A senior Swedish prosecutor has begun interviewing Julian Assange at Ecuador's embassy in London, six years after he was accused of rape by a woman in Stockholm.
The questioning will be carried out by an Ecuadorean prosecutor, putting questions that have already been submitted by the Swedish prosecution authority on the table. He denies the allegation.
The Australian national claims he refused to travel to Sweden for questioning because he feared extradition to the US over WikiLeaks' release of 500,000 secret military files on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Julian Assange's cat made for an effective visual distraction at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, when it turned up wearing a shirt collar and tie on Monday. "If it's low quality we will request a new interrogation". "He wants a chance to clear his name", Samuelsson told AFP. "We hope the investigation will be closed then", he added.
A small group of protesters gathered outside the embassy to greet the prosecutors, waving banners reading "Free Assange" and "You Won't Stop WikiLeaks".
"[Julian Assange] has claimed and been given political asylum which is his right under national and global human rights law".
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"We are appalled it has taken the Swedish prosecutors six years to come and interview him". "But a good chunk of questioning has already taken place as far as I understand", he said.
Swedish prosecutor Ingrid Isgren will be present while Assange is questioned by an Ecuadoran prosecutor, which could last for several days.
Isgren left the embassy along with a Swedish police investigator. Neither official talked to reporters.
Under the agreement worked out with Ecuador, the Swedes were not allowed to question Julian Assange directly.
Swedish prosecutors reportedly interviewed Julian Assange on Monday about rape allegations leveled against the Wikileaks founder in 2010. Investigation into two other possible charges came to an end past year because of time limitations.
If Assange agrees, the police inspector will take a DNA swab to get to the bottom of two sexual assault claims lodged by two women who met the Australian native during his trip to Sweden in 2010.
Even if he is not indicted for the rape allegation, which is not due to pass the statute of limitations until August 2020, Assange faces another hurdle: he could still be arrested by British authorities for violating the terms of his bail agreement by ensconcing himself within the embassy building.