'Assange can face justice in Sweden, but no extradition'
Ecuador sees no problem with Julian Assange facing justice in Sweden over a rape allegation, but insists on a guarantee that the WikiLeaks founder will not be extradited to the US
Protesters outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Pic/AFP
London: Ecuador sees no problem with Julian Assange facing justice in Sweden over a rape allegation, but insists on a guarantee that the WikiLeaks founder will not be extradited to the US.
“If we can obtain guarantees that Mr. Assange will not face extradition to the third country, I think it’s fine for him to face Swedish justice — if there are charges, because are there still no charges,” Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Guillaume Long said during an interview with a local radio station.
Long’s remarks came as prosecutors concluded a two-day interview with Assange at the embassy on Tuesday, as part of an inquiry to determine whether to charge him with the alleged sex crime.
The questions were asked by Ecuadorian prosecutors, in the presence of a Swedish prosecutor and a police investigator. A decision on a possible investigation has not yet been made public.
Assange has not been indicted for the alleged sex crime and denies any wrongdoing.
Although officials said on Monday that they would seek a DNA sample from the WikiLeaks founder, it is unclear whether he gave his consent or provided a sample.
Appeal to Trump
Julian Assange’s legal team has raised the prospect of appealing to US President-elect Donald Trump to end a criminal investigation into the WikiLeaks founder. His lawyer Jennifer Robinson said Assange had been under investigation in the US for his publishing work with WikiLeaks since 2010 under the Obama administration.
Water activist Amla Ruia speaks to mid-day