“This is something we’ve demanded for over four years,” Samuelson told AP. “Julian Assange wants to be interviewed so he can be exonerated.”
In response to the developments on Friday, independent journalist and filmmaker John Pilger, speaking on behalf of the Julian Assange Legal Defense Fund, released the following statement:
I have closely followed the Julian Assange case from the beginning. The Swedish prosecutor’s move is demonstrably cynical. In finally agreeing to come to London to interview Assange – something Assange and his legal team have been asking her to do for more than four years – she has waited until just before Sweden’s statute of limitations nullifies her patently threadbare case against him and kept Assange trapped in the UK while the US continues to pursue its unprecedented espionage case against Assange and WikiLeaks. She has wasted four and a half years of Assange’s life — against whom she has never produced a shred of evidence with which to formally charge him with any crime. Moreover, she is directly responsible for wasting millions of pounds of British taxpayers’ money that have been spent on the policing of the Ecuadorean embassy in London. Her behaviour is scandalous.
According to the Guardian:
Assange has been wanted in Sweden since the accusations were made against him in August 2010. The British Foreign Office said in November it would welcome a request by the Swedish prosecutor to question Assange inside the Ecuadorian embassy. Ecuador’s government has also repeatedly stated that it approves of such a step.
Assange’s lawyers, who are appealing against his arrest warrant in Sweden’s highest court, have complained bitterly about the prosecutor’s refusal to travel to London to speak to him – an essential step under Swedish jurisprudence to establish whether Assange can be formally charged.
Ny’s refusal, they say, has condemned Assange to severe limitations on his freedom that are disproportionate to the accusations against him.
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Ny has argued that interrogating Assange abroad would be complicated and have little point because he would still have to travel to Sweden for trial, should sufficient grounds emerge. However, she is obliged to drop the case against him unless she believes there are “reasonable grounds” for suspicion of his guilt.