Ecuador on Monday offered Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder who has enraged Washington by releasing masses of classified U.S. documents, residency with no questions asked.
“We are ready to give him residence in Ecuador, with no problems and no conditions,” Deputy Foreign Minister Kintto Lucas told the Internet site Ecuadorinmediato.
“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,” he said.
An international arrest warrant was issued in mid-November against Assange, a 39-year-old Australian, on suspicion of rape and sexual molestation of two women in Sweden.
The United States, for its part, has a criminal investigation under way into the release of some 250,000 diplomatic cables, the most recent of three huge document dumps by the self-styled whistle-blower website.