Ecuador used a $5 million secret intelligence budget to employ security contractors and monitor the visitors of Julian Assange while holed up in its London embassy, according to United Kingdom media reports.
Mr Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, has been at the embassy since June 2012 to avoid sexual offences charges and potential extradition to the United States following leaks by the website about U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Assange took refuge in the diplomatic mission in 2012 after a British judge ruled he should be extradited to Sweden to face allegations of sexual assault there. He was granted citizenship by the country in January, and even though Sweden has abandoned its extradition request, he still can not leave the embassy because Britain says it would arrest him for jumping bail back in 2012.
Democrats accused the Australian of collaborating with the Russian government when his site leaked emails from the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 campaign.
Documents obtained by the Guardian newspaper suggest that Ecuador spent an average of $66,000 a month to protect the high-profile fugitive.
The operation had the support of then Ecuadoran president Rafael Correa, the paper reported, adding that it has since been wound down under the country's new leader Lenin Moreno who took power a year ago. They showed "Operation Hotel" cost almost $1 million between June 2012 and August 2013.
The government of Ecuador spent almost $5m to provide protected internet access to asylum-seeker Julian Assange and he responded by hacking their systems, an anonymously sourced report has claimed. The documents also claim that Assange was able to compromise the network at the embassy to utilize a satellite internet service and intercept communications intended for other staff members. "That's an anonymous libel aligned with the current UK-US government onslaught against Mr. Assange's asylum - while he can't respond".
- Emilia Clarke On The 'Solo: A Star Wars Story' Director Shake-Up
- Bank of England deputy 'sorry' for 'menopausal' metaphor
- Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc. (HMNY) Short Interest Up 20.2% in April
- Saudi Arabia announces Thursday start for Ramadan
- Jose Mourinho hails "unbelievable" Michael Carrick
- Paddy Power Betfair confirms talks with FanDuel
- Analysts' Recommendations in Limelight: Halcon Resources (HK)
- On June, 6 Tailored Brands, Inc. (TLRD) EPS Estimated At $0.47
- Michael Carrick to Join Jose Mourinho Coaching Staff During FA Cup
- Google investigated by Australian regulator over its Android data harvesting practices