Ecuador on Monday offered residence to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange ‘with no problems and no conditions’.
We are going to invite him to come to Ecuador so he can freely present the information he possesses and all the documentation, not just over the Internet but in a variety of public forums, Kintto Lucas, deputy foreign minister, told the website Ecuadorinmediato.
The minister said the country was very concerned after knowing about the shocking revelations contained in leaked US diplomatic cables. On Sunday, the whistle-blower website released 250,000 diplomatic cables that enraged the US and many other countries across the world.
Australia on Monday said it would back the US in any legal action against its citizen, Julian Assange.
“It is a matter that is taken with the utmost seriousness by the government of the United States and certainly the government of Australia and obviously governments around the world,” said Robert McClelland, Attorney-General of Australia.
The US government on Monday announced a criminal investigation into the release hundreds of thousands of sensitive classified documents by WikiLeaks.
The investigation could charge Assange and others involved with WikiLeaks under the US's Espionage Act, the Washington Post said on Monday, citing sources familiar with the investigation.
In October, the Swedish government rejected Assange’s application for permanent residency in the country. In mid-November, an international warrant was issued against Assange on the grounds of rape and sexual molestation. However, Assange claims the allegations are part of a smear campaign.
Assange admitted in September to having consensual sex several times with the woman who accused him of molesting her, according to a Telegraph report.
However, Ecuador’s foreign ministry on Monday invited Assange to the country to discuss documents leaked on the site relating to Ecuador and other Latin American countries.
“The Government, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Integration invite Mr. Julian Assange, creator of the WikiLeaks website for documentation explaining the situation regarding all the countries of Latin America and Ecuador,” said a statement from Ecuador’s foreign ministry.
Further, the journalist is allowed to undertake research and training while in Ecuador.
However, the ministry said that it would process a request for residency according to existing standards in the country.