Prosecutors begin interviews with Julian Assange in Swedish rape case

By Ed Adamczyk Contact the Author   |  Nov. 14, 2016 at 9:38 AM
share with facebook
share with twitter
1 of 2

LONDON, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- Prosecutors interviewed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in London on Monday about a rape accusation, six years after an investigation began.

Assange, 45, an Australian citizen, received asylum in Educator's London embassy in 2012. He has lived there since to avoid extradition to Sweden. He has not been charged in the 2010 case and denies guilt. But Assange is concerned that the investigation could make him vulnerable to extradition to the United States, where he could be prosecuted for WikiLeaks' release of classified U.S. embassy cables.

Swedish authorities say those fears are unsupported.

Ecuador approved Sweden's request to interview Assange in the rape case last month, with conditions. Ingrid Isgren, Swedish deputy chief prosecutor, arrived Monday at Ecuador's London embassy for the start of three days of interviews, which will be conducted by an Ecuadorean prosecutor with questions previously submitted by Swedish prosecutors. Isgren can seek clarifications of Assange's answers but will not directly ask questions. Translators will be involved, and a transcription will be provided to Swedish authorities.

Assange will also be asked to provide a DNA sample.

In 2015, prosecutors dropped sexual molestation and unlawful coercion charges against Assange, but have kept the more serious rape charge open. London police ended their surveillance outside the embassy in 2015, but said Assange could be arrested if he leaves the building.

Related UPI Stories
Trending Stories