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15 Nov, 2016 19:16

Assange may ask Trump to end probe

Lawyers for Julian Assange have said they may ask US President-elect Donald Trump to close the criminal investigation into the WikiLeaks co-founder, and hope that Sweden will soon close the probe into allegations of sexual assault.

The Obama administration launched a criminal investigation into WikiLeaks in 2010, following the publication of documents about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars provided by whistleblower Private Bradley Manning.

Sweden made a request for Assange’s extradition in November 2010, due to a criminal complaint filed by two women who accused him of sexual assault. Assange has denied all culpability.

He faces potential charges over consensual trysts with the two women, during a visit to Stockholm to give a public speech in August 2010. Initial accusations were dropped after the statute of limitations expired, but the rape charge is valid until 2020, and could result in a sentence of up to six years in prison.

Assange then sought asylum in Ecuador, and has been trapped at the country's embassy in London since June 2012. He finally spoke with Swedish investigators on Monday.

READ MORE: Assange ‘finally afforded opportunity’ to give statement to Sweden, complains of ‘irregularities’

“The results of the interview will later be reported from Ecuador to the Swedish prosecutors in a written statement. After this report, the prosecutors will take a view on the continuation of the investigation," the Swedish Prosecution Authority said in a statement.

Assange’s lawyers said they are hopeful that Sweden will close the case after the interview.