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asylum or extradition to sweden?

Ecuadorian Assange announcement this week

Published tisdag 14 augusti 2012 kl 10.28
Julian Assange (left) and Ecuador's president Rafael Correa, Photo: Kirsty Wigglesworth and Dolores Ochoa/Scanpix, Montage: Sveriges Radio

Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa says he expects to announce this week whether WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will be granted asylum in his country.

Assange is currently holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, after the British Supreme Court ruled that he can be extradited to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over allegations of rape and sexual assault.

In a television interview Correa said “We expect to have a meeting on Wednesday and I hope to make an announcement before the end of the week.”

Assange says he fears Sweden would in turn extradite him to the United States, where he has been strongly criticised for the leaking of American diplomatic cables. Swedish legal experts have said such an outcome would be virtually impossible, and that if the United States did ask for extradition, it would be easier to do it from Britain.

Even if Assange is granted asylum in Ecuador, that might just mean he is doomed to spending the equivalent of an indefinite house arrest inside the embassy. There is no way for him to get to Ecuador without exposing himself to arrest by the London police.

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