MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Ecuador will reply in the coming weeks to the Swedish prosecutors' request to interview WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who today marked his third year in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, the country's foreign minister, Ricardo Patino, said Friday.
The Swedish prosecutors made their request as the statute of limitations for unlawful coercion, of which the Wikileaks' founder stands accused, is running out. Under Swedish law, prosecutors have five years to bring a case of coercion.
"We will not delay with the reply for three years as they [Sweden] did [in delaying the request]. Of course, we will not go running to tell them 'Yes, without any conditions.' We will agree [to host the interview] on conditions of respect to Ecuadorian jurisdiction, to the sovereignty of our country and the decision of the government to offer diplomatic asylum to Julian Assange," Patino was quoted by the national Andes news agency as saying.
In 2010, Swedish authorities accused, but did not charge, Assange of unlawful coercion and rape. Since 2012, the whistleblower has been residing at Ecuador's embassy in London, to avoid extradition to the United States, where he faces espionage charges for leaking classified US documents.
In 2006, Assange, an Australian national, launched the WikiLeaks website, which gained prominence for publishing thousands of classified documents from countries across the world, most notably the United States.