Ecuador wants to take Assange to Sweden under its protection

Julian Assange in Ecuador embassy
Julian Assange in Ecuador embassy
Julian Assange speaks to the media from the Ecuadorian embassy in London

Ecuador has suggested that it take WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to Sweden for questioning under its protection, in the latest move in the diplomatic spat between the two countries.

Assange took shelter in the Ecuadorian embassy in London in June, in an effort to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning in relation to allegations of rape and sexual assault.

Ecuador has granted the Australian asylum inside the embassy but Britain says it will not allow him to leave the building for the South American country.

Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Richard Patino said late Friday that he would discuss the proposal with his British counterpart William Hague on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York on Thursday.

Patino said the meeting would be aimed at “finding a diplomatic solution framed within international law to the case of the refugee Julian Assange.”

Assange says he fears that once extradited to Sweden he could be extradited to the United States. There he could face charges related to the release by WikiLeaks of US diplomatic cables, under which he could face the death penalty. – DPA