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Ecuadoran Prez: Assange Charges Not a Crime in Ecuador

Ecuadoran Prez: Assange Charges Not a Crime in Ecuador

Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa has said that the allegations against Julian Assange would not constitute a crime if they had occurred in Ecuador.

Assange, who has been accused of sexually assaulting two women in Sweden, has been granted asylum by Ecuador. He is currently under Ecuador’s diplomatic protection at their embassy in London.

“I don’t want to judge allegations that have not been proven and would not, in any case, be considered a felony in Latin American, too,” Correa said, according to The Guardian.

Correa added that it has “never been the intention of the Ecuadorean government” for Assange to avoid answering the Swedish allegations, but that they wanted assurances that Assange would not be extradited to the United States if he went to Sweden.

Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, has said that he fears prosecution by the United States related to the leaking of classified documents supplied to him by Army PFC Breanna (formerly Bradley) Manning. Assange has not been indicted or otherwise charged by the U.S., and extradition to the U.S. would require the approval of the United Kingdom.

Assange is wanted for questioning in Sweden with regard to sexual assault charges relating to two incidences in 2010. His attorney has admitted that Assange penetrated one sexual partner while she was sleeping, and that he did so without a condom, which she had insisted he wear. That act would constitute rape in Sweden, the United Kingdom, and most other western nations. Assange’s attorney has maintained that Assange is not guilty, because the woman did not stop him after waking.

Assange has been fighting extradition from London, but has exhausted his appeals in the British legal system. Assange fled to the Ecuadoran embassy in June, violating the terms of his bail agreement and sparking a diplomatic crisis.

Correa is a strange ally for a man who has built his reputation on the free dissemination of information. Correa has been critical of the west, but has also been criticized for cracking down on news organizations in Ecuador that disagree with him. In the press gathering in Guayaquil, Correa said of the Ecuadoran media, “Don’t let yourself be fooled by what’s going. There is this image of the media as being about Woodward and Bernstein and Watergate and the struggle for freedom of expression. But that isn’t the case here.”

Correa said that Assange will be allowed to stay at the Ecuadoran embassy for “as long as he wants.” The British government has maintained that it will arrest Assange if he leaves the embassy or otherwise attempts to flee the country.

Related Stories

Assange to Receive Asylum in Ecuador

Ecuadoran Foreign Minister: Rape Charges Are ‘Hilarious’

Assange Requests Asylum in Ecuador

 

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Image Credit: Billy Bob Balin

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87 comments

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2:23AM PDT on Aug 27, 2012

thank you for sharing

2:30PM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

Anne M.
Did you even bother to read them? If you did you would see the victim's interviews. Do you think we "Rape apologists" somehow got the victims to say 2 years ago, what we are saying to?

Again, it is YOU and all your rape-culture friends who is leaping to conclusions about this case being some sort of lynch mob for the women, when the truth is it is YOU who doesn't care about the actual facts, or even what the victims had to say.

What is wrong with you? Read the documents. You can even get the original swedish ones if you want if you google them.

2:15PM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

Isn't it obvious that the accusation is so that US can get him via Sweden?

10:07AM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

Thank you Matt. I rest my case. I'm out of here.

9:47AM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

Anne M.

You are a complete hypocrite. calling us "Rape Apologists"..then claiming we are just as
ignorant as you....Sorry but you are the ignorant one.

Here are the actual police reports... Please read them and refrain from any further commenting until you at least catch up with the rest of us.

http://rixstep.com/1/20110204,04.shtml

7:21AM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

All you rape apologizers, who are acting as prosecutor, judge and jury as well as vilifying women without any possible way of knowing the truth, only having access to the same circumstantial evidence from newspaper articles full of unsubstantiated information that we all have, to prove some point are not defending human rights or freedom of information. You just want to think this is some fairy tale David and Goliath story. Get over yourselves.

7:04AM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

To my comment yesterday I would just like to add this new artiocle on The Mail Online where the "alleged" rape victim is smiling in a photo with Assange less than 48 hours after the alleged crime was committed: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2193641/Julian-Assange-rape-claim-Is-photo-clear-him.html.It will be used by Assange's defense. As Ecuador's president said this would never be a crime in Latin America, rape would, as explained above.

4:55AM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

Thanks

10:27PM PDT on Aug 25, 2012

If you go to www.revistajuridicaonline.com and you check Dr.Xavier Zavala Egas article "El delito de violacion" (Violation crime) you will see sexual assault is considered a crime under Article 512 of Equador Penal Code. It appears there are subdivisions and some forced contacts that are not intercourse are given another name but they are still considered a crime.These others are labeled "dishonest abuse". I have the feeling Equador's President was not given a chance to explain himself or there is the usual prejudice against Latin American countries and it filtered through this article by "The Guardian". I don't know what Assange did or didn't do but the TIMING of these accusations makes the whole thing quite suspicious. I, for one, have a lot of respect for Correa.

4:05PM PDT on Aug 25, 2012

Muriel C.
Assange DID remain in Sweden. for FIVE WEEKS. He did interview with a prosecutor who actually dropped the charges.

The NEW charges were filed by a different prosecutor AFTER he left.

It's not like he's running away. In fact he said he would return as long as he wasn't extradited to the US. But they have refused to rule this out.

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