Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno confirmed his contact with British authorities over WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

During his European trip, Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno confirmed that his government has been in contact with the British authorities and stated that the whistleblower should eventually leave the embassy, where he took refuge in 2012 fearing extradition to the US for leaking documents on the Iraq War.

Speaking in Madrid, President Lenín Moreno suggested Ecuador was seeking guarantees that whatever Assange's eventual fate, he would not face the death penalty.

The legal team of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has remained in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for six years fearing extradition to the US, has said that the representatives of the country’s government have refused to meet the whistleblower’s defenders.

According to one of his lawyers, Carlos Poveda, they requested talks in London or Madrid, but were rebuffed as “the agenda did not allow such a meeting."

He voiced concern after the recent statements by Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno, who recently confirmed during his European tour that his country is having talks with the UK authorities on Assange.

The defender points out that it had been officially stated that Assange’s case wouldn’t be discussed during Moreno’s trip to Europe.

"We know that Assange's issue is somehow being considered ... which leads us to confusion. We are surprised by his personal position, which shows that he has never agreed with the granting of asylum," the lawyer said.

The recent development also outraged the whistleblower’s supporters, who shared their revolt on Twitter and in protests.

Publication of classified materials is technically a crime for anyone in the US, but US Department of Justice officials have been reluctant to prosecute anyone on such charges so far, due to concerns that such a case could lead to them being accused of violating press freedom rights and, thus, the First Amendment.

However, the Donald Trump administration has seemingly made clear that they have no such concerns. While he was still in charge of the CIA, Mike Pompeo once said that while WikiLeaks “pretended that America’s First Amendment freedoms shield them from justice . . . they may have believed that, but they are wrong”.