Swedish prosecutors say Julian Assange questioning set for Nov. 14

Swedish prosecutors have confirmed that they will interview WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in the Ecuadorean embassy about a 2010 rape allegation. 

Markus Schreiber/AP/File
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange participates via video link at a news conference in October marking the 10th anniversary of the secrecy-spilling group in Berlin.

Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, is to be questioned on Nov. 14 at the Ecuadorean embassy in London, where he has been living for more than four years.

Swedish prosecutors, who made the announcement, say that Ecuador has granted their country’s request and that a joint interview will be conducted involving officials of both countries.

The interview, originally planned for October, is to address the allegation of a rape in Sweden in 2010, a crime that Mr. Assange denies and for which he has yet to be charged. Indeed, it was allegations of rape and sexual assault that initially caused Assange to seek asylum in Ecuador’s embassy in June 2012, citing fears that extradition to the Scandinavian country would leave him vulnerable to a similar request from the United States on charges of espionage related to WikiLeaks.

A Swedish assistant prosecutor and police investigator will be present at the London embassy when an Ecuadorean prosecutor interviews Assange, according to the agreement struck between Sweden and Ecuador. If the interviewee consents, a DNA sample will also be taken.

"We have requested this interview repeatedly since 2010," said Assange’s lawyer, Per Samuelsson, according to the Guardian. "Julian Assange has always wanted to tell his version to the Swedish police. He wants a chance to clear his name. We hope the investigation will be closed then."

The investigation has essentially been on hold ever since the WikiLeaks founder entered the embassy, with Swedish and Ecuadorean authorities, as well as Assange’s legal team, unable to agree on where or how the interview should be conducted.

While Assange has always been technically free to leave the Ecuadorean embassy, he has chosen not to do so because of an outstanding arrest warrant that seeks his extradition to Sweden. Yet it is the work of his WikiLeaks organization that he cites as his reason for fearing such an eventuality, worried that the trove of 500,000 secret military files they have released could result in a US extradition request.

So far, the United States has neither brought charges nor issued such a request.

WikiLeaks itself aroused the world’s attention again recently, as it began to release thousands of apparently hacked emails from John Podesta, the Hillary Clinton campaign manager, in an apparent effort to disrupt the Democratic presidential nominee’s chances of gaining the White House. As a result, Ecuador temporarily cut off Assange’s internet access, saying that his activity was having a “major impact” on the US presidential election.

This report includes material from the Associated Press and Reuters.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Swedish prosecutors say Julian Assange questioning set for Nov. 14
Read this article in
https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2016/1107/Swedish-prosecutors-say-Julian-Assange-questioning-set-for-Nov.-14
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today
https://www.csmonitor.com/subscribe