Julian Assange requests asylum in Ecuador, foreign minister says
June 19th, 2012
02:57 PM ET

Julian Assange requests asylum in Ecuador, foreign minister says

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.

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soundoff (243 Responses)
  1. Tim

    Ecuador? No way! Send him to China. It is obvious that the West failed to instill in him from a young age the values of discipline and respect for authority. Let the Chinese teach him.

    June 19, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jose S.

    Welcome to Ecuador SA.

    The penthouse is waiting and the views are beautiful.

    Ecuador SA is a free country, not like the USA.

    Thank you Presidente Rafael Correa for granting the asylum!

    June 19, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Sandy

    Welcome to a free country Mr. Assange!

    Enjoy!

    June 19, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Robert La Monica

    Welcome! Just don't expect much from our Futbol Team!

    Boca Juniors is a much better choice to watch this Sunday!

    June 19, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Antonio

    Good afternoon and Welcome sir!

    Welcome to my country.

    June 19, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  6. LOL

    Duh!

    June 19, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  7. jester & jackal

    If they only want to question him why not use Skype?

    June 19, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. manaman

    Julian Assange should be accorded the same courtesy as any international terrorist. The same holds true of his terrorist organization and its supporters. He needs to be extradited to a jail cell to await trial for treason, then we should let the Swedish authorities question him about other alleged crimes.

    June 19, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • US Living in EC

      @manaman

      Treason? Treason? For what? Can you define "treason"? Try it...ask your mommie to help.

      June 19, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • AngryJew

      The same treatment that the terrorists in Washington and Tel Aviv get?

      June 19, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • eskodas

      So its treason now to give out information on crimes that have been covered up and ignored? Also the Swedish case is extremely thin, if you did any research at all, its only American pressure to try to convict him.

      June 19, 2012 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
  9. HIDE BEHIND

    I do not think many of US would like to be tried in Sweden, other than those facing a death penalty charge.
    Any nation that is trying to make it a crime for a man to stand while taking a leak, has too many quirks to expect a rational legal lsystem

    June 19, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    Equador is nice. Isn't Antarctica looking for him? Accusations flying about Assange assauling a couple of penguins. 😦

    June 19, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Frank

    People of the World,

    Assange is a Dead Man Walking!

    June 19, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  12. richard

    Like all these low life cowards who are trying to destroy America they run for cover when it's time to face the piper.

    June 19, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    Goes to Ecuador to become a Bolero twink.

    June 19, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  14. beachrat

    I hope they grant him ayslum, and he can continue his work from there.
    Peace

    June 19, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
  15. HIDE BEHIND

    I oft wonder: why is it every darn person outside the US knows of our military mistakes and crimes along with what was said by our Dept hesds to foreihn heads of state and foreign policy experts sometimes are talking about it in public before it hit american media outlets.

    June 19, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
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