Ecuador rejects Swedish request to question Assange

Swedish prosecutors said Thursday Ecuador has "on formal grounds" rejected a request to question WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, granted asylum by Quito.

They want to question Assange in relation to a suspected rape in 2010, an allegation he denies.

Ecuador's prosecutor general said, Quito insists on conducting the interview with Assange and has asked Sweden to submit a list of questions it wants answered, according to the Swedish Prosecution Authority.

The 44-year-old Australian has been holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy in London since 2012. He fled there after losing a legal battle in Britain against extradition to Sweden.

Ecuador granted Assange asylum because he was afraid of a possible extradition to the United States, where he is wanted in connection with WikiLeaks' publication of top secret diplomatic cables.

The Swedish Director of Public Prosecution, Marianne Ny, now wants to consider to what extent the decision by Ecuador might affect a thorough investigation. "If that is the case, we shall submit a renewed request," she said.

A spokeswoman for the Swedish Prosecution Authority said she could not say when Ny's decision was due.

The Swedish request to interview Assange in London was made in May 2015 - prior to an agreement the two countries approved in December on "legal assistance" in criminal cases.

Three other cases of alleged sexual assault against Assange were dropped in August due to a Swedish statute of limitations, but the rape allegation remains.

Last update: Thu, 21/01/2016 - 14:57

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