Julian Assange has no “quick way out” of the Embassy of Ecuador after his November 14 interrogation, according to Ecuadorean prosecutors. The Ecuadorean state attorney was accompanied by a Swedish prosecutor who interviewed the WikiLeaks founder over claims that he sexually assaulted two women in 2010, according to The Guardian. Ecuador’s prosecutor, Galo Chiriboga said Ecuadorean officials would send the official November 14 transcripts of Assange’s evidence to Swedish authorities “in mid-December,” according to The Guardian.
“Four years have passed and we are only at this stage, but that is no longer attributable to Ecuador, it is attributable to Swedish prosecutors. I do not think there is a quick way out.”
Chiriboga told reporters that British police obtained a DNA sampled from Assange which could potentially be shipped to Sweden as prosecutors continue their investigation into the rape allegations, according to the Washington Times.
“Mr. Assange presented a document stating that he had already handed over the DNA sample to the British police… Therefore Sweden will now have to request that DNA sample from the British police.”
Julian, 45, has lived inside the embassy since 2012, where he was granted political asylum by Ecuadorean President, Rafael Correa. The meeting was more than six years in the making. According to The Guardian, Julian’s lawyer, Per Samuelsson, said they had requested an interview with Assange since 2010.
“We have requested this interview repeatedly since 2010… Julian Assange has always wanted to tell his version to the Swedish police. He wants a chance to clear his name. We hope the investigation will be closed then.”
Assange, who is Australian, has said he fears deportation to Sweden and the United States, where he could be charged for the publication of hundreds of thousands of secret U.S. diplomatic cables.
According to the The Wall Street Journal, Julian also believes if he is extradited to Sweden he will then be extradited to the U.S., where he could face espionage charges due to leaking thousands of classified documents on the WikiLeaks website.
Julian Assange: Ecuador says no 'quick way out' of embassy impasse https://t.co/IUkJ0tvPwY— The Guardian (@guardian) November 29, 2016
Previous charges against the WikiLeaks editor and publisher were dropped because prosecutors ran out of time. Swedish prosecutors had five years to bring up rape charges, per the Daily Mail. Although Assange has denied all sexual assault allegations, Swedish authorities proceeded with an interview.
Allegations Made Against Julian Assange:
The Swedish government seeks Julian’s extradition for alleged sexual assault against two women in 2010. That same year, the Swedish Prosecutor’s Office issued an arrest warrant for Assange. There are two separate allegations — one of rape and one of molestation, according to BBC. The most serious potential charge of rape against Assange does not expire until August 2020.
Julian Assange to be questioned about rape claim at Ecuador embassy https://t.co/yiriw88HoH— TIME (@TIME) November 7, 2016
Even if the rape allegation is dropped, British police could still arrest Julian for violating the terms of his bail agreement when he sought asylum at the Ecuadorean embassy in London.
District Judge Riddle stated the severity of the case, according to the Independent.
“This case is not, on the face of it, about WikiLeaks. It is an allegation in another European country of serious sexual offenses alleged to have occurred on three separate occasions and involving two separate victims. These are extremely serious allegations. From that, it seems to me that if these allegations are true, then no one could argue the defendant should be granted bail… If they are false, he suffers a great injustice if he is remanded in custody. At this stage in these proceedings, the nature and strength of the allegations are not known.”
Following WikiLeaks’ publication of hacked Clinton emails, the Ecuadorian government declared that Ecuador “does not meddle in electoral campaigns nor support any candidate in particular” and announced that Assange’s internet access at the embassy would be “temporarily restricted,” per The Washington Post.
Where Is Julian Assange?
Claims that Assange had died heightened on November 24 when WikiLeaks tweeted that they could not prove Julian Assange was alive contrary to running a poll asking for the best way to prove Assange is alive, according to Express.
The tweet that stunned many said the only person who could prove the WikiLeaks founder was still alive was the President of the Republic of Ecuador, Rafael Correa.
“Please stop asking us for ‘proof of life’. We do not control Assange’s physical environment or internet connection. @MashiRafael does.”
Since the WikiLeaks tweet, a one-hour audio interview of Julian Assange was uploaded to YouTube. The live interview took place during the Free Connected Minds conference at the Phoenicia Hotel in Beirut.
[Featured Image by Oli Scarff/Getty Images]