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. Sue

    For those of you saying that Bush should be worried about the info leaked. Keep in mind, the info was for thing that happened under Obama as much if not more. Put the blame where it belongs. Squarely on both parties.

    June 19, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Bob

    I guess you don't even know who he is. Process of thinking is too complicated for you.

    June 19, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bob Morton

    You people think this guy would still be alive if the U.S. really wanted him dead? He would of "slipped in the tub and broken his neck" a long time ago if that were really the case.

    June 19, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ken

    His efforts not to be sent back to Sweden sure makes one suspect he has something to hide. He talked a lot of big time crap up until the courts said he can be returned to Sweden and now he runs to Ecuador's embassy in London, England, and formally request asylum. He's not talking so much crap now.

    June 19, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Snail

    He's ok

    June 19, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. South American

    U.S. media does it bes again: censoring/filtering news? FM said Julian is welcome in Ecuador. But the pure farce excuse for a "free press" U.S. media reports it as if Julian Assange is still unsafe and the childish claim that WikiLeaks was not the central issue in this saga. Money-worshping robotic U.S. media gets exposed by the second to the world.

    June 19, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • US Living in EC

      Welcome to Ecuador Mr. Assange!

      Land of Rafael Correa and more freedoms than the USA.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Arick

    Americans get angry when something threatens their ignorance. Dumbest people on Earth. Even worse, I have never met a stupid American who didn't think that they were a genius.

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

      i think that you making an over-generalized statement like that makes you stupid as well.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Logic

    I wonder if old Julian would have appreciated if his trip to the Ecquadorian Embassy was leaked to the police, since he broke his house arrest? Didn't see that on his website.

    June 19, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Garry

    Ecuador? You'd think he'd want to be further from the US rather than closer.

    June 19, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  10. JohnH2012

    You are so correct.
    Imagine a world where to speak the truth...or even expose the truth, could result in execution.
    Surely Julian Assange would be safer being extradited to North Korea!?

    June 19, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Adam

    everybody who claims that Americans are so stupid must not have ever even been here. Just because the corporate fat cats are greedy jerks doesn't mean every American is some ignorant money hungry lunatic lol

    June 19, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Adam

    And if America wanted him dead he would be dead. We sent in troops without permission into a foreign country to get Osama and he was hiding this guy is not hiding and in our allies country. If we wanted him dead he would be dead no questions asked.

    June 19, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Zooni

    The US will hunt down Assange in equator and if he ever leaves game over. Not a good idea.

    June 19, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  14. James

    If he doesnt go to jail, where he belongs, then just neuter him and put him a us prison and inmates will do what needs done. He wont last long!

    June 19, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |

    We live in a world where doing the right thing is a punishable offense, for the world is largely made up of ignorant fools driven nuts by the voices within themselves, which sadly they who rule the world know they can depend upon to do the wrong thing.

    June 19, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
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