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Assange denied request to attend friend's funeral

Published fredag 28 oktober 2016 kl 13.37
Assange lawyer: Authorities being harsh
(2:19 min)
Assange has been in the Ecuadorian embassy since 2012. Photo: Markus Schreiber/AP
Credit: Markus Schreiber/AP

Swedish authorities have denied Wikileaks founder Julian Assange a request to leave the Ecuadorian embassy to attend a funeral without being detained.

The Swedish Prosecution Authority said it received the request on Thursday afternoon and it was denied on Friday.

A spokesman told Radio Sweden Assange is detained in his absence and it was not possible to be granted leave from detention according to Swedish law.

However, Assange’s lawyer Per E. Samuelsson told Radio Sweden he thought it was possible for a prosecutor to grant someone leave.

“I think it’s inhumane towards Julian Assange,” he said. “There is a possibility for the prosecutor to show humanity but they didn’t seize that opportunity. I’m sad to say that I think they are treating Julian Assange way too harsh.”

He said he had appealed the decision to the Prosecutor General on Friday and was awaiting an answer later in the day ahead of the funeral on Monday, which Samuelsson said was for a close friend of Assange’s in London who was an investigative journalist and a member of Wikileaks.

Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy for four years in order to avoid extradition to Sweden to face questioning about accusations of sexual offences made by two women in 2010.

In August of last year, three of the offences he was suspected of passed the statute of limitations. However, he can still be questioned about the allegation of rape.

He is set to be questioned by Swedish prosecutors on that charge on 14 November inside the Ecuadorian embassy, but only through an Ecuadorian prosecutor.

Wikileaks has caused a stir in the US in recent weeks due to the release of emails from a senior staff member of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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