The biggest political event this year isn’t the presidential race or that Mitt Romney chose Paul Ryan as his running mate. The biggest event that could have repercussions for years to come is the Julian Assange extradition case. If the U.S. had their way, Assange would be extradited to Sweden for questioning over an alleged “rape.” It looks like the U.S. isn’t going to get their way though.
A government official from Ecuador told The Guardian that the country “will grant asylum to Julian Assange.” Assange has been holed up inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London for the past two months after his bid to avoid extradition was denied by the Supreme Court.
We must still classify the news as rumor for now, but President Correa of Ecuador said that he will make an announcement regarding Assange’s asylum bid this week. The president was reportedly looking deeply into the political ramifications of granting asylum to somebody that the U.S. desperately wants to get ahold of.
According to The Guardian, Assange may not be in the clear even if he’s granted asylum. He’s safe while he’s inside the embassy, but it’s fair game as soon as he steps outside. The police have an outstanding warrant on Assange for violating his bail conditions. It seems unlikely that the police would just let Assange leave the country.
So what will happen if Assange does make it to Ecuador? He will be protected by their government, as he is now, but it would cause a huge stink among the governments that want a piece of him. It might even be enough to throw the coverage off of the current presidential race in the U.S. to nothing but Assange. The WikiLeaks founder would probably like nothing more.
Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa just Tweeted out that the rumors about Assange being granted asylum are false. He also says that no decision has been made. He’s waiting for a report from his Foreign Minister:
Rumor de asilo a Assange es falso. Todavía no hay ninguna decisión al respecto. Espero informe de Cancillería.