WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has formally requested asylum in Ecuador, the country's Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said.
Patino, speaking at a press conference in Quito, Ecuador, read from a statement that Assange was currently at Ecuador's embassy in London, England, where he formally requested asylum. Patino read a statement to reporters at a news conference in Quito. He took no questions.
The request comes after the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom on Thursday dismissed an application filed by an attorney for the WikiLeaks founder who was seeking to reopen his appeal against extradition to Sweden.
The application was Assange's last option in the British courts. Britain's Crown Prosecution Service has previously said if the court dismissed Assange's appeal, his only further remedy is to apply immediately to the European Court of Human Rights, and Assange's attorneys have vowed to do so.
The appeal itself would be a rarity, as the court's decisions are supposed to be final in Britain.
Assange has been fighting for a year and a half against being sent to Sweden for questioning about accusations of sexual abuse. Two women accused him in August 2010 of sexually assaulting them during a visit to Sweden in connection with a WikiLeaks release of internal U.S. military documents.
WikiLeaks' work is not at issue in the extradition matter or the Swedish allegations against Assange.
Assange has not been charged with a crime, but Swedish prosecutors want to question him about allegations of "unlawful coercion and sexual misconduct including rape," according to a Supreme Court document.FULL STORY