January 13, 2016 / 11:35 AM / 2 years ago

Sweden asks to question Assange, waits for Ecuador answer

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Swedish prosecutors have requested permission to question Wikileaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorean embassy in London over rape allegations and are waiting for a response, the Prosecution Authority said on Wednesday.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange gestures during a news conference at the Ecuadorian embassy in central London August 18, 2014. REUTERS/John Stillwell/pool

“It is not possible to estimate when we will receive an answer,” the prosecution authority said in a statement. It said the request was submitted recently, but did not specify when.

Questioning will be carried out by Chief District Prosecutor Ingrid Isgren and a police investigator.

Assange, 44, took refuge in Ecuador’s embassy in London in June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over allegations, which he denies, that he committed rape in 2010.

Assange says he fears Sweden will extradite him to the United States, where he could be put on trial over WikiLeaks’ publication of classified military and diplomatic documents, one of the largest information leaks in U.S. history.

Last month, Ecuador and Sweden signed a pact after half a year of negotiations that would allow Assange to be questioned.

Reporting by Simon Johnson; Editing by Dominic Evans

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