14 Mar 2015

Swedes relent on Assange questioning

7:06 am on 14 March 2015

Swedish prosecutors have offered to travel to London to question Wikileaks founder Julian Assange over sex assault allegations.

Julian Assange

Julian Assange Photo: AFP

Prosecutors had previously insisted on questioning Mr Assange in Sweden, after seeking his arrest in 2010.

Mr Assange denies the assault claims and has been living at the Ecuadorean embassy in London since 2012.

He fears that if he is sent to Sweden he could then be extradited to the US to face charges over leaking material.

A lawyer for Mr Assange, Per Samuelson, welcomed the move. "He is willing to co-operate fully now in conducting this interrogation - this is a great victory for him," he told the BBC World Service.

"We've been waiting for this for over four years."

The lead Swedish prosecutor explained the change of strategy by saying some potential charges against Mr Assange would expire under the statute of limitations in August.

"My view has always been that to perform an interview with him at the Ecuadorean embassy in London would lower the quality of the interview," Marianne Ny said in a statement.

"Now that time is of the essence, I have viewed it therefore necessary to accept such deficiencies in the investigation and likewise take the risk that the interview does not move the case forward."

-BBC

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