Ecuador Denies It OKed Asylum for Assange

Officials say it's a go, but President Rafael Correa disavows report
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Aug 14, 2012 4:29 PM CDT
Updated Aug 15, 2012 8:52 AM CDT
Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks.   (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
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(Newser) – Julian Assange's weeks in the Ecuadorian embassy in London may have worked out for him. Ecuador President Rafael Correa has decided to grant the WikiLeaks founder asylum, at least according to officials who spoke with the Guardian yesterday. They say he was offered asylum months ago, and that Ecuador views it as "a humanitarian issue." But Correa denies the report. "When we make the decision, we'll explain very clearly the reasons, the legal framework," he said at a press conference, according to Reuters. The foreign minister agreed, saying, "Anonymous sources are useless."

Even if the report were true, Assange wouldn't necessarily be home free: He'd still have to get out of Britain, which could be impossible—meaning the asylum could ultimately be symbolic. Assange could be arrested upon exiting the embassy given that he violated bail conditions, which Ecuador's foreign minister said was "an issue we have to take into account." (Read more Ecuador stories.)

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