UK

Julian Assange may face embassy questioning

  • 26 July 2012
  • From the section UK
Julian Assange
Mr Assange is facing extradition to Sweden from Britain for questioning over alleged sex crimes

Ecuador is to allow the Swedish authorities to interview Wikileaks founder Julian Assange at its London embassy where he has taken refuge.

A source at the embassy in Knightsbridge revealed an approach was made to Sweden on Wednesday.

The 40-year-old Australian arrived on 19 June seeking political asylum.

The anti-secrecy campaigner, whose website published secret US cables, wants to avoid being sent to Sweden to face sex crime claims, which he denies.

He faces arrest for breaching the terms of his bail if he leaves the embassy.

'Good spirits'

But under international diplomatic arrangements, the police cannot enter to arrest him.

Mr Assange enraged Washington in 2010 when Wikileaks released thousands of confidential US diplomatic cables.

He fears if he is sent to Sweden to face rape and assault accusations, he could be transferred to the US to face charges over Wikileaks, where he could be given the death penalty.

A Wikileaks spokesman said Mr Assange had been willing to be interviewed in London for 18 months now and would welcome the chance.

Speaking in Iceland, he told the BBC he had no "first hand information" about an approach to Sweden, but saw no reason why the Ecuadorian government would object.

Mr Assange was in "good spirits" when he last spoke to him a few days ago, he added.

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