Swedish lawyers react to asylum decision

Prosecutor: "Regrettable"

Claes Borgström, the legal representative of the two Swedish women who have accused Julian Assange of rape and sexual molestation, says Ecuador's decision to grant the WikiLeaks founder asylum is "surprising and regrettable", reports Swedish Radio.

"It's extremely regrettable, I have to say. And surprising. It's hard to understand how he can be given political asylum when Sweden has been given the right to request he be extradited from the UK", said Borgström.

Borgström said he thinks Ecuador's decision is a mis-use of the asylum instrument, and that granting Assange asylum has shifted the focus away from the main issues.

"He doesn't risk being handed over to the United States for torture or the death penalty. He should be brought to justice in Sweden. This is completely absurd."

"What he has succeeded in doing in the past two years is to shift the focus away from what he is actually accused for, rape and sexual molestation, to something entirely different", he said.

Assange's legal representative Per E Samuelsson said that Swedish investigators should now travel to London to continue the police investigation.

"This means the prosectors will carry out the questioning at the Ecuadorian embassy in London", he told Swedish Radio.

The Swedish prosecution authorities say that as long as Assange is still on British soil, they will proceed with their investigation against Assange as planned.

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