The President of Ecuador is to meet officials from his government tomorrow to assess the application for political asylum by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Mr Assange has been taking refuge in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since 19 June to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning on sex crime allegations.
The former computer hacker said he fears he could be sent to the US, where he believes his life would be at risk.
He angered the US in 2010 when his WikiLeaks website published thousands of secret diplomatic cables.
An official spokesman for the Ecuadorian government said: "No decision has been made.
"Reports that a decision has been reached are premature and it seems the result of over enthusiastic journalists short on facts but high on speculation."
It is believed to be the first time President Rafael Correa has met with officials who will include legal experts.
Mr Correa said he sympathises with Mr Assange, but also feels respect for the British legal system and for international law.
He said his government has already gathered enough information to take a responsible decision.
Neither US nor Swedish authorities have charged Mr Assange with anything.
Swedish prosecutors want to question him about allegations of rape and sexual assault made by two WikiLeaks supporters in 2010.
Mr Assange said he had consensual sex with the women.
It is not clear how Mr Assange would travel to Ecuador if he is granted asylum. By diplomatic convention, British police cannot enter the embassy without Ecuador's approval.
But he has no way of boarding a plane to Ecuador without passing through London and exposing himself to arrest.
Mr Correa last month met Christine Assange, Mr Assange's mother, who travelled to the country to plead for her son's asylum request.
Mr Patino also met former Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon, who was appointed to head Mr Assange's legal team.
It is not clear why Mr Assange, an Australian citizen, chose Ecuador, but he interviewed Mr Correa online in May and the two exchanged plaudits.
The interview showed a shared distaste for US foreign policy and big media outlets.
"Cheer up. Welcome to the club of the persecuted," Mr Correa told Mr Assange at the end of the 25-minute interview.
Mr Assange's choice of Ecuador has drawn criticism from supporters, who say he sees himself as the standard-bearer of a global struggle for media freedom, yet requested asylum from a government accused of seeking to prevent criticism in the media.
Like other Latin American presidents, including Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Bolivia's Evo Morales, Mr Correa is a fierce critic of what they see as US imperialism.
He expelled the US ambassador in 2011 after US diplomatic cables disclosed by WikiLeaks alleged that his government turned a blind eye on police corruption.
In 2007, he refused to extend a lease letting the US military use the Manta air base for counter-narcotics flights.