Ecuador's President Says No Decision Yet On WikiLeaks' Assange Asylum
June 21, 2012
Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa says his government is taking very seriously the asylum request of WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange but has not made a decision.
In an interview with Venezuela's Telesur network, Correa gave no indication when a decision would be made.
"We are analyzing Julian Assange's asylum request in a very serious and responsible way," Correa said. "We can't give an official response until the analysis of his request is complete."
Assange took refuge on June 19 in Ecuador's embassy in London as his legal options ran out for avoiding extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning for alleged sex crimes.
Correa added: "We'll take the time that is necessary because we're dealing with a very serious topic that we take on with absolute responsibility. However, in the meantime, Mr. Assange is in the Ecuadorian embassy in London and under the protection of the Ecuadorian state."
Assange has suggested that the Swedish charges are a pretext to get the Australian activist to the United States to stand trial for WikiLeaks' publication of thousands of secret U.S. documents in what's been dubbed "Cablegate" and on other occasions.
Based on reporting by AP and AFP
Copyright (c) 2012. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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