Officials to interview Assange

Prosecutors in Sweden want to interview Assange, 45, in connection with a 2010 rape allegation.
Prosecutors in Sweden want to interview Assange, 45, in connection with a 2010 rape allegation.

Ecuador said Wednesday it will let Swedish officials interview Julian Assange at its embassy in London, where the WikiLeaks founder has been sheltering since June 2012.

In a statement, the Foreign Ministry said a letter had been sent by the Ecuadoran Government to set up a meeting with Swedish officials at Quito's embassy in London.

The meeting is to take place "in the coming weeks", the statement said.

Prosecutors in Sweden want to interview Assange, 45, in connection with a 2010 rape allegation. The Australian sought refuge in the embassy in London in June 2012 after exhausting all his legal options in Britain against extradition to Sweden.

Assange fears that if he were sent to Sweden to face trial, he could be extradited to the United States to be tried over WikiLeaks' publication of hundreds of thousands of classified documents and face a long prison sentence or the death penalty.

Authorities say the statute of limitations on the charges against Assange runs through to 2020.

The former computer hacker yesterday appealed a Stockholm district court's decision to maintain a European arrest warrant against him over the rape allegation.

The anti-secrecy campaigner, who denies the allegation, walked into Quito's London embassy of his own free will four years ago, with Britain on the brink of sending him to Stockholm, and has not left since.

Last month a Swedish district court maintained a European arrest warrant against Assange, rejecting his lawyers' request to have it lifted.

Ecuador in the past has said it does not want to interfere with Sweden's rape investigation.

- AFP

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