UK: Ecuador ambassador flies home to discuss Assange asylum-Guardian

June 28, 2012

Julian Assange asylum bid: Ecuador’s ambassador flies to Quito for talks

Anna Alban will meet President Correa to discuss application of WikiLeaks founder, who remains at London embassy

The Guardian: June 24, 2012

Ecuador’s embassy in London, where Julian Assange remains while his application for political aylum is considered. [Beretta/Sims/Rex Features]

Ecuador‘s ambassador to the UK has left London to return home for talks on the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange‘s application for political asylum.

Anna Alban is travelling to meet Ecuador’s president, Rafael Correa, in the capital Quito, where she will personally brief him on Assange’s application. She will also hold a series of meetings at the foreign ministry.

Assange arrived at Ecuador’s embassy on Tuesday in the latest dramatic twist in his fight to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over alleged sex offences.

A spokesman for the Ecuadorean embassy said: “Ecuador presently finds itself in a unique situation and it is important that those responsible making the final decision on Mr Assange’s application are fully briefed on all aspects of the present situation.”

Ecuador says Assange is under the country’s protection while it considers the application. Assange, 40, faces arrest for breaching the terms of his bail if he leaves the embassy.

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirmed in a statement that the Australian was “beyond the reach of the police” while he remains in the building.

Assange was set to be extradited to Sweden, where he faces accusations of raping a woman and sexually molesting and coercing another in Stockholm in August 2010 while on a visit to give a lecture.

Assange, whose WikiLeaks website published a mass of leaked diplomatic cables that embarrassed several governments and international businesses, says the sex was consensual and the allegations against him are politically motivated.


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