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Second day of questions for Julian Assange in Swedish sex claims case

Published 15/11/2016

Julian Assange was said to have been
Julian Assange was said to have been "fully co-operative" during interviews on Monday

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will be interviewed for a second day inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London over a sex allegation.

Swedish officials will again be present while questions they have submitted are put to the Australian by a representative of the Ecuadorian government.

Sources said Mr Assange was "fully co-operative" during interviews on Monday.

The process could take three days, then the Swedish prosecutor will have to decide the next move.

Assistant prosecutor Ingrid Isgren and Swedish police inspector Cecilia Redell will again be present at the interview.

They have said a DNA sample will also be taken if Mr Assange gives his consent.

The results of the interview will be reported from Ecuador to Swedish prosecutors in a written statement, after which the prosecutors will take a view on the continuation of the investigation.

Ms Isgren will not give interviews during her stay in London, it was made clear.

"As the investigation is ongoing, it is subject to confidentiality. This confidentiality also applies according to Ecuadorian legislation for the investigative measures conducted at the embassy. Therefore, the prosecutors cannot provide information concerning details of the investigation after the interview," said a statement.

WikiLeaks said that after six years of offering his statement to Swedish authorities, Mr Assange has finally been given the opportunity to do so.

A statement continued: "There have been numerous irregularities in Sweden's preliminary investigation, which the UN has described as 'excessive and unnecessary'.

"Sweden's failure to progress the preliminary investigation until now has resulted in a gross breach of Mr Assange's right to be presumed innocent and has fatally harmed his ability to meaningfully defend himself.

"Unfortunately, the irregularities with procedure have continued. Mr Assange's Swedish counsel, Per Samuelson, was not notified or summoned to attend the procedure by the relevant prosecution authorities, despite the fact that the process concerns a preliminary investigation in Sweden under Swedish law in the presence of a Swedish prosecutor.

"Mr Assange's Swedish defence counsel had travelled to London in the hope of being able to attend. In spite of the fact that Mr Assange's Ecuadorian counsel, Carlos Poveda Moreno, raised concern that Mr Samuelson was not present at the start of the procedure, the authorities in charge proceeded anyway.

"This clear breach of process did not stop Mr Assange co-operating fully. Mr Assange felt compelled to participate even with these problems.

"For the first time since August 2010, Mr Assange was finally able to give his statement in relation to this allegation. He has done so in part to ensure the Swedish authorities have no further excuse not to discontinue their preliminary investigation.

"In the presence of Swedish prosecutors, but without his Swedish defence counsel, he offered his full co-operation throughout the process.

"These irregularities will be raised in a formal setting in the near future."

Mr Assange has always denied the sex allegation.

He has been living in the embassy for over four years and has been granted political asylum by Ecuador.

He believes that if he leaves the embassy he will be extradited to the US for questioning over the activities of WikiLeaks.

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