Assange questioned at Ecuadorean Embassy in London
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was being questioned by prosecutors yesterday at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London about possible sexual misconduct committed in Sweden six years ago.
Assange was being interviewed at the embassy where he sought refuge more than four years ago. The questioning was being led by an Ecuadorean prosecutor in the presence of Swedish prosecutor Ingrid Isgren and a Swedish police investigator.
Prosecutors planned to ask Assange to consent to providing a DNA sample.
Swedish officials are seeking information related to allegations of serious misconduct made by two Swedish women he met in 2010. Some of the alleged misconduct is no longer being investigated by police because of the statute of limitations.
He is, however, being questioned about a possible rape of one of the women who complained to authorities. He has not been indicted.
Prosecutors said yesterday that no immediate decision on the future of Assange's case would be made.
They also said no public statements would be made after the questioning, which may last several days.
Assange's Swedish defence lawyer, Per Samuelsson, told Swedish media that he has "high hopes" that the case will be closed once prosecutors have completed the interview. He complained that he has been barred from the hearing, despite arguing that Assange's Swedish lawyer must be permitted to take part.
"I'm not on the list of persons that Ecuador has drawn up and allowed to be present," Samuelsson told Swedish national broadcaster SVT. "An Ecuadorean lawyer has taken up this question as a formal issue in the introduction of the hearing."
Assange has denied sexual wrongdoing and says he fears being extradited to the US because of his WikiLeaks work. It is not known if he faces a secret grand jury indictment in the US.