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Ecuador 'cuts off Julian Assange's internet access'

Assange's internet connection was 'intentionally severed' by Ecuador, Wikileaks said Credit: PA

Ecuador has cut off Julian Assange's internet access after he released a trove of documents on Hillary Clinton in the run-up to the US presidential election, WikiLeaks have claimed.

The group claimed that his connection had been "intentionally severed" in a sign that his welcome in the London embassy may be wearing thin after spending more than four years holed up in the building.

Ecuador declined to comment but said it "reaffirms" its decision to offer him asylum to escape extradition to Sweden for questioning over an alleged sex attack.

WikiLeaks had initially said that a "state party" cut off Assange before later saying Ecuador was to blame.

WikiLeaks noted the outage came shortly after Assange helped to publish details of private speeches given by Hillary Clinton to Goldman Sachs which have attracted news coverage as the US gears up to the presidential election within weeks.

It added that "appropriate contingency plans" for any such event had been since been put into action.

Assange has been hiding out in Ecuador's London embassy for more than four years Credit: PA

Ecuador declined to comment on the suggestion that the timing may have been linked to the latest publication.

However it is possible that it does not wish to be seen as assisting Assange in interventions which could influence the election - or favour Clinton's anti-immigrant rival Donald Trump.

Assange had earlier this year pledged to release "very strong material" against Clinton which he said could provide evidence to bring an indictment against her.

His decision to release the files just before the election has been seen by many as intended to damage her presidential campaign - and could leave Ecuador open to accusations of meddling in the race by proxy.

The blackout, if confirmed, would also deprive Assange of one of his last links to the outside world since he took shelter in the embassy in June 2012.

Assange has been continuing to release files from the embassy Credit: PA

A spokesman for the Ecuador Emabassy declined to comment directly on the claims that it had cut off Assange's internet access.

Instead they released a statement saying Ecuador "reaffirms" its decision to provide asylum to him and will continue to offer its protection.

In view of recent speculations, the Government of Ecuador reaffirms the validity of the asylum granted four years ago to Julian Assange.

We also ratify that the protection given by the Ecuadorian State will continue while the circumstances that led to the granting of asylum remain.

– Ecuador statement