Ecuador's president: No decision yet on Assange

Associated Press
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A demonstrator protests outside the Ecuadorian embassy, London, Wednesday June 20, 2012. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange entered the embassy Tuesday in an attempt to gain political asylum. Ecuador said Assange would "remain at the embassy, under the protection of the Ecuadorean government" while authorities in the capital, Quito, considered his case. Assange was arrested in London in December 2010 at Sweden's request. Since then he has been fighting extradition to the Scandinavian country, where he is wanted for questioning over alleged sexual assaults on two women in 2010. (AP Photo/Tim Hales)

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa says his government is taking very seriously the asylum request of Wikileaks chief Julian Assange but he's not indicating when a decision will be made.

The leftist president also said in an interview Wednesday with Venezuela's Telesur network in Brazil that he doesn't know Assange personally but felt empathy toward Assange when he interviewed him last month.

Assange took refuge Tuesday in Ecuador's embassy in London as his legal options ran out for avoiding extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning for alleged sex crimes.

His backers say the Swedish charges are just a pretext to get the Australian activist to the United States to stand trial for publishing tens of thousands of secret U.S. documents.