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Sunday 18 August 2019

Sweden will not seek Assange’s detention, court rules

He is also fighting extradition to the United States, which accuses him of publishing secret documents.

Julian Assange after leaving the Ecuadorian Embassy (Victoria Jones/PA)
Julian Assange after leaving the Ecuadorian Embassy (Victoria Jones/PA)

By Associated Press Reporters

A Swedish court has ruled that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, currently in jail in the UK and suspected of rape in Sweden, should not be detained in absentia.

Monday’s ruling by the Uppsala District Court does not mean a preliminary investigation in Sweden should be abandoned, only that Assange would not be extradited and could be questioned in Britain.

Eva-Marie Persson, Sweden’s deputy director of public prosecutions, said she has not decided whether to appeal against the decision.

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Prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson (Fredrik Sandberg/TT News Agency/AP)

“I will also issue a European Investigation Order in order to interview Julian Assange,” Ms Persson said, adding that she has not picked a possible date for the questioning in England.

Assange’s lawyer in Sweden, Per E Samuelsson, said his client would “be happy, we are happy” to learn he will not be extradited to Sweden.

The 47-year-old was evicted on April 11 from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he had been residing with political asylum since 2012.

He was immediately arrested by British police and is currently serving a 50-week sentence for jumping bail in 2012.

He is also fighting extradition to the United States, which accuses him of violating the Espionage Act by publishing secret documents hacked from the Pentagon containing the names of confidential military and diplomatic sources.

Last week, Assange missed a court session in the UK, reportedly due to health problems.

PA Media

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