WikiLeaks: France rejects asylum request of Julius Assange



By NewsGram Staff Writer

France on Friday rejected a request for asylum, or more exactly of “protection”, made by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in a letter to French President Francois Hollande, according to a statement from Elysee Palace.

“France has received the letter from Assange. After a thorough examination of the legal elements and the material situation of Assange, France cannot act on his request,” said the French presidency in a statement.

“The situation of Assange poses no immediate danger. It is also the subject of a European arrest warrant,” the document concluded.

In a six-page letter sent on Thursday to Francois Hollande, Assange asked France to grant him political asylum, Xinhua news agency reported.

In his letter, the founder of WikiLeaks asked France to “provide the necessary protection against, and only against the political persecution that (he is) now the subject”, saying that “only France (could) provide (him) the necessary protection”. ”

Assange, 44, has been reportedly living in the Ecuador embassy in London as a refugee for the past three years.

French newspaper Le Monde said what “prevented Assange to leave the embassy” was his failure to present himself before the Swedish court that wishes “to hear as a witness” after “complaints in Sweden by two women, who accused him of rape and sexual assault”. It is for this reason that Assange is the subject of a European arrest warrant.

(With inputs from IANS)