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Assange to remain in Britain as Swedish court rejects extradition request

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange at Southwark Crown Court in London during an earlier appearance on 1 May 2019.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange at Southwark Crown Court in London during an earlier appearance on 1 May 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
2 min

A Swedish court has dismissed a request to detain Wikileaks founder Julian Assange over a 2010 rape case, although the court reiterated he is still considered a suspect.

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The Uppsala District Court ruled that Assange doesn’t need to be extradited to Sweden, but can be questioned by Swedish prosecutors in Britain, where he is currently serving an 11-month sentence.

Sweden’s Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Eva-Marie Persson is considering whether she will launch an appeal.

"I will also issue a European Investigation Order in order to interview Julian Assange," said Persson, although she did not give a date for when the questioning would take place.

Assange’s defence lawyer, Per E. Samuelsson said he was happy to learn his client would not be extradited to Sweden.

The Wikileaks founder was kicked out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on 11 April, where he had lived since he jumped bail in 2012, claiming political asylum.

He was immediately arrested outside the embassy and is serving a 50-week sentence for jumping bail seven years ago.

The United States is also requesting he be extradited to the US for violating the Espionage Act.

Assange was absent from court last week, reportedly because of poor health.

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