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Assange seeks political asylum in Ecuador

June 20, 2012 00:54 IST

In a dramatic move to block extradition to Sweden, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, on Tuesday sought sanctuary inside the Ecuadorian embassy and applied for political asylum in the South American country.

In Ecuador capital Quito, Ecuador foreign minister Ricardo Patino told reporters: "Ecuador is studying and analysing the request".

Last week, Assange lost his final bid to block his extradition to Sweden to face allegations of sex offences when Britain's Supreme Court dismissed his appeal to re-open the extradition case.

The court had ruled that Assange should not be extradited until June 28.

Assange, 40, has been on conditional bail and is sought to be extradited to Sweden to face allegation of sex offences, which he denies. His lawyers had argued before the supreme court that the European arrest warrant against him was 'invalid'.

Prasun Sonwalkar in London