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Assange to Face Questioning Over Rape Allegation

  • VOA News

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange participates via video link at a news conference marking the 10th anniversary of the secrecy-spilling group in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016. Assange said that WikiLeaks plans to start a series of publications thi

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange participates via video link at a news conference marking the 10th anniversary of the secrecy-spilling group in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016. Assange said that WikiLeaks plans to start a series of publications thi

Swedish law enforcement officials will interview WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange about rape accusations on November 14 at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he has been holed up since 2012.

"Ecuador has granted the Swedish request for legal assistance in criminal matters and the hearing will be conducted by an Ecuadorian prosecutor," according to a statement released by Sweden’s public prosecutor's office Monday. "A DNA sample will also be taken, provided that Julian Assange agrees to it," the statement continued.

The 45-year-old Australian was accused of rape and sexual assault in Sweden on 2010. He has resisted traveling to Sweden because he says authorities may extradite him to the United States, where he faces questions about the leak of more than 500,000 secret files about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Assange’s lawyer welcomed the interview.

“We have requested this interview repeatedly since 2010,” said Per Samuelsson. “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.”

Last year, Swedish officials dropped a sexual assault case against Assange after a five-year statute of limitations expired. They still want to ask him about a 2010 rape allegation, which carries a 10-year statute of limitation.

Assange has maintained both sexual encounters were consensual.

WikiLeaks has made international news in recent months by leaking tens of thousands of hacked emails from the U.S. Democratic Party as well as from staff members from presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

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