Assange to be questioned at Ecuador embassy on sex crime charges

Swedish prosecutor Ingrid Isgren arrives at Ecuador’s embassy to interview Julian Assange in London on Monday. (Reuters)

A Swedish prosecutor arrived at Ecuador’s embassy in London on Monday to question WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange about allegations concerning possible sex crimes committed in Sweden six years ago.

Assange will be interviewed at the embassy where he sought refuge more than four years ago, Swedish officials said. He will be questioned by an Ecuadorean prosecutor in the presence of Swedish prosecutor Ingrid Isgren and a Swedish police investigator.

Prosecutors plan to ask Assange to consent to providing a DNA sample.

Swedish officials are seeking information related to allegations of serious sex crimes made by two Swedish women he met in 2010. He hasn’t been indicted.

Assange has denied the sex crime allegations and says he fears being extradited to the US because of his WikiLeaks work. It isn’t known if he faces a secret grand jury indictment in the US.

The sex crime allegations were made shortly after Assange and WikiLeaks became well known worldwide for releasing hundreds of thousands of pages of classified government documents.

One Swedish woman said Assange intentionally damaged a condom and pinned her down while having sex. A second woman said Assange had sex with her without a condom while she was asleep.

In Sweden, having sex with an unconscious, drunk or sleeping person can lead to a rape conviction punishable by up to six years in prison.

A Swedish investigation into the crimes was launched, then dropped for lack of evidence, and then started again as prosecutors sought to question Assange about possible molestation and rape.

By then Assange was in Britain, making it harder for Swedish prosecutors to question him. They sought an international arrest warrant for him that was issued in November 2010.

Assange surrendered to police in London and was freed on bail, receiving support from a wide range of celebrities including filmmakers Oliver Stone and Michael Moore.

He then moved into the Ecuadorean embassy in London in June 2012, putting him out of reach of British authorities.


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