Friday, November 15News For London

Swedish authorities to question Julian Assange

Ecuador has agreed to allow Swedish authorities to visit Wikileaks founder Julian Assange at their embassy in London

 

Photo by Cancillería del Ecuador / CC BY

 

It is understood that Swedish authorities have been able to broker a deal with Ecuador, allowing them to visit the Ecuadorian embassy in London, to question Julian Assange.

Mr Assange, founder of Wikileaks, fled to the Ecuadorian embassy in London back in 2012.

Swedish authorities had wished to extradite Mr Assange, over allegations of sexual assault, dating back to 2010.

Mr Assange has denied the allegations, and also feared that extradition to Sweden would result in eventual extradition to the United States, where he believes he would be put on trial, for leaking sensitive US documents via Wikileaks.

This development comes after allegations of sexual molestation expired back in August. Swedish law dictates that suspects must be interviewed, before charges can actually be made.

Mr Assange still faces a more serious allegation of rape at present. This allegation will not expire until 2020, according to Swedish law.

Westminster World contacted those close to Mr Assange, including Gavin McFayden, Director of the Centre for Investigative Journalism in London, but no one was available for comment.

Important Anniversary

The previous week marked an important milestone for the Australian whistleblower. On 7th December, Mr Assange marked 5 years of effectively being on the run from the Swedish authorities.

It wasn’t until 2012 that Mr Assange decided to seek refuge at the Ecuadorian embassy, where he has remained ever since.

For a period of three years, Scotland Yard posted 24-hour police guards outside the embassy, to remand Mr Assange into custody, if he decided to leave.

Costly operation

This 24-hour police guard ended in October 2015. A project entitled Gov Waste alleges that this round-the-clock surveillance of Mr Assange cost the taxpayer £13m over the past 3 years.

Mr Assange’s stay at the Ecuadorian embassy has also allegedly had a profound impact on his own health.

In August, it was reported that Mr Assange was suffering a plethora of health conditions, owing to his reluctance to leave the embassy, for 3 consecutive years.

Wikileaks has been a prolific vehicle for whistleblowers to leak sensitive material online, since it was established in Iceland in 2006. To date, it has also published secret documents and cables

One of the most well-known Wikileaks revelations was the publishing of a video, entitled “Collateral Murder”, which Wikileaks claimed showed the alleged killing of Iraqi civilians and Reuters journalists, in a US airstrike, back in 2007.