Quito: Ecuador President Rafael Correa has said that his government would not yield to pressure in deciding whether or not to grant asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
“We will consult with everyone we need to, but we will make a sovereign decision on whether or not to grant asylum to the Australian, Julian Assange,” Correa told local television station RTS.
Correa stressed that he had ‘great respect’ for Britain, Sweden and the United States, but that Ecuador would not allow those governments to affect its decision on granting Assange political asylum.
He said the mere possibility that Assange could face capital punishment in the United States could be reason enough for his government to grant him asylum, if there was a chance he could end up there.
“If Assange`s life is at risk, that is sufficient cause to approve his asylum,” The Herald Sun quoted Correa, as saying.
Correa said his government would ‘examine what the charges are in Sweden, how the judicial process is carried out, and if it is compatible with the humanist vision of justice that we have in Ecuador’.
Assange has been holed up in Ecuador`s embassy in London, seeking political asylum to avoid being extradited to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over rape and sexual assault charges.