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INTERNATIONAL > Ecuador calls on UK to retreat on Assange

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A placard of Julian Assange is seen outside the Ecuador. AP photo

A placard of Julian Assange is seen outside the Ecuador. AP photo

Ecuador is ready to negotiate over the fate of Julian Assange if Britain withdraws a threat to raid its embassy in London where the WikiLeaks founder has sought refuge, President Rafael Correa said on Aug. 21.

 Ecuador was incensed by a veiled British threat to enter the embassy to arrest the 41-year-old former computer hacker, who is trying to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over allegations of rape and sexual assault, Reuters reported.

 Correa has offered Assange asylum and told Britain to let him leave the embassy and fly to the South American country. The leftist leader said Assange, who has been in the building for nine weeks, was welcome to stay there “indefinitely,” but also said he was open to discussions. “Despite that rude, impertinent and unacceptable remark we’re still open to dialogue,” Correa told reporters in the coastal city of Guayaquil.

Sweden unlikely to extradite him to US: Australia

“We don’t expect an apology, but of course we expect Britain to retract the extremely serious mistake they made when they issued the threat that they could violate our diplomatic mission to arrest Mr. Julian Assange.”

Meanwhile, Australia’s foreign minister claimed yesterday that Assange was unlikely to be extradited from Sweden to the United States if there was a risk of the death penalty or a military court. Foreign Minister Bob Carr said Australia could not get involved in cases outside its jurisdiction but that Stockholm had indicated Assange was unlikely to be sent to the United States.

“It’s not a subject for Australian diplomacy, it’s a subject for consular support,” he told the Australian Financial Review. “We have sought assurances from Sweden (that) due processes will be accorded. “And the Swedes have said they don’t extradite anyone if there’s a capital offence or it’s a matter to do with military or intelligence.”

August/23/2012

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