Assange can face justice in Sweden if given guarantee against US extradition – Ecuadorian FM

Julian Assange, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of WikiLeaks © Axel Schmidt
Ecuador sees no problem with Julian Assange facing justice in Sweden over an ongoing rape allegation, but insists on a guarantee that the WikiLeaks founder will not be extradited to the US.

"If we can obtain guarantees that Mr. Assange will not face extradition to the third country, I think it's fine for him to face Swedish justice – if there are charges, because are there still no charges," Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Guillaume Long said during an interview with a local radio station, as quoted by Reuters.

Assange fled to Ecuador's London embassy in 2012, after the country granted him asylum following his publishing of secret US diplomatic cables.

If he leaves the embassy, the WikiLeaks founder would most likely be extradited to Sweden to face an allegation of rape from 2010, and potentially further extradited to the US, where he could face life in prison for leaking US secrets.

Long's remarks came as prosecutors concluded a two-day interview with Assange at the embassy on Tuesday, as part of an inquiry to determine whether to charge him with the alleged sex crime.

The questions were asked by Ecuadorian prosecutors, in the presence of a Swedish prosecutor and a police investigator. A decision on a further possible investigation has not yet been made public.

Assange has not been indicted for the alleged sex crime and denies any wrongdoing.

Although officials said on Monday that they would seek a DNA sample from the WikiLeaks founder, it is unclear whether he gave his consent or provided a sample.