Ecuador and UK plan fresh talks over Assange

Ecuador and UK plan fresh talks over Assange

Summary: The foreign ministers of the two countries will meet in New York on Thursday to discuss the Wikileaks founder's case. One option Ecuador may propose would be for Assange to be given safe passage directly to the Ecuadorian embassy in Stockholm.

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The foreign ministers of Ecuador and the UK will meet later this week to discuss breaking the impasse over Julian Assange, with Ecuador set to propose transferring the Wikileaks founder to Sweden without anyone arresting him.

The meeting will take place on the sidelines of a UN General Assembly meeting in New York, Ecuadorian foreign minister Ricardo Patiño said in a tweet on Friday. The UK Foreign Office confirmed this to ZDNet on Monday.

Assange is wanted for questioning in Sweden over allegations of sexual assault. Having exhausted his legal options in the UK for fighting extradition, he took refuge in Ecuador's London embassy in June and was subsequently granted political asylum — a concept not recognised by the UK.

Now it seems that Ecuador is considering moving Assange to Sweden after all, but only if he can be granted safe passage by the UK authorities and be allowed to move straight into Ecuador's Stockholm embassy.

"[A] possibility is that Ecuador can get authorisation to move him, if necessary, to our embassy in Sweden, and the process can go ahead under the protection of Ecuador and considering the requirements of the Swedish judicial process," Patiño said on Friday.

Other diplomatic options mentioned by Patiño in his television interview included allowing Assange safe passage to Ecuador, and arranging for the Swedish authorities to interview Assange in the London embassy.

The Swedes have already made clear that they do not want to make a special case for Assange. Neither does the Foreign Office, which has repeatedly said that the Wikileaks founder will be arrested as soon as he leaves the Ecuadorian embassy in Knightsbridge.

Patiño also suggested that Ecuador had not ruled out taking the Assange case to the International Court of Justice.

Assange claims that the allegations in Sweden are a ruse designed to somehow see him extradited to the US, where he may or may not face charges over the Cablegate leaks two years ago.

Topics: Security, United Kingdom

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

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6 comments
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  • Julian Assange for the Nobel prize for freedom of the press:

    Please help promote this link wherever you can; if you believe in freedom of expression and freedom of the press.

    Julian Assange for the Nobel prize for freedom of the press:

    www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Julian_Assange_for_Nobel_prize_Freedom_of_the_Press/

    Lets see how "Noble" the Norwegians and their righteous Swede neighbors are or claim to be, since they offered Obama the Nobel peace prize!
    iliosellas
  • Looks like cooler heads are prevailing

    Though maybe all that is required is for Sweden to agree not to extradite him to a third country. He might still go to jail, but it would be in Sweden.
    John L. Ries
  • UK is not thinking smart

    If they want him in jail, they should allow Assange a free pass to Ecuador. From there, he will start working on his new wiki leak. He'll soon discover President's Correa dictator like policies and mandates, and how Correa opresses the news medias, and Assange will feel compelled to speak out. Once Correa finds these articles, he will order Assange's incarceration. It's just that simple :)
    Coremail Rx
    • Maybe

      It's usually deemed bad policy to needlessly annoy one's hosts, so I don't think he'll be doing it. This would, of course, compromise his objectivity, but I'm not at all sure how objective he's ever been.
      John L. Ries
  • Double standards

    Amongst the day to day activities of this long saga, it would seem we have all forgotten the basic core of what this is about. Assange is only being held captive of Equadorian hospitality because of the lack of uniform standards to the press.

    Last week a video was 'leaked' with Mitt Romney speaking at a private dinner and dissing the 47% of the US population. This video was obtained without permission, and was then leaked to website & news service "Mother Jones".

    Did Mother Jones get raked over the coals for this? Did they have to give up their source? Did they have to answer to a secret Grand Jury? Or were they given the same rights and access as any other journalistic organization?

    The answer is obvious. This isn't about news media, leaking informants stories, etc. Its about a witch-hunt because someone got embarrassed over the leaked story. I'm sure if Romney had his way, he'd feed Mother Jones to the wolves, and would try to jail the CEO. But he didn't. Why? Because there are constitutional rights for freedom of the press. Rights that are not evenly distributed it would seem.

    Assange is guilty of nothing more than embarrassing those in power, and had no protection. However in light of this, the same protections that were granted to the New York Times over this are again not evenly distributed.

    Sweden needs to give up being a puppet and do what's right. Or at least kick out those US neo-cons who are influencing their own standards and values and grow a spine. Assange isn't your worst enemy - you'll find that looking in the mirror.
    kOd3g3ar
    • There's a bit of a difference...

      ...between leaking confidential government documents and surreptitiously recording what a politicians says to his supporters at a fundraiser.

      It's long been known that politicians will sometimes say things to their supporters when they don't think the general public is listening that they would never say in public. Mr. Romney did it and got caught, but what he said is no different than what Conservative Republican activists have been saying for a decade or more: that the primary reason why people vote Democratic is because they're parasites. It's false, but the belief is widespread and it appears to be the main reason why Republicans nowadays would much rather disenfranchise opposition voters than try to convert them.

      What's sad is that I'll probably end up voting for Romney anyway.
      John L. Ries