Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Sweden spurns offer to quiz Assange

Ecuador's president Rafael Correa and the mother of Julian Assange, Christine Assange, meet in Quito, Ecuador (AP/Martin Jaramillo)

Ecuador's foreign minister said Swedish officials have refused to accept his country's offer to let them question WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Ricardo Patino said Sweden declined the offer to question Mr Assange in person or via video conference at Ecuador's embassy in London.

Mr Assange, 41, took refuge in the embassy on June 19 to avoid extradition to Sweden to face questioning for alleged sexual misconduct.

He claims the accusations are a pretext to extradite him to the United States, which he claims wants to prosecute him for publishing secret US documents.

Ecuador has said it will not announce a decision on Mr Assange's asylum request until after the Olympics.

Mr Assange's mother Christine met Ecuador's president Rafael Correa in the capital Quito on Wednesday.