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. Swag Master

    Julian Assange seeks Facebook Asylum.

    June 19, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  2. John Jones

    Sneaky little snot nose rapist!

    June 19, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  3. DL

    Silly Liberal.
    Everyone knows it's best when Govts operate in secrecy – people can't handle the truth.
    Look how great Cheneys secret energy meetings w/oil executives went & the resulting record oil profits!!

    June 19, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. dave

    hes afraid to go to Sweden because Sweden will hand him over to U.S officials. the U.S government wants him dead for spreading truth. he wouldve found safety at a Venezuelan embassy.

    June 19, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. citizenUSA

    So he found a country he didn't p/o.

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

      You are wrong.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  6. TriXen

    I am very libertarian and strongly favor freedom of speech, religion, and the press, but I do not support Julian Assange or his methods. I question his motives–If he is so well connected and has access to such an endless stream of classified information, why has he not acquired (or at least released) any details regarding the plans of a-Qaeda or the Taliban? I'll tell you why: He picks and chooses which governments and organizations to which he wants do harm, and then plans to release classified information in a manner which does just that–harms those whom he views as enemies. He is a menace to the free world who has only his own selfish motives at heart.

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

      Yawn.I guess you didn't support Daniel Ellsberg either.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. comingsoon

    parasites are out in full force, peeing in their collective pants. they are right that their blood-sucking days are numbered, now that Assange's nuclear option will go Boom any minute!

    June 19, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Thunder

    Only the GUILTY run........................

    June 19, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. dan

    Ecuador, Really?

    June 19, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Observer974

    I don't blame him one bit. If he is extradited to Sweden, it's death sentence, because the Obama Administration will get hold of him and kill him for exposing their secrets.

    June 19, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Neeneko

      Normally I would say this is fear mongering, but given how bad the US has been lately about things like rendition and sending people off to secret prisions to be tortured... and given just how much the US government hates this guy for embarrassing it.... while I doubt they would kill him, he has reason to worry about disappearing.

      June 19, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Joe

    Sweden has been America's little lapdog with officials getting huge under-the-table payoffs ever since the Pirate Bay debacle. Sweden's corruption started when the RIAA was going nuts trying to get those guys closed down and kept putting pressure on our government to do something. Sweden isn't the land of freedom like it used to be.

    June 19, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  12. dan

    It should be very easy to arrange for an "accident" to happen in Ecuador. I hear it happens all the time there.

    June 19, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carla Vazq


      Wrong! Quit making up garbage.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  13. jinxed

    I hope they deny him! This man is an enemy to the US (and I am not even American) He should be treated as an enemy and US allies should use there powers to put this evil man out of commission. Everything he does is only for his own good...how come people don`t see that!!

    June 19, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Neeneko

      Because not everyone agrees that his own good fails to align with our's. A lot of Americans are rather upset with things that have been revealed about our own government and what it has been doing in our names.

      June 19, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  14. rafael

    the only reason as why he is runing is because of truth that he has said about USA and Britain,now they want him to pay for.

    June 19, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  15. bill

    running out of place to hide ? CIA has a cell for him in GITMO

    June 19, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken

      What makes you think he would make it to GITMO?

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