- The details of a bold plot to smuggle Wikileaks founder Julian Assange out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London have leaked.
- Sources told the Guardian newspaper that Russian diplomats held secret talks with people close to Assange with the goal of smuggling him out in a diplomatic car, potentially to Russia.
- Assange would not be at risk of extradition to the US if he was in Russia.
- The plan, due to take place in 2017, was ultimately abandoned, seemingly because of the high risks involved.
A bold plot that would have seen Wikileaks founder Julian Assange smuggled from the Ecuadorian embassy in London to Russia in 2017 has been revealed.
UK newspaper the Guardian reported that Russian diplomats held secret talks in 2017 with people close to Assange to hatch a plan to help Assange escape the UK.
A tentative plan that would have seen Assange snuck out of the embassy in a diplomatic vehicle on Christmas Eve 2017 and ultimately brought to Russia was the result.
Sources told the Guardian that the plan involved giving Assange diplomatic documents so that Ecuador could claim that he enjoyed diplomatic immunity.
Four separate sources told the newspaper that the Kremlin was willing to offer support for the plan.
Assange travelling to Ecuador by boat was also considered.
The plan was ultimately abandoned as it was too risky. One source said that the plot was abandoned just days before it was due to be executed.
Assange has been in the embassy for six years. Britain and Ecuador fearUS prosecutors have a sealed indictment against him and will extradite him to the US. He could face prison there if convicted of charges related to the publication of US documents that were subject to national security secrecy protections.
If Assange goes to Russia, he cannot be extradited to the US.