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Ecuador's president speaks on Assange

posted 18 Aug 2012, 08:18 by Mpelembe   [ updated 18 Aug 2012, 08:19 ]

Ecuador's President Rafael Correa says he granted Wikileaks founder Julian Assange asylum to prevent him from being extradicted elsewhere once in Sweden. Jessica Gray reports.

ECUADOR/UK-CORREA ASSANGE - The battle over Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has no end in sight.

On Friday, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa told media he granted Assange asylum to protect him from being sent elsewhere once he reaches Sweden, where he is accused of rape and sexual assault.


"The fundamental factor for granting political asylum to Mr. Julian Assange was because there was no guarantee that he would not be extradited to a third country. Nothing to do with blocking the Swedish criminal investigation over the supposed crime, nothing."

Assange is currently staying in Ecuador's London embassy and says the charges are politically motivated.

He fears U.S. authorities are waiting for an opportunity to get their hands on him for publishing hundreds of thousands of top secret military and diplomatic cables.

Meanwhile, the Organization of American States voted on Friday to discuss the growing row between Great Britain and Ecuador over Assange's asylum.

British authorities are determined to extradite Assange and said they will not grant him safe passage out of the country.