Julian Assange, who founded WikiLeaks and is also wanted in Sweden for questioning on sex crime allegations, has not found asylum in Ecuador, according to the country's foreign minister Ricado Patino.
The ex-computer hacker has been taking refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for the past eight weeks in hopes that he will be able to stay in the nation and not be sent back to Sweden for questioning. He could end up being convicted of these crimes if sent back.
The decision for him to stay in Ecuador is currently in the hands of the country's foreign minister and President Rafael Correa. A choice should be made before the end of the week, according to officials.
Assange also fears a return to the U.S. as he angered the government in 2010 when he published thousands of secret U.S. diplomatic cables.
Britain's Guardian newspaper had previously reported that Ecuadorian officials granted Assange amnesty, however, Correa quickly responded to it.
"The story is false … When we make the decision we'll explain very clearly the reasons, the legal framework, the analysis that we made to grant or not asylum to Mr. Julian Assange," said Correa at a press conference in the coastal city of Guayaquil.
Patino also commented on the Guardian's report.
"Anonymous sources are useless," he said to Reuters. "Only the president and myself will make the decision … There's nothing yet."
Ecuador officials are currently in the process of determining whether or not to give Assange asylum. The country could help him avoid arrest in Britain, but if he decides to run to South America, he would have to pass through the U.K. to get there.
"It's not only about whether to grant asylum, because for Mr. Assange to leave England he should have a safe pass from the British (government). Will that be possible? That's an issue we have to take into account," said Patino.