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Assange ‘apology’ over Snowden asylum row

 In this photo taken on Friday, June 14, 2013, Julian Assange speaks to the media inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London ahead of the first anniversary of his arrival there on June 19, 2012.  A year ago, Julian Assange skipped out on a date with Swedish justice. Rather than comply with a British order that he go to the Scandinavian country for questioning about sex-crimes allegations, the WikiLeaks founder took refuge in Ecuador's London embassy. (AP Photo/ Anthony Devlin, Pool)

In this photo taken on Friday, June 14, 2013, Julian Assange speaks to the media inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London ahead of the first anniversary of his arrival there on June 19, 2012. A year ago, Julian Assange skipped out on a date with Swedish justice. Rather than comply with a British order that he go to the Scandinavian country for questioning about sex-crimes allegations, the WikiLeaks founder took refuge in Ecuador's London embassy. (AP Photo/ Anthony Devlin, Pool)

Julian Assange is reported to have “apologised” to the Ecuadorean government saying that his intervention in the Snowden extradition/asylum row was not meant to show “any lack of respect or concern for Ecuador or its government”.

In a message he is purported to have sent to Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño and other top officials, he reportedly said he was sorry “if we have unwittingly [caused] Ecuador discomfort in the Snowden matter”.

“There is a fog of war due to the rapid nature of events. If similar events arise you can be assured that they do not originate in any lack of respect or concern for Ecuador or its government,” the note said according to The Guardian .

It follows reports that senior figures in Ecuador were “annoyed” with WikiLeaks chief after he claimed that the Ecuador embassy in London had issued a “safe passage” pass to whistleblower Edward Snowden to travel to Ecuador.

Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa declared that the document was unauthorised.

“Assange appears to have had a strong role in obtaining the travel document for Snowden, dated 22 June which bore the printed name, but not signature, of the London consul, Fidel Narvaez, a confidante,” The Guardian said.

‘Running the show’

The paper also quoted Ecuador’s ambassador to the U.S., Nathalie Cely, as saying that Mr. Assange appeared to be “running the show”. “I suggest talking to Assange to better control the communications. From outside, [Assange] appears to be running the show,” she reportedly said.


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Printable version | Aug 10, 2022 3:35:24 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/assange-apology-over-snowden-asylum-row/article4864082.ece