Swedish authorities say they are seeking “clarification” after WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange agreed to be interviewed by a Swedish prosecutor in London.
Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy since June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden, where prosecutors issued an arrest warrant after two women accused him of sexual assault in 2010.
“As soon as it becomes clear that there are no obstacles for the planned investigation, we will submit a request for legal assistance to British authorities to further continue the investigation,” Director of Public Prosecutions Marianne Ny said on Friday.
Ny said a request will also be sent to Ecuador for permission to conduct the interview at its embassy in London. It was not possible to say when the interview could be held, she added.
In an email sent to prosecutors on Thursday, Assange’s attorneys said he was willing to participate in a recorded interview and that he would give a new DNA sample after already providing one in 2010.
The Australian national “might wish to exercise his right to have legal representatives from relevant jurisdictions present during the interview,” they added.
Earlier proposals to interview Assange in London were rejected by prosecutors, who argued there was no value in questioning him there since a trial would most likely have to take place in Sweden.
Ny, however, said it was now necessary to conduct the interview as some of the crimes Assange is suspected of “will be subject to statute of limitation in August 2015.”
Ecuador granted Assange asylum after he said he feared extradition to the United States, where he is wanted in connection with WikiLeaks’ publication of top secret diplomatic cables.