WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange reportedly seeks asylum in Ecuador

Eric Pfeiffer

Officials in Ecuador are claiming that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has asked them for political asylum in their country, a request they are reportedly considering.

"Ecuador is studying and analyzing the request," Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino told reporters Tuesday in Quito, according to Reuters.

Assange currently faces extradition charges to Sweden over alleged sex crimes. Assange has denied the allegations. He is not currently charged with any crime, but officials in Sweden say they want to question him over the allegations.

The BBC reports that on June 14, the British Supreme Court rejected Assange's request to reopen his appeal against extradition to Sweden. The extradition proceedings are scheduled to begin on June 28.

In addition, the BBC says that Assange fears that extradition to Sweden may lead to him being sent to the U.S. to face charges related to his WikiLeaks operation.

CNN adds that Assange's "last option" is to appeal his case to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), something his attorneys say they plan to do. Swedish authorities have said the ECHR would intervene if Assange faced "inhuman or degrading treatment or an unfair trial" in any potential extradition to the U.S.