January 11, 2018 / 1:41 PM / 12 days ago

Britain refuses Ecuador's request to grant Julian Assange diplomatic status

LONDON, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Britain has refused a request by Ecuador for diplomatic status to be given to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, a spokesman for Britain’s Foreign Office said.

Assange has been holed up for more than five years in the Ecuadorean embassy in London where he was granted asylum in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden over rape allegations.

“The government of Ecuador recently requested diplomatic status for Mr Assange here in the UK,” the spokesman said. “The UK did not grant that request, nor are we in talks with Ecuador on this matter.”

“Ecuador knows that the way to resolve this issue is for Julian Assange to leave the embassy to face justice,” the spokesman said.

Reporting by Mark Hosenball, writing by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Stephen Addison

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