International Development News
Development News Edition

Manafort made Ecuador trip to help negotiate deal over Assange's handover

They said Manafort suggested he could help negotiate a deal for the handover of Assange to the US, which has long investigated him for the disclosure of secret documents.


Manafort made Ecuador trip to help negotiate deal over Assange's handover

Paul Manafort, US President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman who awaits sentencing for lying to federal investigators in breach of a plea agreement, flew to Ecuador to help negotiate a deal for the handover of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to Washington, a media report said.

The New York Times report on Monday said that Manafort made the trip mainly to see if he could broker a deal under which China would invest in Ecuador's power system.

But the talks instead turned to a diplomatic point between the US and Ecuador: the fate of the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

In at least two meetings with Manafort, Ecuadorian Presidenr Lenin Moreno and his aides discussed their desire to rid themselves of Assange, who has been holed up in the country's Embassy in London since 2012, in exchange for concessions like debt relief from the US, informed sources told The Times.

They said Manafort suggested he could help negotiate a deal for the handover of Assange to the US, which has long investigated him for the disclosure of secret documents.

Within a couple of days of Manafort's final meeting in Quito, Robert Mueller was appointed as the Special Counsel to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election and related matters, and it quickly became clear that Manafort was a primary target.

His talks with Ecuador ended without any deals.

According to the sources, there was no evidence that Manafort was working with or even briefing Trump or other administration officials on his discussions with the Ecuadoreans about Assange.

Manafort and WikiLeaks have both denied a recent report in The Guardian that the former campaign chairman visited Assange at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London in 2013, 2015 and 2016.

In response to the development, Jason Maloni, a spokesman for Manafort, said that it was Moreno who broached the issue of Assange and "his desire to remove Julian Assange from Ecuador's embassy".

Manafort "listened but made no promises as this was ancillary to the purpose of the meeting", said Maloni.

Manafort will tentatively face sentencing on March 5, a federal judge ruled last week.

The ruling came days after Mueller accused Manafort of repeatedly lying to federal investigators, breaching his plea deal he signed in September.

He is currently in jail in Alexandria, Virginia.

(With inputs from agencies.)


TRENDING

OPINION/BLOG/INTERVIEW

How music can help expectant mothers during pregnancy

Music provides pleasant ambience for all but its more important for expectant mothers as besides ensuring pleasant environment for them it also directly and indirectly influences the unborn babies. There are various scientific findings to c...

EdTech: A technical approach to flexible and cost-effective education

Its hight time for the world to go for innovative approaches like e-learning over traditional learning methods that need physical infrastructure, long-term planning, and huge investment. ...

Our school campaigns are our strongest ally: Joaquin Antuna, founder of Peace and Cooperation

Joaquin Antuna is the founder of Peace and Cooperation, a Spanish NGO which was nominated as peace messenger by the United Nations in 1986. Antuna is of very firm opinion that in order to have an incisive impact on the community we live in,...

'No escape from telephones', this 1953 prediction actually comes true

In 1953, a telephone company chief predicted that therell be no escape from telephones in the future....

Videos

Latest News

Onmobile partners with Gionee to build, manage mobile entertainment

IT company Onmobile Global on Thursday said it has collaborated with Gionee, owned by the Jaina Group, to build and manage its mobile entertainment ecosystem. Gionee, has entered into an agreement with OnMobile to launch its portfolio of pr...

Senators slip past Canadiens in overtime

Brady Tkachuk scored 38 seconds into overtime to lift the visiting Ottawa Senators to a 2-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night. Tkachuk collected a pass in full stride in the neutral zone from Chris Tierney, and the speedy w...

UPDATE 1-Tennis-Davis Cup Finals turning into the late, late show

The Davis Cup Finals schedule was thrown into chaos on Wednesday as, for the second day running, the challenge of fitting in sixties in a day at La Caja Magica proved almost impossible. Tuesdays action concluded with Spain completing victor...

UPDATE 1-Protesters stay holed up on Hong Kong campus, surrounded by riot police

Fewer than 100 protesters remained holed up in a Hong Kong university on Thursday as riot police encircled the campus, with some activists desperately searching for ways to escape while others hid. Some protesters told Reuters they where ho...

Give Feedback