There are signals from Ecuador suggesting that Swedish prosecutors soon might interview Wikileaks editor in chief Julian Assange, in the country’s embassy in London – where he has been taking refuge for some four years.
From the Swedish prosecutor’s office (where everyone important seems to be on summer retreat) there are only vague comments. There are reasons to believe that the Swedes are in no hurry to get this done and over with.
As the case has dragged out in time, there seems to be some confusion in medias reports. To refresh our memory…
The Swedish case about sexual misconduct against Assange is very thin. There are reasons to believe that the case will be dropped altogether as soon as an interview has been conducted.
Julian Assange has not been charged with any crime in Sweden. This is all about interviewing him. That process has dragged out for years, to the point where a UN human rights panel has raised protests.
Before leaving Sweden, Assange cooperated fully with Swedish authorities. Everybody was OK with him leaving Sweden for the UK. The entire case has already been dropped by Swedish prosecutors once – but re-opened by a prosecutor specialized in “development of sex crime charges”.
Assange does not want to go to Sweden, as he fears he will be extradited from there to the US and charged for e.g. the leaked embassy cables. (Chelsea Manning, the whistleblower who provided Wikileaks with this material has already been sentenced to 35 years in US prison.) The risk for extradition is, however, at least as substantial in the UK as in Sweden.
My speculation is that Sweden, the UK, and the US are rather satisfied having Julian Assange confined to the Ecuadorian embassy in London – where his actions are rather restricted. So, sadly I think this affair will drag out in time even more.