It’s been nearly 5 years since two women in Sweden lodged charges of rape against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. The Swedish prosecutors have been seeking his extradition from England to question him regarding the allegations but Mr. Assange fearing that this was a ploy to have him extradited to the United States where he would be arrested and prosecuted for leaking secret documents that exposed US covering up war crimes. Lawyers for Mr. Assange said that the Swedish prosecutors could question him in England and they believe that would end the matter. However the prosecutors, claiming it would be inadequate to question him in England, went to British court seeking extradition. Mr. Assange then sought asylum at the Ecuadoran embassy. Now, after over four years and time running out on the statute of limitations on charging him, the Swedish prosecutor has agreed to question Mr. Assange in England. Frustrated and tired, Mr. Assange’s response was “They could have done this long ago. What took them so long?” The answer is probably the salivating US justice and state departments who would love nothing more that to get him to a country that would extradite him to the US over the espionage charges.
Julian Assange to be questioned by Swedish prosecutors in London
By David Crouch, The Guardian
Lawyers for Wikileaks founder welcome prosecutor’s decision to interview Assange at Ecuadorian embassy in bid to break deadlock
Marianne Ny, who heads the investigation into accusations of rape, coercion and sexual molestation against Assange, made a formal request to interrogate him in the Ecuadorian embassy – the first sign of movement in a case that has been frozen since August 2012.
The prosecutor will also ask the UK government and Ecuador for permission to carry out the interviews at the embassy in London, where Assange has been staying for more than two-and-a-half years to avoid extradition to Sweden, from where he fears being handed over to the US to face espionage charges.
Ny said she had changed her mind because the statute of limitations on several of the crimes of which Assange is suspected runs out in August 2015. [..]
The British Foreign Office said in November it would welcome a request by the Swedish prosecutor to question Assange inside the Ecuadorian embassy. Ecuador’s government has also repeatedly stated that it approves of such a step. Assange has been wanted in Sweden since the accusations were made against him in August 2010.
His lawyers, who are currently appealing against his arrest warrant in Sweden’s highest court, have complained bitterly about the prosecutor’s refusal to travel to London to speak to him – an essential step under Swedish jurisprudence to establish whether Assange can be formally charged. [..]
The prosecutor’s apparent U-turn on Friday came just days after a supreme court judge in Stockholm wrote to the prosecutor general, directing him to give his opinion concerning Assange’s appeal, “especially regarding the investigatory procedure and the principle of proportionality”.
Further pressure on the prosecutor came in November when the appeal court, while rejecting Assange’s arguments, nonetheless directed sharp criticism at Ny for failing in her obligation to move the case forward.
It remains to be seen whether the charges of rape, that were brought by two women who were in a consensual relationship with Mr. Assange at the time, will result in an arrest warrant. There are a lot of questions about the women’s backgrounds and alleged connections with the CIA that would love to get their hands on Mr. Assange.