Julian Assange pictured in 2010.
Julian Assange pictured in 2010. Supplied

Swedish prosecutors given permission to interview Assange

SWEDISH prosecutors have been granted permission to interview WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange over allegations he raped a woman in 2010.

Assange has been staying inside the Ecuador embassy in London since 2012 to protect himself from being extradited to Sweden over an arrest warrant issued based on the allegations.

He has not been charged but is wanted for questioning over the rape allegations, which date back to an incident in 2010.

After months of requests from Swedish authorities to interview Assange, Ecuador granted permission on August 8 to prosecutors to conduct an interview.

The Swedish Prosecution Authority said a renewed request for an interview was first submitted in March after initial requests earlier in the year.

In a statement on its website, the authority said Ecuador first responded this week. 

Assange still risks extradition if he leaves the embassy.

Stockholm City Court decided on May 25 that an arrest warrant for Assange should remain active.

The court's opinion was that his presence in the Ecuadorian embassy, where he has remained for the past four years, was not equivalent to custody.

The SPA said Assange appealed the court's decision on August 9, one day after Ecuador granted permission for him to be interviewed at the embassy.

Assange, an Australian citizen, denies the rape allegations. 

He founded WikiLeaks in 2006. The organisation has since been instrumental in some of the largest leaks of classified or restricted documents of the past decade. 

By its own count, WikiLeaks has now released more than 10 million restricted documents and related analyses in the decade since it was founded. 

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