Swedish prosecutor says still aims to question Assange

A Swedish prosecutor said on Tuesday she still aims to question WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in London over a rape allegation in Sweden, despite a UN report condemning Stockholm for his "arbitrary detention".

AFP| Last Updated: Feb 09, 2016, 22:41 PM IST

Stockholm: A Swedish prosecutor said on Tuesday she still aims to question WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in London over a rape allegation in Sweden, despite a UN report condemning Stockholm for his "arbitrary detention".

"Concerning the report that was issued last week, I would like to state that it does not change my earlier assessments in the investigation," Marianne Ny said in a statement.

She said she was "currently working on a renewed request to interview Julian Assange at Ecuador's embassy in London".

The Australian-born Assange sought refuge in the embassy in June 2012 after Swedish authorities issued a European warrant for his arrest over a 2005 rape allegation.

Assange has refused to travel to Stockholm for questioning amid fears Sweden will extradite him to the United States over WikiLeaks' release of 500,000 secret military files on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Last week, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention ruled that Assange's confinement to the embassy amounted to an arbitrary detention by Sweden and Britain.

But Stockholm and London angrily rejected the findings.

"Mr Assange is free to leave the embassy at any point and Swedish authorities have no control over his decision to stay at the embassy," the Swedish foreign ministry said in a statement at the time.

Sweden has tried to question Assange since March 2015, and reached a judicial agreement with Ecuador in December that Quito said was necessary to pave the way for Swedish prosecutors to interrogate him.

But Quito has not yet granted Swedish prosecutors access to him, rejecting the most recent request in January on a technicality.