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Julian Assange to be questioned inside embassy as Ecuador agrees to set date

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Swedish prosecutors investigating rape allegation will meet WikiLeaks founder in London embassy

Julian Assange
Julian Assange
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Julian Assange will be questioned by Swedish prosecutors inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, in a possible breakthrough to end the impasse over his case.

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The Ecuadorian attorney general delivered a document agreeing to a request by the Swedish prosecutor to question the founder of WikiLeaks.

He is wanted for questioning over a rape allegation, which he denies. If he goes to Sweden he believes he will be taken to the US because of the activities of WikiLeaks.

Assange has been living inside the embassy for more than four years and has been granted political asylum by Ecuador.

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He has offered to be questioned inside the embassy but Swedish prosecutors have only recently agreed.

A statement issued in Ecuador said: "In the coming weeks a date will be established for the proceedings to be held at the embassy of Ecuador in the United Kingdom.

"For more than four years, the government of Ecuador has offered to cooperate in facilitating the questioning of Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, as well as proposing other political and legal measures, in order to reach a satisfactory solution for all parties involved in the legal case against Julian Assange, to end the unnecessary delays in the process and to ensure full and effective legal protection.

"In line with this position, Ecuador proposed to Sweden the negotiation of an agreement on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, which was signed last December and which provides the legal framework for the questioning."

The statement said the proceedings did not affect the recent opinion of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions of the United Nations, which found that Assange was being arbitrarily detained. The working group called for Assange to be released and given compensation for violation of his rights.

The Ecuador statement added: "Ecuador's foreign ministry reiterates its commitment to the asylum granted to Julian Assange in August 2012, and reaffirms that the protection afforded by the Ecuadorian state shall continue while the circumstances persist that led to the granting of asylum, namely fears of political persecution."

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