After an unsuccessful attempt by WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson to retrieve Assange’s personal belongings from Ecuador’s UK embassy, where Assange had been holed up for almost 7 years before his arrest and incarceration last month, the Ecuadorian government reportedly greenlighted the US request to provide it access to the documents and electronic devices left behind by the jailed WikiLeaks editor after he was hauled out of the embassy by the British police on April, 11.
The searches inside the embassy quarters formerly occupied by Assange are set to be conducted by police on May 20, El Pais reported, citing a notice sent to Assange’s Ecuadorian lawyer Carlos Poveda.
Assange’s personal files, his computer, mobile phones, memory sticks, CDs and any other electronic devices uncovered during the searches will then be seized and sent to the US as a part of Ecuador’s response to the Department of Justice’s judicial request. The US is currently building a case to extradite on hacking charges.
The files contain troves of sensitive information, include Assange’s communication with his lawyers and other legal documents – which, the lawyers argue, deprive him of the right to proper defense. Having this data will potentially allow the US to “build and create new charges” to extradite Assange in violation of Ecuador’s own asylum policies.