Sweden Requests Assange Interview in London Before Statute of Limitations Expires

Source: http://www.aklagare.se/In-English/Media/News-in-English1/The-prosecutor-requests-to-interview-Assange-in-London/

Prosecutor requests to interview Assange in London


Director of Public Prosecution Marianne Ny has today made a request to Julian Assange’s legal representatives whether Assange would consent to being interviewed in London and have his DNA taken via a swab.

If Assange gives his consent, the prosecutor will promptly submit a request for legal assistance to the British authorities to further continue the investigation. English law states that a person being interviewed within the regulation of international legal assistance in a criminal case must also provide his or her consent. A request will also be sent to the Ecuadorian authorities regarding permission to perform investigative measures at the country’s embassy in London.

The reason the prosecutor now decides to request permission to interview Julian Assange in London is chiefly that a number of the crimes Julian Assange is suspected of will be subject to statute of limitation in August 2015 i.e. in less than six months’ time.

The Supreme Court of England and Wales decided in June 2012 that Julian Assange should be surrendered to Sweden. He has prevented this submission by taking refuge at the Ecuadorian embassy, says Director of Public Prosecution Marianne Ny.

My view has always been that to perform an interview with him at the Ecuadorian embassy in London would lower the quality of the interview, and that he would need to be present in Sweden in any case should there be a trial in the future. This assessment remains unchanged. Now that time is of the essence, I have viewed it therefore necessary to accept such deficiencies to the investigation and likewise take the risk that the interview does not move the case forward, particularly as there are no other measures on offer without Assange being present in Sweden, says Marianne Ny.

In November 2014 the Svea Court of Appeal decided that Julian Assange should remain detained in his absence. The Court further viewed the investigation to be at a standstill and stated that the prosecutor had not fully fulfilled the duty the drive the investigation forward.

Over the past two months we have fully considered and deliberated upon the views made by the Court of Appeal regarding how best to move the investigation forward. This has resulted in the decision I have now taken, namely to try to get permission for an interview in London. As stated, it remains unclear what this may result in. However, I have now decided to try to carry out an interview as the statutory limitation nears, says Marianne Ny.

If Julian Assange provides consent to continue the investigation in London, this will be performed by the supporting prosecutor to the case, Chief Prosecutor Ingrid Isgren, together with a police officer.

I cannot comment further on the case at this point, not least when such an interview will take place nor other details, says Marianne Ny.

Julian Assange has appealed the Court of Appeal’s detention order to the Supreme Court, which recently requested the Prosecutor-General to submit an opinion concerning the Court’s subsequent dealing of the matter.