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Ecuador Government Meeting Could Determine Julian Assange Future

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JULIAN ASSANGE
Julian Assange is wanted in Sweden over sex charges | Alamy

Ecuador's president has denied reports that his country is set to offer WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange asylum, after a meeting with government officials on Wednesday.

The Guardian reported that Rafael Correa had agreed to grant Assange asylum, according to sources within the Ecuadorian government.

The WikiLeaks founder has been holed up at Ecuador's London embassy for two months, when he officially requested political asylum.

He faces arrest if he leaves the embassy, and may not be able to take up the offer of asylum even if one is forthcoming.

Assange is seeking to avoid extradition to Sweden where he faces sex assault allegations, which he strenuously denies.

"The rumor of asylum for Assange is false. No decision has yet been taken. Awaiting report from the foreign ministry," Correa wrote on Twitter.


Presidencia Ecuador
Noticia que publica The Guardian, sobre haber concedido asilo polĂ­tico a Asaange, es falsa, declara el Presidente Correa.

An official spokesman for the Ecuadorian government said: "No decision has been made.

The President made clear in an interview yesterday that he was meeting with officials tomorrow, including the government's legal team, to assess the application by Mr Assange in the context of domestic Ecuadorian law and international human rights protocols.

"Reports that a decision has been reached are premature and it seems the result of over enthusiastic journalists short on facts but high on speculation."

It is believed to be the first time President Rafael Correa has met with officials who will include legal experts.

But Ecuadorian journalist Irene Caselli, who wrote The Guardian story, said her sources stood by the story.


Irene Caselli
President has denied my story re - my sources stand by their version.

Mr Assange fears he could be extradited to the United States if he goes to Sweden.

An offer by Ecuador for Swedish investigators to interview Mr Assange at the embassy in London was turned down.