London, June 20 (IBNS) Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has sought political asylum from Ecuador and is currently under protection in the country’s London embassy following his failed bid to avoid extradition to Sweden on sex crime accusations.
Assange had written to Rafael Correa, the leftist President of the South American nation, saying he was being persecuted and seeking asylum and the country was weighing the request, Ecuador’s foreign minister Ricardo Patino said on Tuesday.
He said the 40-year-old Australian has argued that "the authorities in his country will not defend his minimum guarantees in front of any government or ignore the obligation to protect a politically persecuted citizen."
Assange said it was impossible for him to return to his Australia since it would not protect him from being extradited to "a foreign country that applies the death penalty for the crime of espionage and sedition", referring to the United States.
His move comes just nine days ahead of being due for extradition to Sweden after having lost a case in the UK Supreme Court on Wednesday.
The whistle-blowing website founder had been in trouble after two women in Sweden had charged him of sexual assault.
Swedish police had earlier sent out a lookout for Assange after two WikiLeaks workers had accused Assange of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion in incidents in Aug 2010.
The legal actions in Sweden and the UK came in wake of a massive expose of diplomatic cables by Assange's website Wikileaks which left the American administration egg-faced.
Defying disapproval of the White House, WikiLeaks, in Nov 2010, had released nearly 250,000 diplomatic cables from U.S. embassies across the world from the past three years uncloaking the backroom bargains of world leaders and insight into their fears as well as the concerns of USA.