WikiLeaks' Assange to be grilled by Ecuadorian prosecutor: Sweden

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange addressing the media from the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in central London on Feb 5, 2016.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange addressing the media from the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in central London on Feb 5, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

STOCKHOLM (AFP) - Mr Julian Assange will be questioned in person next week over long-standing rape accusations, Sweden's public prosecutor's office announced on Monday (Nov 7), saying an Ecuadorian prosecutor would visit the WikiLeaks founder in the embassy where he has been holed up since 2012.

"Ecuador has granted the Swedish request for legal assistance in criminal matters and the hearing will be conducted by an Ecuadorian prosecutor," the public prosecutor's office said in a statement.

The Swedish deputy public prosecutor, Ms Ingrid Isgren, and a Swedish police inspector will also be present at the questioning on Nov 14, it added.

"A DNA sample will also be taken, provided that Julian Assange agrees to it," the statement said.

The 45-year-old Australian sought refuge in Ecuador's embassy in London in June 2012, fleeing allegations of rape and sexual assault in Sweden dating back to 2010.

He had refused to travel to Sweden for questioning due to concerns that he would then be extradited to the United States over WikiLeaks' release of 500,000 secret military files on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.