Lobster buffet photo leak behind Assange's eviction?

Lenin Moreno and Julian Assange.
Lenin Moreno and Julian Assange. Photo credit: Supplied/INA/Getty

A photo of Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno in bed next to a lobster buffet may have been what ended Julian Assange's lengthy stay in the South American country's embassy.

The WikiLeaks founder's seven years in asylum at the embassy in London came to end last week, when Ecuador gave him up to UK police.

In February, more than 200 emails, texts and photographs reportedly from Moreno's phone were leaked to an Ecuadorean website that aims to expose the President's alleged corruption. Ecuador quickly pointed the finger at Assange's group.

The most embarrassing perhaps was a shot of Moreno reclining in a European hotel room next to a table of food. Leaking just weeks after Moreno's government imposed stiff austerity measures, it caused uproar.

WikiLeaks denied being behind the leak.

"The [Ecuadorian] government seeks a false pretext to end the asylum and protection of Julian Assange," the group said in a statement, calling his expulsion from the embassy illegal.

Regardless of what the feast may have cost, there could be a simple explanation why Moreno was in bed when he ate it - he's been unable to walk since being shot during a robbery in the late 1990s.

Since being evicted, Ecuador has claimed Assange smeared excrement on the walls of his room and refused to flush the toilet. He allegedly once flew a plumber over from Spain to have a blockage fixed, fearing local tradies might be spies.

It's not clear what will happen to Assange next. He could be extradited to Sweden to face sex assault charges, or the US to face charges relating to hacking and releasing classified material.

His father told the Herald Sun he wants Australian authorities to "do something" to get his son back to Australia.


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