(Bloomberg) -- WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been stripped of his Ecuadorian citizenship after an administrative court in Quito found that his naturalization process had been full of irregularities.
The three-judge tribunal listed several breaches of the rules in its ruling published Tuesday, including failing to live in Ecuador and to pay fees. The court also said that ministry officials carried out an “undue and illegal” application interview to grant him citizenship.
Carlos Poveda, Assange’s Ecuadorian lawyer said he would file for an annulment of the decision, in a reply to written questions.
Assange is currently in a British jail fighting extradition to the U.S. where prosecutors have charged him with espionage for the leaking of classified diplomatic cables.
In 2010 Sweden issued an arrest warrant for Assange in a case of sexual abuse, which they eventually dropped in 2019. To avoid extradition, he fled to a London apartment housing Ecuador’s U.K. embassy. Ecuador granted him asylum based on the risk that extradition to Sweden might be followed by extradition to the U.S., where he said he could face political persecution and even the death penalty.
In 2018, he obtained citizenship through naturalization from Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa in a failed bid to resolve the standoff by moving him to Moscow as an Ecuadorian diplomat. But in 2019 Ecuador withdrew his asylum status and allowed him to be arrested.
Under the immigration law in effect at the time, the foreign ministry suspended his citizenship but had to request court confirmation for it to be revoked.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
BNN Bloomberg Picks
Low fee candy from discount brokers could rot your portfolio
WeWork to start trading in October, two years after IPO crash
Across Canada, vaccine passports are a patchwork. Here's what that looks like
World’s wealthiest families gained US$312B over past year
Americans see worst buying conditions in decades on high prices
Climate change may halve sugar and coffee output by 2099