New Assange case details expected from Sweden
TT/The Local · 7 Sep 2016, 15:15
Published: 07 Sep 2016 08:56 GMT+02:00
Updated: 07 Sep 2016 15:15 GMT+02:00
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Assange is accused of rape in Sweden in 2010, but he has yet to be questioned in the case. After exhausting all of his legal options in Britain, he fled to Ecuador’s London embassy in 2012.
He remains there to this day, saying he fears that if he went to Sweden for trial he could be subsequently extradited to the USA and tried over WikiLeaks’ publication of thousands of classified documents.
A possible breakthrough has occurred in the last year however. After initially refusing to interrogate Assange at the London embassy, Swedish chief prosecutor Marianne Ny changed her stance on the matter last year.
In August, Ecuadorian officials said they would allow Sweden to question the Australian in their embassy, and that a meeting could take place “in the coming weeks”.
Assange has told a new documentary due to be aired by Swedish public service broadcaster SVT on Wednesday evening however that he remains skeptical.
“Will she do it this time? I don’t know. But based on the experience of the last six years I’m extremely skeptical,” he said to SVT’s Uppdrag granskning.
He also denied the rape allegation against him and told the program he would not answer questions about his role in the case.
“You ask me to go into details on the matter. The right place to do that is in a formal statement to the Swedish prosecutor. She has avoided that for six years. I don’t think the right place is Swedish television,” he said.
According to newspaper Dagens Nyheter, the SVT documentary also features several pieces of evidence which suggest a US criminal investigation against Assange could be under way.
The first comes from Iceland’s former interior minister, Ögmundur Jonasson, who claims that FBI investigators visited him in 2012 regarding the WikiLeaks founder. The second is John Bellinger, a former advisor to George W. Bush, who says that an investigation against Assange is ongoing in the United States.
Chief prosecutor Ny will have a chance to release more information on developments in the Swedish case against Assange when she holds a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.