Swedish prosecutors have offered to travel to London and interview WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange over sex assault allegations at the Ecuadoran embassy.
Prosecutors had previously sought Assange to be extradited to Sweden so they could question him about the allegations in Stockholm.
Assange claims that he is innocent of the alleged sexual assaults and that Sweden would extradite him to the US where he could be prosecuted for leaking state secrets through the WikiLeaks website.
The Wikileaks founder attempted to fight extradition to Sweden from the UK, but after losing his legal battle in 2010 he has been hiding in the Ecuadoran embassy since 2012.
Assange’s lawyers called the U-turn from Swedish authorities “a great victory”, and said that Assange “is willing to co-operate fully now in conducting this interrogation”
The lead Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny said that they extended the offer to Assange because the statute of limitations for some of the crimes her is alleged to have committed will expire in August. However, the rape allegations will not expire until 2020.
In a statement, Ny said:
“My view has always been that to perform an interview with him at the Ecuadorean embassy in London would lower the quality of the interview.
“Now that time is of the essence, I have viewed it therefore necessary to accept such deficiencies in the investigation and likewise take the risk that the interview does not move the case forward.”