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Julian Assange will finally face questioning over rape allegation

Julian Assange will finally face questioning over rape allegation


Sweden and Ecuador reach bilateral agreement after three-year standoff over WikiLeaks founder

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A Swedish prosecutor may soon question Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where the WikiLeaks founder has been holed up for the last three years. As the BBC reports, Sweden and Ecuador have agreed to a bilateral agreement that would allow Assange to be questioned in relation to accusations of sexual assault.

Swedish authorities have sought to question Assange since 2010, when two women accused him of rape and molestation, though he has not been charged with any crime and denies the allegations. He sought refuge at the Ecuadorian embassy in 2012, fearing that Sweden would extradite him to the US, where he could face charges related to the troves of diplomatic cables that WikiLeaks has published.

Cecilia Riddselius, an official at the Swedish Justice Ministry, tells the AFP news agency that the agreement would strengthen cooperation between Ecuador and Sweden on criminal cases, and that it is not specific to Assange's case. "This is essentially a deal on legal assistance on a criminal matter, and when it is finalized later this week it will open the door for the Swedish state prosecutor to question Mr. Assange," Riddselius said.

Sweden's public prosecutor can question Assange once the deal goes into effect, though only about the allegation of rape. The statute of limitations on the other allegations of sexual misconduct expired in August.