Ecuador Offers Residency to WikiLeaks Founder as He Faces Threat of Espionage Charges

The nation of Ecuador has offered residency to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is under fire by many U.S. government officials for releasing a new cache of some 250,000 classified government documents that have revealed a number of unsavory truths about the government's actions.

Reports the BBC:

Deputy Foreign Minister Kintto Lucas said his country's government wanted to invite Mr Assange to Ecuador to give him the opportunity to speak publicly.

He said Ecuador was concerned about some of the alleged American activities revealed by Wikileaks.

Earlier this year Sweden refused an application from Mr Assange, who is Australian, for residency there.

"We are open to giving him residency in Ecuador, without any problem and without any conditions," Mr Lucas said.

"We are going to try and invite him to Ecuador to freely present, not only via the internet, but also through different public forums, the information and documentation that he has," he said.

Mr Lucas added: "We think it would be important not only to converse with him but also to listen to him."

Meanwhile, the Washington Postreports that the Justice Department and Pentagon are conducting "an active, ongoing criminal investigation'' into Assange, who could face charges under the Espionage Act, while the FBI "is examining everyone who came into possession of the documents, including those who gave the materials to WikiLeaks and also the organization itself." Attorney General Eric Holder says he is not playing around about prosecuting the whistle-blower: "Let me be very clear. It is not saber rattling."

AlterNet / By Lauren Kelley

Posted at November 30, 2010, 4:28am

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