Since his detention, Assange has mostly been living under strict bail conditions at the country mansion of a wealthy supporter in eastern England. His associates say that amounts to 540 days under house arrest without charge.
Breach of bail conditions is potentially a criminal offence.
"While the department assesses Mr. Assange's application, Mr. Assange will remain at the embassy, under the protection of the Ecuadorean Government," the embassy said on its website.
"The decision to consider Mr. Assange's application for protective asylum should in no way be interpreted as the Government of Ecuador interfering in the judicial processes of either the United Kingdom or Sweden."
Assange arrived at the embassy in London's exclusive Knightsbridge district asking for protection and complaining that his home country of Australia had abandoned him and refused to defend him, according to a statement from Ecuador's Foreign Ministry.
"Such statements (from Australia) make it impossible for me to return to my home country and puts me in a state of helplessness by being requested to be interrogated by the Kingdom of Sweden, where its top officials have openly attacked me," the ministry quoted him as saying on its website.
According to Patino, Assange fears extradition "to a country where espionage and treason are punished with the death penalty".Page 2 of 5 | Prev Page | Next Page