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Report: Ecuador President Rafael Correa to Offer Assange Asylum (Update: Or Not)

Assange in front of the flag of Ecuador

Assange granted asylum in Ecuador (Photo: Jeff Fecke / Flickr)

According to a report in the Guardian attributed to an Ecuadoran government official, Rafael Correa has agreed to give the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange asylum.

Ecuador’s president Rafael Correa has agreed to give Julian Assange asylum, officials within Ecuador’s government have said.

The WikiLeaks founder has been holed up at Ecuador’s London embassy since 19 June, when he officially requested political asylum.

“Ecuador will grant asylum to Julian Assange,” said an official in the Ecuadorean capital Quito, who is familiar with the government discussions.

The Ecuadoran foreign minister said safe passage from the British government remains an issue:

But it remains unclear if giving Assange asylum will allow him to leave Britain and fly to Ecuador, or amounts to little more than a symbolic gesture. At the moment he faces the prospect of arrest as soon as he leaves the embassy for breaching his bail conditions.

“For Mr Assange to leave England, he should have a safe pass from the British [government]. Will that be possible? That’s an issue we have to take into account,” Patino told Reuters on Tuesday.

Update: (h/t CTuttle in comments)

Ecuador’s president Rafael Correa has taken to Twitter to deny reports that Julian Assange’s asylum application has been approved.

“The rumour about asylum to Assange is false. There is still no decision. I am waiting for information from the Chancellor’s Office,” Mr Correa tweeted.

Earlier, a British newspaper had quoted an Ecuadorian government official saying “Ecuador will grant asylum to Julian Assange”.

However, President Correa said earlier this week he hoped an announcement was forthcoming on whether he would grant Assange asylum.

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