Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, originally sought refuge in an Ecuadorian embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden. That case against him has been dropped, but he continues to stay there.
Ecuador says it has granted citizenship to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, as officials try to find a way for him to leave the Ecuadorean embassy in London without risking legal action.
Assange, who is Australian, first sought refuge at the embassy more than five years ago to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he faced an investigation over rape allegations. He was granted asylum, and has been holed up in the embassy ever since.
The original case against him has been dropped, but Assange remains inside the embassy. “He is still subject to arrest in Britain for jumping bail,” The Associated Press notes. “He also fears a possible U. S. extradition request based on his leaking of classified State Department documents.”
“Earlier this week, Ecuador said the situation was unsustainable and requested diplomatic status for Assange in hopes of springing him,” NPR’s Frank Langfitt reports from London. “A British government spokesman responded: ‘Ecuador knows that the way to resolve this issue is for Julian Assange to leave the embassy to face justice.’ “
Reuters has more on Ecuadorean efforts to assist Assange, as described by officials on Thursday:
Earlier this week Assange “fueled speculation he’d received an Ecuadorean passport,” Frank notes, “by posting a photo on Twitter wearing a jersey of the Ecuadorean national soccer team.”