Australia Markets open in 9 hrs 4 mins

Russia reportedly hatched an audacious plan to smuggle Julian Assange out of Britain on Christmas Eve

Sinéad Baker
Russia reportedly hatched an audacious plan to smuggle Julian Assange out of Britain on Christmas Eve
  • 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.

Read the full report in the Guardian here.

  • Turbulence ahead from elections: Deloitte
    Finance
    Australian Associated Press

    Turbulence ahead from elections: Deloitte

    Deloitte economist Chris Richardson says progress toward surplus could be unsettled as politicians try to woo voters in federal, NSW and Victorian elections.

  • Finance
    Australian Associated Press

    Australian share market closes lower again

    The Australian share market has closed lower, largely a result of international worries.

  • Finance
    Australian Associated Press

    Stocks to watch

    Stocks of interest at the close of trade on the ASX on Monday, October 22.

  • Telstra outage hit 1,433 Triple Zero calls
    Finance
    Australian Associated Press

    Telstra outage hit 1,433 Triple Zero calls

    Telstra has to improve its network after an ACMA investigation found more than 1,400 Triple Zero calls went unconnected during an outage.

  • Finance
    Australian Associated Press

    WorleyParsons grows with $4.6b acquisition

    WorleyParsons is set to almost double in size after agreeing to acquire Jacobs Engineering's energy, chemicals and resources division in a $A4.6 billion deal.

  • Flight Centre shares fall on guidance
    Finance
    Australian Associated Press

    Flight Centre shares fall on guidance

    Flight Centre shares have fallen as much as 12 per cent with investors unimpressed by the travel provider's updated guidance.

  • Clearances lag heading into auction season
    Finance
    Australian Associated Press

    Clearances lag heading into auction season

    National capital city auction clearances have lagged below 50 per cent for the fourth straight week amid a widespread market downturn

  • Virgin Australia flags H1 profit rise
    Finance
    Australian Associated Press

    Virgin Australia flags H1 profit rise

    Virgin Australia expects to lift first-half underlying profit at least 22 per cent to $100 million after seeing its first-quarter revenue jump 9.7 per cent.

  • Finance
    Australian Associated Press

    AAP Markets Report October 22

    Movements on overseas markets.

  • Finance
    Australian Associated Press

    By-election shock to affect Aust markets

    The Australian share market is tipped to open lower again this week following the shock result in the Wentworth by-election.

  • Finance
    Australian Associated Press

    US S&P 500 slips on rates concerns

    Wall Street has finished the session flat to lower as worries about international trade tensions and rising interest rates weigh on market confidence.

  • Finance
    Australian Associated Press

    Stocks to watch

    Stocks of interest at the close of trade on the ASX on Friday, October 19.

  • Finance
    Australian Associated Press

    Stocks to watch

    Stocks of interest at the close of trade on the ASX on Friday, October 19.

  • Banks, energy lift but ASX in the red
    Finance
    Australian Associated Press

    Banks, energy lift but ASX in the red

    Australian shares are down but the market regained ground as the banks turned around a poor morning.

  • Finance
    Australian Associated Press

    High Court refuses $46m cartel fine appeal

    A Japanese car parts company ordered to pay a record $46 million fine for colluding with a competitor has been denied leave to appeal by the High Court.

  • Finance
    Australian Associated Press

    Wall St slides as Saudi, Italy add to woes

    US stocks have slid as the EU warning on Italy's budget and possibility of strained relations between US and Saudi Arabia added to investor woes.

  • Finance
    Australian Associated Press

    AAP Markets Report October 19

    Movements on overseas markets.

  • Finance
    Australian Associated Press

    Stocks to watch

    Stocks of interest at the close of trade on the ASX on Thursday, October 18.

  • Buoyant banks lead Australian market rally
    Finance
    Australian Associated Press

    Buoyant banks lead Australian market rally

    The ASX was flat after a choppy overnight session on Wall Street, with mining and energy stocks weighing on trade.

  • Unemployment rate hits six-year low
    Finance
    Australian Associated Press

    Unemployment rate hits six-year low

    The unemployment rate dropped 0.3 per cent to a six-year low of 5.0 per cent in September, with the number of people with jobs growing by 5,600.

  • 'Heartbroken' Roger David menswear closing
    Finance
    Australian Associated Press

    'Heartbroken' Roger David menswear closing

    Menswear chain Roger David is in administration after the retailer collapsed in the face of competition from international and online rivals.

  • Woodside Petroleum Q3 revenue rises 25%
    Finance
    Australian Associated Press

    Woodside Petroleum Q3 revenue rises 25%

    Woodside Petroleum's third-quarter revenue has risen about 25 per cent on the back of higher oil and LNG prices and rising output at its Wheatstone project.

  • Santos Q3 revenue up, achieves debt target
    Finance
    Australian Associated Press

    Santos Q3 revenue up, achieves debt target

    Gas producer Santos has achieved its debt target more than a year ahead of plan, while also seeing its third quarter revenue jump on higher oil and LNG prices.

  • South32 Q1 coking coal production triples
    Finance
    Australian Associated Press

    South32 Q1 coking coal production triples

    Robust production at South32's Appin and Dendrobium collieries has seen the miner's first quarter coking coal production triple.

  • BHP sees no impact from trade tensions
    Finance
    Australian Associated Press

    BHP sees no impact from trade tensions

    BHP Billiton says it has not seen a material impact from current global trade tensions.