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STOCKHOLM, August 18. /TASS/. Sweden’s Ministry of Justice has told TASS it is discussing with Ecuadorian authorities the possibility of organizing a questioning of WikiLeaks whistleblower website co-founder Julian Assange as soon as possible.
Assange has been hiding in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012 as he faces extradition to Sweden over alleged sexual offences.
"In June this year, [Swedish] Chief Prosecutor Ingrid Isgren arrive in London to meet with Assange, but was not allowed to enter the embassy. Representatives of the diplomatic mission put forward a new demand that Sweden recognizes Assange as a political refugee. However, in accordance with Swedish laws, such recognition is possible only on our territory, not at a foreign embassy. We suggested another option - to make a bilateral agreement on legal assistance. Ecuador accepted this proposal, and a meeting on this issue will take place in the nearest future. We will see if this agreement will suffice to hold questioning [of Assange]," Sweden Justice Ministry’s official Cecilia Riddselius said.
On August 13, Swedish prosecutors said they are dropping allegations involving sexual molestation and coercion as statutes of limitations in the investigation expire this month. However, the most serious allegation - of suspicion of rape - will not expire until 2020.