Australian government officials believe that Julian Assange has no alternative other than to surrender for extradition to Sweden to face sexual assault allegations, and that the whistle blowing website he founded is now 'broken'.
As the Australia-born activist nears six months' confinement in Ecuador's London embassy, security and diplomatic sources in Canberra have privately expressed confidence that WikiLeaks is "effectively moribund".
It is thought that the transparency group's dwindling financial support will "sooner or later dry up" leaving Assange "irrelevant and with little alternative other than to leave Ecuador's embassy".
"'This is slowly playing itself out, over months, maybe more than a year, but there's only one likely outcome - extradition to Sweden," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted a diplomatic source, as saying.
The paper also quoted a security official, as saying that WikiLeaks' "inner group" now comprised only "four to six people, including Assange" and that its website was "running on empty" financially.
"WikiLeaks doesn't have an electronic drop box any more; they haven't published anything of any great consequence for many months. There's just a Twitter feed. This phenomenon has run its course," the official said.
In June, Assange sought asylum in Ecuador's embassy after Britain's highest court rejected his appeal against extradition to face sexual assault allegations in Sweden. (ANI)