MOSCOW, May 21. /TASS/. Hosting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy in London cost Ecuador $800,000 and not $6 million as the Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry reported earlier, the preliminary report of the Ecuadorian state control commission presented on Monday in the national capital Quito reads, the Ecuadorian EFE news agency reports.
The list of costs particularly included “medical services, food, security and providing communication” for Assange, the report specifies. In almost seven years that the Australian national was hosted in the Ecuadorian embassy “$795,372.71 was spent.”
Notably, on April 11, the Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Jose Valencia claimed that the costs of hosting Assange exceeded $6 million. He said that $5,817,000 was paid to ensure security for Assange and almost $400,000 was spent on medical costs, food and washing his clothes. Another $300,000 was spent on legal assistance for Assange, according to Valencia.
Ecuadorian officials have yet to clarify the significant incoherence in the data provided by the state commission and the Foreign Ministry.
In 2006, Assange founded WikiLeaks portal to publish classified information about the activities of a number of governments, including that of the United States. Fearing extradition to the US from Sweden, where two women accused him of sexual harassment and rape, he sought asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he spent almost seven years. In April, Ecuador refused him further asylum, the police promptly arrested Assange for failing to appear before London court on the 2012 order as well as on the extradition request issued by the US in 2018.
On May 1, the London court sentenced the WikiLeaks founder to 50 weeks of jail for breaching the bail conditions. The US extradition request is also being considered. The next procedural hearing on this issue will be held in London on May 30.