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Ecuador criticises Sweden over Assange

Ecuador criticises Sweden over Assange

Ecuador has criticised Swedish prosecutors for wasting time after they agreed to interview Julian Assange.

Ecuador has criticised Swedishprosecutors for wasting time and money after they agreed tointerview Julian Assange in the South American country's Londonembassy.

Prosecutor Marianne Ny on Friday performed an about-face byasking Assange to consent to being interviewed inside thediplomatic mission over allegations he sexually assaulted two womenin Sweden in 2010.

'If they had accepted Ecuador's offer to question him (at theembassy) 1000 days ago it would have saved us all a lot of moneyand trouble,' Ecuador's's Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino wrote onTwitter.

'On Monday, Assange will mark 1000 days inside our embassy inLondon.

'From the first day we have offered to let (prosecutors)question him and they didn't do it.'

Ms Ny on Friday said she was now prepared for Assange to bequizzed in the embassy because the statute of limitations on someof the alleged crimes would become effective in August.

The Australian hasn't been charged but he faces allegations ofrape, sexual molestation and illegal coercion.

The latter two allegations expire after five years while rapeexpires after 10 years under the statute of limitations.

Assange supporter John Pilger on Friday described the Swedishprosecutor's offer as 'demonstrably cynical'.

'In finally agreeing to come to London ... she has waited untiljust before Sweden's statute of limitations nullifies herthreadbare case against him,' the Australian-born campaigningjournalist said.

'She has never had a shred of evidence to charge him with anycrime. Her behaviour is scandalous.'

Friday's move came after Assange appealed his 2010 detentionorder to Sweden's Supreme Court which earlier this week asked theprosecutor-general to issue an opinion.

Assange's Swedish lawyer, Per Samuelson, believes Anders Perklevthen ordered Assange be interviewed in London.

'I'm convinced the prosecutor-general after that (court ruling)called Marianne Ny and ordered her to restart thepre-investigation,' Mr Samuelson told AAP.

'I don't believe the other version she has given because why didshe wait so long?

'There's no reason of talk about the statute of limitations nowit has always been there.'

After losing a UK legal battle against extradition Assangeentered Ecuador's diplomatic mission in June 2012 and was grantedpolitical asylum two months later.

The 43-year-old fears if he goes to Sweden he'll be extraditedto the United States and charged over WikiLeaks' release ofclassified documents.



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