This file photo shows Julian Assange holding a speech on a balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy.
This file photo shows Julian Assange holding a speech on a balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy.

Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa said Friday that his government would offer asylum to Wikileaks’ founder Julian Assange for as long as the whistleblower wants.

This file photo shows Julian Assange holding a speech on a balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy.
This file photo shows Julian Assange holding a speech on a balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy.
“If he wishes to give up asylum and hand himself over, that is his decision. But if he wants to remain under protection, the Ecuadorian state will continue (offering it),” Correa told the press during a trip to the coastal province of Esmeraldas.

Correa spoke out after Assange said Thursday that he would accept to be extradited to the United States if his rights are protected.

The former hacker and journalist has been living at the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012 to avoid being extradited to Sweden, where he is wanted in connection with the sexual assault of two women.

Assange denies the accusation and says that Sweden would hand him over to the United States where he could be judged for leaking thousands of confidential State Department documents through Wikileaks in 2010.

Last week, Assange said that he would accept to be extradited to the United States if former military intelligence analyst and whistleblower, Chelsea Manning, who is in jail for passing secret documents to Wikileaks, was pardoned.

On Jan. 17, President Barack Obama did just that, commuting Manning’s 35-year sentence and allowing her to be released in May.

On Thursday, Assange said that he maintained his position and would accept extradition “if his rights are protected.”

He added that since Manning’s sentence “would not be commuted until May, we can have many discussions until that point.” Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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