The Ecuadorian government is reported to have sought an assurance from British and Swedish governments that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will not be handed to American authorities if Ecuador facilitated his extradition to Sweden for answering allegations of sexual assault.
A senior legal adviser at the Ecuadorian Embassy — where Mr. Assange is living since seeking asylum more than a month ago — was on Friday quoted as saying that Ecuador wanted to avert the “evil” of his extradition to America.
“In legal terms … the evil that Ecuador wishes to prevent is the extradition [of Assange] to the U.S. Now if there are ways and means of that being tied down, I think that would be a just solution,” he told The Guardian.
The newspaper said that, according to embassy officials, Ecuador planned to formally ask the U.S. if there were any legal proceedings against Mr. Assange or “an investigation which has identified him as a target and which may result in a later extradition request”.
Mr. Assange’s lawyers claim there are secret plans to extradite him to the U.S. to face trial for publishing secret American diplomatic cables.
The Press Association reported a source at the Ecuadorian embassy as saying that Ecuador was willing to allow Swedish authorities to interview Mr. Assange at the embassy.
“We have made it clear that Ecuador would be willing to facilitate an interview. The prosecutor is welcome to come here,” he said.
Mr. Assange faces arrest for breaching his bail conditions if he leaves the embassy.