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Will WikiLeaks founder Assange go free?

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UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said Assange was being denied safe passage because he was wanted for “serious sexual offenses” and not for his work with WikiLeaks, the Associated Press reported.

The impasse likely means that Assange will remain confined in the embassy for days or weeks, until an agreement is hammered out, legal experts said.

“The way out of this would be for the United States to clearly and unequivocally say they would not seek to extradite him and not seek to indict him,” said Vince Warren, the executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, which represents WikiLeaks and Assange in the United States. “But I think that’s unlikely to happen.”

Ecuador said it had tried to win assurances that Assange would not be sent to a third country. It also said Sweden had turned down an offer to question Assange at the embassy.

On Wednesday, Patino warned that British authorities might be tiring of diplomacy. He said UK authorities had informed him that they were entitled to raid the embassy to detain Assange.

“It’s a clear and offensive attack” on Ecuador’s right to provide asylum, Patino said, “free of coercion, pressure or manipulation of any kind.”

Ecuador has summoned the Union of South American Nations and the eight-nation ALBA bloc of countries, led by Venezuela and Cuba, to discuss the crisis. The Organization of American States called an emergency meeting Thursday.

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