Sweden requests to question Julian Assange in London

Swedish prosecutors mark significant U-turn in Assange questioning following almost five year deadlock

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Stockholm has finally agreed to question WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in London this month over sexual assault allegations. Prosecutors have submitted a request to British and Ecuadorian authorities to question WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (43) in London by the end of July.

A formal request was proposed to British and Ecuadorian authorities to speak to the Australian former hacker at Ecuador’s London embassy which had provided him refuge in June 2012.

His lawyer said, "He is willing to co-operate fully now in conducting this interrogation - this is a great victory for him" and added that they’ve "...been waiting for this for over four years."

Following his arrest in 2010, prosecutors had insisted on questioning Assange in Sweden, however he feared being flown to Sweden as he could have then been extradited to the US to be tried for one of the largest information leaks in US history.

Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny has long resisted interrogating Assange in London, claiming that it would decrease the quality of the questioning, and insisting that he should be flown to Stockholm instead.

Assange who currently lives in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012, has not been formally charged, but prosecutors want to question him over allegations of rape and sexual misconduct made by two women he met during a trip to Sweden in August 2010. Assange denies the assault charges.

Time is running out for Assange’s trial as prosecutors have until August 2015 to question him about some of the allegations, but until 2020 to investigate the most severe alleged rape offence. This was reportedly the reason why prosecutors changed their stance and finally agreed to question him in London, before his trial expires.

Prosecutors said they were also asking to conduct a DNA test of Assange which his lawyer asserted that he had already provided to UK officials.

Journalist and activist, Assange, is the mastermind behind the 2010 WikiLeaks who released 500,000 classified military files on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and 250,000 diplomatic cables, consequently embarrassing Washington.

TRTWorld and agencies