WikiLeaks' Assange unaware if granted asylum: spokesman

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 14, 2012 4:44 PM
WikiLeaks' Assange unaware if granted asylum: spokesman

LONDON (Reuters) - WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is unaware whether he has been granted asylum by Ecuador, a WikiLeaks spokesman said on Tuesday after a report in Britain's Guardian newspaper that the Latin American country had decided to do so.

"I cannot confirm. I just spoke to him (Assange) and he said he had not been notified either," said WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson.

Britain says it has a legal obligation to extradite Assange to Sweden where he is wanted for questioning over alleged sexual assault. The former computer hacker has been holed up inside Ecuador's embassy in London since June 19 to avoid extradition.

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said on Monday he was likely to announce a decision on whether to grant Assange political asylum by the end of the week. He said he would have a meeting with his foreign minister on Wednesday to discuss the issue.

The Guardian quoted unnamed officials within Ecuador's government as saying the decision had already been made.

It is not clear how Assange would travel to Ecuador if he is granted asylum. By diplomatic convention, British police cannot enter the embassy without Ecuador's approval. But he has no way of boarding a plane to Ecuador without passing through London and exposing himself to arrest.

(Reporting by Maria Golovnina; Writing by Mohammed Abbas; Editing by Louise Ireland)