Saturday 24 February 2018

Ecuador envoy jets home to discuss Assange asylum bid

Alan Jones in London

The Ecuadorian Ambassador has left London to return to her home country for talks on the bid by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for political asylum.

Anna Alban is travelling to meet Ecuador's President Rafael Correa in Quito, where she will personally brief him on Mr Assange's application. She will also hold a series of meetings at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Mr Assange arrived at the embassy in London last Tuesday in a dramatic twist to his fight to avoid extradition to Sweden where he is wanted for questioning about alleged sex offences.

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

The South American country says he is under its protection while it considers the application.

Mr Assange (40) faces arrest for breaching the terms of his bail if he leaves the embassy.

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

Mr Assange is 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.

Mr Assange says the sex was consensual and the allegations against him are politically motivated.

Irish Independent

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