Britain considers talks with Ecuador over Assange

LONDON Mon Jun 3, 2013 1:55pm IST

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange gestures from the balcony of Ecuador's Embassy as he makes a speech, in central London December 20, 2012. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor/Files

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange gestures from the balcony of Ecuador's Embassy as he makes a speech, in central London December 20, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Luke MacGregor/Files

Related Topics

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain is considering holding talks with Ecuador over the future of Julian Assange, the Foreign Office said on Monday, in the first sign of a possible solution to the year-long diplomatic standoff over the Wikileaks founder.

Assange, 41, took refuge in Ecuador's tiny embassy in London last June to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over sex assault and rape allegations. He denies the allegations.

A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said it was considering a request made by Ecuador's foreign minister Ricardo Patino to meet Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague when Patino visits London later this month.

"We're considering that request. We hope the visit will contribute to our joint commitment to finding a diplomatic solution to this issue," the spokeswoman said.

The request comes as Bradley Manning, the American soldier charged with "aiding the enemy" by providing WikiLeaks with more than 700,000 classified documents, goes on trial in the United States later on Monday.

Assange said last year he expected to wait six months to a year for a deal that would allow him to leave the embassy, after Ecuador's socialist president, Rafael Correa, angered Britain by granting him asylum.

Ecuador argues that Assange's deportation to Sweden is part of a scheme by the U.S. government to have the former computer hacker extradited to American soil so that he too can face charges over WikiLeaks' release of the U.S. documents.

U.S. and European government sources say the United States has issued no criminal charges against him, nor launched any attempts to extradite him.

(Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by Stephen Addison)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

TIGER RETURNS

Reuters Showcase

BlackBerry Saga

BlackBerry Saga

BlackBerry teases new device plans as turnaround takes shape.  Full Article 

Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing

Cisco sets $1 billion investment for global cloud computing network.  Full Article 

Lenovo-IBM Deal

Lenovo-IBM Deal

Lenovo says $2.1 bln IBM x86 server deal to close Wednesday.  Full Article 

Cyber Crime

Cyber Crime

Europe's police need data law changes to fight cybercrime - Europol.  Full Article 

Online Censorship

Online Censorship

China censors try to blunt Hong Kong protests, don't always succeed.  Full Article 

Tech Merger

Tech Merger

Yahoo-AOL merger proposal: recipe for revival, or stagnation?.  Full Article 

New Windows

New Windows

Microsoft offers first look at new Windows - and gives it a name.  Full Article 

Personal Information

Personal Information

Phoning 'home': what your mobile may be giving away.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage