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.

soundoff (243 Responses)
  1. realitybites

    So if he is innocent and it's just for questioning, why run to Equador for asylum? Maybe he could bunk up w/ Roman Polanski in Switzerland.

    June 19, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  2. John

    It is foolish to blame a guy that merely put up an internet website for intelligence leaks. The US and Britain fail to understand that it is their own questionable if not criminal policies that compel and drive their own citizens with a moral obligation to leak secret information to the world. George Bush and his companions lied to the American people about the Iraq war, on the other hand Bradley Manning simply told people the truth! Yet which one of them is in jail now? It is a sad day in American history when liars are praised with the highest power and prestige and truth seekers are jailed and frowned upon. I guess we are a people that like to live in a bubble of lies, a fantasy world.

    June 19, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • jlv

      So you're saying that it is okay for somebody to break into your accounts and steal all your information like manning did and share it with the world, after all its the truth so that makes it okay. Heck you probably approve of the Mcarthy trials because all he was doing was sharing the truth about those peoples pasts, I mean if you went to one communist meeting or read one book we should be able to punish you forever. That's where your logic leads too.

      June 19, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  3. joe t

    Good move, who lot easier to get at him in Ecuador.

    June 19, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • LOL

      @joe t

      Wrong! He was an easier target in GB. You know nothing about the country of Ecuador. You know nothing about SA. The people protect their own here. He will become a part of the country and live a long life.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bob

    It is pretty dang obvious they are out to get the guy for speaking up.

    June 19, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  5. RunfortheHills

    He should have gone to the Venezuelan or Russian embassies. Either one of them would give him asylum in a heartbeat if it meant sticking it to the US.

    June 19, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jose S.

      You know nothing about the relationship with the USA and EC.

      The president of EC doesn't like the USA. He is good friends with Russia and Cuba and Mr. Chavez. Read a little about EC before you post.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  6. scott

    so this POS runs off again and now will not face the music for his crimes.

    June 19, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Kathleen

    Our President has nothing to fear from this man, although I'm sure our previous president does. The lies will all catch up with you. Kharma is a funny thing. I know you republicans don't want to hear this, because"You can't handle the truth".

    June 19, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  8. 1st_Canadian

    @ Snowdogg! Yes, you are the quintessential Republican. Grossly misinformed and imbecilic. Read this part very, very slowly, he is at the Ecuadorean Embassy. Under international law, an embassay is essential the soil(land) of the country it belongs to. In fact, he probably drove or walked to Ecuador(the embassy). Do you get it now??

    June 19, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Nathan

    "WikiLeaks' work is not at issue in the extradition matter or the Swedish allegations against Assange."

    Seriously? You can write this with a straight face?

    June 19, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Johnny

    Kathleen, libs like you can't hanlde the truth yourselves. You run away from the truth as far as you can. True Obama voter.

    June 19, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • bthumble

      Truth is just whatever you happen to believe and has absolutely nothing to do with the facts.

      June 19, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve

      Quit stereotyping. I am a proud liberal that thinks we should string this guy up because he compromised US military secrets. Your us versus them, good versus evil crap only divides us. Same thing Al qaeda would like to have happen. Moron.

      June 19, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. palmer1619

    The Swedish authorities already questioned him in regard to the two women. They already had decided that the charges made by the women were bogus. If I know it, the entire world knows it. The UK and Sweden are merely bending to the will of the US Congress. Even I don't pay any attention to the congress. I hope Ecuador takes him in. The heck with the congress. It's bad enough that US citizens have to put up with them. Why make a foreigner subject to their silliness?

    June 19, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Johnny

      @Palmer1619 Explain to us, step by step, how UK and Sweden are required by US Congress to do anything? Share with us your special knowledge, O consipracy theorist extraordinnaire!
      I think you need a refill on your prescription.

      June 19, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • crash

      Did the little green men communicate this to you through one of the fillings in your tooth?

      June 19, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      The U.S. has huge international influence. I didn't realize some people didn't know that

      June 19, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • LOL


      Welcome to Ecuador Assange!

      June 19, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Dj

    exactly mindless idiots believe whatever they read

    June 19, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Frank the tank

    I need a sausage egg cheese biscuit!

    June 19, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  14. zombie_response_team_NOLA

    He can retire in Ecuador. The guy in the white house will keep the leaks coming now.

    June 19, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • CS

      To hell with the U.S. Time for that empire and all other torture states to fade away.

      June 19, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • LOL


      Si! The US Empire will fall. Bye Bye! Long live Ecuador and president Correa!

      June 19, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  15. crash

    Anyone supporting this guy needs to ask why would he seek asylum just to avoid being questioned about allegations he hasn't even been charged with? That alone says he has Guilty written all over him.

    June 19, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Don't be naive. Haven't you heard about the law signed on 12.31.12 by our beloved president?

      June 19, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11