The Strategist

Ecuador allowed Sweden to interrogate Julian Assange

08/11/2016 - 14:52

The Prosecutor's Office of Ecuador will allow Swedish investigators to interrogate Julian Assange in the embassy in London, where WikiLeaks founder has been living since June 2012. The decision was made within an agreement on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters between states. Sweden accuses Julian Assange of rape, which he denies.

New Media Days / Peter Erichsen
New Media Days / Peter Erichsen
Ecuador will allow Swedish investigators to question Julian Assange in its London embassy. The founder of WikiLeaks has not left the building more than four years. Decision of the Prosecutor's Office was published on the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "It will happen in the coming weeks. The exact date will be set during negotiations in the Ecuador Embassy in the UK", - the document says.

Recently, WikiLeaks published an article on Facebook. The organization assumes that the pressure on Ecuador has intensified after WikiLeaks the organization uncovered records and thousands of emails from servers of the US National Committee of the Democratic Party in July this year. 

In late May, the Swedish court issued an international arrest warrant for Julian Assange, arguing that the defendant's four-year stay in the embassy’s building "does not replace detention". At the same time, the Supreme Court of Sweden has once again rejected the WikiLeaks founder’s petition to revoke the warrant for his arrest. It was reported, however, that the Supreme Court was not completely unanimous on this issue.
The Working Group of the United Nations in February ruled that Julian Assange had been "unlawfully detained" in the Ecuadorian embassy. Yet, governments of Ecuador and Sweden denied the conclusion. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador announced that the country would continue to harbor the founder of WikiLeaks, "as long as there are circumstances that made this shelter necessary, namely, the threat of political persecution".

The journalist has managed to significantly reduce number of charges from the Swedish authorities. In August 2015, the statute of limitations has expired for three of the four cases of sexual harassment made against the journalist. The only case remaining in a consideration is alleged rape. This, however, does not exonerates the journalist from responsibility for violation of bail conditions, because of which he had fled to the Ecuadorian embassy in 2012 after rejection of an appeal to the British authorities.

WikiLeaks portal, founded by Julian Assange, publishes confidential information received from sources including the US intelligence community. The journalist decided to place the project server in Sweden, known for its loyal attitude to such activities. The US authorities started an investigation against WikiLeaks, which is still active. In summer 2010, the Swedish police accused Julian Assange in sexual harassment and rape, and then issued an international wanted notice. At that time, the journalist had already fled Britain.

In December 2010, Julian Assange was arrested in London after he himself came to the police station, and then released on bail. The defendant pleaded not guilty and said he believes the case is politically motivated. In 2011, the British court has made a decision on extradition of the journalist to Sweden. Several times he unsuccessfully tried to appeal to the local courts. Eventually, Julian Assange had to take refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy, which gave him a formal political asylum in August 16, 2012. 


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