Julian AssangeTM to meet investigators in London
Ecuador and Sweden do a deal allowing embassy visit
Couch-surfing sex crimes suspect Julian Assange will soon meet with Swedish authorities.
In case you came in late, Assange has spent most of the last four years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. He's there because Sweden wants a word over an investigation into possible sex crimes, but Assange fears if he sets foot in Sweden he'll be extradited to the United States, which is keen to throw the book at him and lock away the key (pardon the mixed metaphors) over his role in leaking secret documents.
Assange has long argued that Swedish police should just hop on a plane, endure the horrors of Heathrow and drop in for a congenial chat over a cup of tea. The reasons why that hasn't happened are unclear. But there have been some diplomatic chats between Sweden and Ecuador about the idea.
Those discussions seem to have borne fruit because Ecuador's Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Movilidad Humana (foreign ministry) has posted a statement in which it says Ecuador's “... Attorney General's Office notified the Prosecutor of the Kingdom of Sweden for its willingness to process the interrogation of Julian Assange at the Embassy of Ecuador in London.”
We've shoved that through an online translate-o-tronic, in case it reads weird.
The statement continues:
According to the note sent by Ecuadorian prosecutor, in the coming weeks the date of conclusion of the proceedings at the Embassy of Ecuador to the United Kingdom will be agreed, referring to the legal case opened in Sweden against Julian Assange.
For more than four years, the Government of Ecuador has offered cooperation to effectuate the interrogation of Julian Assange on the premises of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, among other legal and political order to reach a satisfactory solution for all parties to end to unnecessary delays in the process and ensure effective judicial protection. Consistent with this position, the proposed Ecuador to Sweden negotiating an Agreement on Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, which was signed last December and provides the legal framework for the practice of judicial proceedings required.
In addition, the Foreign Ministry of Ecuador considers that the procedures to be followed, under the Mutual Legal Assistance Agreement, do not affect the conclusions and recommendations issued by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions of the United Nations (opinion 54/2015) which states that Julian Assange is in a situation of arbitrary detention.
There's no word on when a meeting will take place.
Assange continues to argue for his release, claiming he is arbitrarily detained and that under United Nations regulations should be freed.
WikiLeaks continues to function, although it has recently attracted criticism for exposing the details of ordinary citizens, including Turks likely to face persecution, and by doing so diverging from its stated aim of exposing government malfeasance. ®