Follow @wl_central on Twitter for all the latest updates.
WikiLeaks announced via Twitter on the evening of June 19 (19:40 local time) that Julian Assange has requested political asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
This comes after the UK Supreme Court refused a submission to reopen his case on June 14. Julian Assange has spent 560 days under house arrest without charge. His extradition to Sweden is set between June 28 and July 7.
Mr Assange will remain at the embassy under the protection of the Ecuadorian government while they process his request.
In his statement to the Diplomatic Mission of Ecuador, Julian Assange commented on his abandonment by his home country, Australia, as well as the threat of the death penalty in the U.S.
Ecuador offered political asylum to Julian Assange in November 2010. At that time, Vice Chancellor Kintto Lucas stated, "We are open to grant him Ecuadorian residency, without any kind of problem or any kind of conditions." (President Rafeal Correa afterwards stated the offer was not official.)
Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa was a guest on Julian Assange's talk show "The World Tomorrow" this past May. The full interview is available online in English, Spanish, Italian, Russian, and Arabic.
Updates will be added as they become available.
[UPDATE: 22:33 BST] AFP published the latest statements from Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa regarding Julian Assange's asylum bid:
We are analyzing the case with full responsibility and, as we have said a thousand times, we have no deadline to make a decision.
That decision will be absolutely sovereign and ... (show) respect for human rights.
[UPDATE: 21:45 BST] U.S. Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd stated today:
There continues to be an investigation into the WikiLeaks matter.
[UPDATE: 17:10 BST] Julian Assange's U.S. lawyer Michael Ratner was interviewed by AFP about Mr Assange's decision to seek asylum:
He had two very difficult choices. I think he would go to Sweden immediately if he got assurances from the United States that there was not going to be a prosecution.
He made a very difficult choice for himself.
Regarding U.S. officials being silent regarding Mr Assange, he said:
I think they're quiet now because there's a grand jury or an indictment and they don't want to prejudice any ultimate trial. That would be my best guess.
Mr Ratner also said the following about whether he thinks Ecuador will accept Mr Assange's application:
I'm very hopeful about it, I'll put it that way. They have the ability and the president and the country have the guts to stand up to the United States.
Of all the countries that would be one of the most favorable (to Assange's request), it would be Ecuador.
[UPDATE: 16:37 BST] Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern was on RT discussing what Julian Assange could face, were he extradited to the U.S. Watch the interview below:
[UPDATE: 2012-06-30 02:37 BST] BBC Newsnight's interview with Julian Assange yesterday is now available on YouTube. Listen below: