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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 September 2005, 10:32 GMT 11:32 UK
Ecuador ex-president seeks asylum
Ecuadorean former President Lucio Gutierrez
Mr Gutierrez says he is still Ecuador's president
Ecuador's ousted President, Lucio Gutierrez, who faces charges of damaging his country's security, has requested asylum in Colombia.

The Colombian authorities have granted him a 90-day safe conduct, to give him time to make a formal request.

Mr Gutierrez, who arrived from Peru, was reportedly told at Bogota airport that there was an international warrant for his arrest.

Mr Gutierrez was ousted by congress in April following mass protests.

He previously stayed in Brazil and the United States, before travelling to Peru.

'Still president'

Colombian officials have said they have no knowledge of any arrest warrant for Mr Gutierrez.

But advisers to Mr Gutierrez say it could have been issued after he recently said in the US that he was still president of Ecuador.

Mr Gutierrez's successor, Alfredo Palacio, has in the past defended the legitimacy of his government, saying that congress' decision to sack the president was constitutional.

The asylum request also covers Mr Gutierrez's brother, Gilmar, as well as a former colonel and a businessman from Ecuador who also face charges in their home country.

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