Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 13 July 2014

Ecuador repeats Assange quiz offer

Julian Assange has been claiming refuge inside the Ecuadorian embassy since last summer

The Ecuadorian government has reiterated its offer to Swedish prosecutors to interview WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at its embassy in London following a "significant" speech by a senior Scandinavian judge.

Justice Stefan Lindskog defended the leaking of classified information, saying the case against the Australian was "a mess'', and raised questions over the legality of the United States being able to extradite Mr Assange via Sweden.

Mr Assange has been inside the Ecuadorian embassy since last summer after he voiced fears that if he went to Sweden to answer claims of sex offences by two women, he would be sent to the US.

Justice Lindskog, chairman of the Supreme Court of Sweden, said in a lecture in Adelaide, Australia, that what was classified under US law was probably not classified under Swedish law, and enemies to the US may not be enemies to Sweden.

Sources in Ecuador described the speech as "significant".

A spokesman for the Ecuadorian government said: "It is interesting that a senior official from the Swedish judicial system has acknowledged that they have the power to block onward extradition to the USA of Julian Assange.

" If such a guarantee was offered by both the Swedish and UK governments then we believe it would go a significant way to resolving the present situation.

"The Ecuadorian government reiterates its offer to the Swedish prosecutors to interview Mr Assange at the embassy in London."

Mr Assange was granted political asylum by the Ecuadorian government last year. He fears that if he goes to Sweden he will be at risk of extradition to the US to face conspiracy or other charges arising from WikiLeaks obtaining thousands of secret US military and diplomatic reports.

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