Assange’s lawyer said her client would cooperate with Swedish authorities if they reopen the rape case against him [File: Henry Nicholls/Reuters]

The Ecuadoran president has defended his decision to withdraw Julian Assange‘s asylum status, saying that the WikiLeaks founder had tried to set up a “spying centre” from the diplomatic mission in London.

“It is unfortunate that, from our territory and with the permission of authorities of the previous government, facilities have been provided within the Ecuadorian embassy in London to interfere in processes of other states,” Lenin Moreno told The Guardian newspaper on Sunday.

“We cannot allow our house, the house that opened its door to become a centre for spying. Our decision is not arbitrary but is based on international law.”

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