THE partner of Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, has admitted that she had two children with him when he was hiding from arrest inside Ecuador’s embassy building in London.
Assange has been in Belmarsh Prison in London for nearly a year after police took him out of the embassy, after the Ecuadorians said they could not accommodate him any more.
Stela Moris said that Assange should be bailed because of health concerns during the Covid-19 pandemic.
He has a hearing next month over an extradition warrant from the United States, where he faces espionage charges in association with his work with WikiLeaks.
In a YouTube video, Moris said she met Assange in 2011 when she helped out his legal team and that they got together four years later.
Moris revealed their children are three-year-old Gabriel and one-year-old Max.
Moris said in a statement last month in support of Assange’s bail application that she had gone “to great lengths to shelter our children from the climate that surrounds him.”
Assange respected her wish for privacy, she wrote in the statement dated March 24.
“My close relationship with Julian has been the opposite of how he is viewed, of reserve, respect for each other and attempts to shield each other from some of the nightmares that have surrounded our lives together,” she said.
Moris said she decided to make the statement a day after the British government put the country under lockdown, because “our lives are on the brink and I fear that Julian could die.”
She worried about the coronavirus taking root in the prison and Assange’s “increased risk of exposure.”
Jennifer Robinson, who is the legal representative for Assange, said that Moris had “not taken this decision lightly, having fiercely protected her family’s privacy for many years.”
“She wanted to speak in support of Julian’s bail application given the grave risk to his health in prison during the pandemic and the judge refused her anonymity.”
The extradition hearing is fixed for May 18 after a judge at Westminster Magistrates’ Court rejected calls for an adjournment until September over what Assange’s legal team said were “insuperable” difficulties preparing his case because of the pandemic.