Ecuador has received a formal request from the Swedish authorities to interview Julian Assange, inside its London embassy, in a potential breakthrough to the long-running saga. The WikiLeaks founder, 44, is wanted for questioning over a 2010 rape allegation in Sweden, which he has always denied. He has been living inside Ecuador’s UK mission for four years in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden, saying he fears he would then be transferred to the US to face political charges for orchestrating leaks of diplomatic cables. Ecuador has been asking throughout Assange’s stay that he be interviewed inside the embassy, and said it welcomed the apparent Swedish “change of heart, and signs of a new political will”. Ecuador’s foreign minister, Dr Guillaume Long, said, however, that the country may require fresh legal assurances before it allows Swedish prosecutors access. The Swedish attorney general made a formal request that was being considered, Long said. Long said: “Interviewing Mr Assange inside the embassy has been Ecuador’s request for four years. Over 1,400 days we have been asking the Swedes to come and interrogate him in our embassy. So it is welcome there has been change of heart and some sign of political will. “But since November 2010 and March 2015 Sweden made 44 such requests to other countries to interview suspects in other cases. So it is very common and could be easily done, but we faced total refusal for years.”
Your exclusive news aggregator handpicked daily!