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Ecuador still mulling Assange plea: Correa

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Ecuador still mulling Assange plea: Correa
09:29 CEST+02:00
President Rafael Correa said Saturday that Ecuador is still considering whether to grant political asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is wanted in Sweden in connection with sexual assault allegations.

"We are analyzing the case with full responsibility and, as we have said a thousand times, we have no deadline to make a decision," Correa said.

"That decision will be absolutely sovereign and ... (show) respect for human rights," he added.

Assange remained holed up at Ecuador's embassy in London on Saturday, defying a British police order to turn himself in for extradition to Sweden where he is sought on sex crime allegations.

The 40-year-old Australian insists those allegations are part of a politically-motivated effort to get him extradited to the United States, where he fears he could be put on trial for espionage or other crimes.

WikiLeaks enraged Washington by publishing a flood of secret information about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as more than 250,000 confidential US diplomatic cables.

Assange's supporters paint him as a whistle-blowing hero but his critics denounce him as a traitorous anarchist. He sought refuge at Ecuador's embassy in London on June 19th.

Correa has often been at odds with Washington and offered Assange asylum in 2010.

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