLeaks founder is filing criminal charges against Ecuador embassy staff (Image: GETTY)
The filing says the spying was conducted with the help of Spanish firm Promsecurity, a private contractor which administers electronic surveillance at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
The complaint has been filed before the National Court in Madrid.
Ecuadorian lawyer Carlos Poveda said the case was a “very sensitive and complicated” matter, as it would have resulted in a leak of personal data.
Julian Assange: Lenin Moreno wanted Assange evicted from the embassy (Image: GETTY)
He said the criminal filing against Ecuador included violation of privacy, spreading restricted information, illegal disclosure of database and illegal interception of data.
Mr Poveda said: “The Ecuadorian government accused Mr. Assange of espionage inside the embassy, and as it turns out, the espionage came from inside the embassy.”
In March of this year, WikiLeaks editor Kristinn Hrafnsson, said three people of Spanish nationality asked the company for £2.5million (€3m) in order to stop the release of information about Assange.
Mr Poveda added: “The Ecuadorian government accused Mr Assange of espionage inside the embassy, as it turns out that the espionage came from inside the embassy.
“These events generated extortion in Madrid because the Spanish suspects demanded three million euros for the provision of this information.”
As detailed in the complaint filed on Assange’s behalf, one of the alleged threats included a video that would be published on YouTube on April 10 under the title “Julian Assange confesses in AUDIO that Ecuador has sold him to the US for money.”
A protest is to be held in Berlin on May 2- the first day of his extradition trial in London (Image: REUTERS)
In addition, on April 11, the Times published that the alleged extortionists were trying to sell the material, even referring to possible sexual content.
On May 2, a demonstration will be held in Berlin just a few metres away from the UK and US embassies, claiming the two countries hold the “freedom of the press” in their hands.
The protest, held by DiEM25 and Demokratie in Europa will be staged near to the Brandenburg Gate on the first day of Mr Assange’s extradition hearing in London.
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.