Yet to decide asylum to Assange, says Ecuador

Ecuador denied a report that it had granted amnesty to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and the country’s foreign minister said only he and President Rafael Correa could make the decision.

Assange has been taking refuge in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London for the past eight weeks to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning on sex crime allegations. The former computer hacker, who enraged Washington in 2010 when his website published thousands of secret US diplomatic cables, says he fears he could be sent to the United States, where he believes his life would be at risk.

Correa has said a decision on Assange’s application is likely before the end of this week and that he will meet his foreign minister, Ricardo Patino, to discuss the case. However, Britain’s Guardian newspaper cited unnamed Ecuadorean government officials as saying amnesty will be granted. The report brought a swift response from Correa. “The story is false ... When we make the decision we’ll explain very clearly the reasons, the legal framework, the analysis that we made to grant or not asylum,” Correa.

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