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    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange makes a speech from the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy, in central London, Britain in this February 5, 2016.

    Ecuador Prosecutor: No 'Quick Way Out' for Assange Amid Legal Delays

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    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has no "quick way out" of the Ecuadorian embassy in London, despite recently giving evidence to Swedish officials over rape claims, Ecuador’s prosecutor has said.

    After living in the embassy for four years, Assange was finally questioned earlier this month by a Swedish state prosecutor over allegations he had committed rape in Sweden in 2010.

    The protracted process of actually interviewing and taking evidence from Assange has led to a series of allegations from all parties involved, with Ecuadorian officials blaming Stockholm for the delay in the process.

    ​"Four years have passed and we are only at this stage, but that is no longer attributable to Ecuador, it is attributable to Swedish prosecutors. I do not think there is a quick way out," said Ecuador's prosecutor Galo Chiriboga.

    ​Chiriboga said Ecuadorian officials would send the official transcript of Assange's evidence to Swedish authorities by the middle of next month, noting that a DNA sample had been taken by British police, which could be used in Sweden's investigation of the WikiLeaks founder.

    "Therefore Sweden will now have to request that DNA sample from the British police," the prosecutor said.

    Calls for Extradition Assurances

    Australian citizen Assange has previously refused to travel to Sweden for questioning over the allegations, raising concerns that if he travelled to Sweden he could then be extradited to the US, where he could face charges over WikiLeaks' publication of hundreds of thousands of secret US diplomatic cables.

    Julian Assange, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of WikiLeaks speaks via video link during a press conference on the occasion of the ten year anniversary celebration of WikiLeaks in Berlin, Germany, October 4, 2016.
    © REUTERS / Axel Schmidt
    Julian Assange, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of WikiLeaks speaks via video link during a press conference on the occasion of the ten year anniversary celebration of WikiLeaks in Berlin, Germany, October 4, 2016.

    Assange has denied the rape allegations and has not been charged by Swedish officials. He is also wanted by British authorities for violating the conditions of his house arrest, which he broke when he entered the Ecuadorian embassy in 2012.

    ​Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Guillaume Long has called for Assange to be granted guarantees that he won't be extradited if he travels to Sweden for questioning, while Donald Trump's election win in the US has led to some speculation that Assange could be given some sort of assurance that he won't be pursued by Washington.

    Despite these rumors, no US officials or Trump spokespeople have made any comments regarding Assange and possible extradition assurances.

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    Tags:
    political asylum, investigations, data leaks, sexual assault, WikiLeaks, Galo Chiriboga, Donald Trump, Julian Assange, Sweden, Europe, United States, United Kingdom, Ecuador
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