WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange finally had a meeting with Swedish authorities this week over rape allegations in Sweden from 2010.
Assange, who has requested a meeting several times, was questioned by Swedish prosecutors twice this week at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.
“Mr. Assange, 45, has been wanted for questioning by Sweden since becoming the subject of rape allegations raised after he traveled to Stockholm in 2010,” writes The Washington Post.
“He’s adamantly denied the accusations, but has refused to travel to Sweden for fear that his arrival will inevitably lend to being extradited to the United States and charged in connection with WikiLeaks’ unauthorized publication of classified government documents.”
Assange has been detained at the Ecuadorian embassy since June 2012 when he was granted asylum by Pres. Rafael Correa a few months later. He hasn’t been able to leave the embassy due to his active arrest warrant in Stockholm.
The Swedish chief prosecutor Ingrid Isgren interviewed Assange through an Ecuadorian prosecutor and finished Tuesday.
“The interview with Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London has ended,” said Swedish Prosecution Authority in a statement. “As the investigation is ongoing, it is subject to confidentiality.”
Ecuador will be providing a report to Swedish authorities and they will decide if further investigation is needed.
Prior to the meeting, the Swedish Prosecution Authority released a statement on November 7.
“Ecuador has granted the Swedish request for legal assistance in criminal matters and the interview will be conducted by an Ecuadorian prosecutor. The Swedish assistant prosecutor, Chief Prosecutor Ingrid Isgren, and a Swedish police investigator have been allowed to be present at the interview. Providing Julian Assange gives his consent, a DNA sample will also be taken,” according to the statement.
Assange was eager to finally get the chance to talk to Swedish police.
“We have requested this interview repeatedly since 2010,” said Per Samuelsson, a lawyer for Assange to AFP. “Julian Assange has always wanted to tell his version to the Swedish police. He wants a chance to clear his name. We hope the investigation will be closed then.”
So will he eventually be let go?
Assange still has enemies including those in the U.S. government.
“The U.S. has never formally announced charges against Mr. Assange, but two of WikiLeaks’ sources – Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning and hacktivist Jeremy Hammond – are currently serving prison sentences for convictions related to their involvement with the antisecrecy website,” writes The Washington Post.
The recent WikiLeaks releases pertaining to the DNC had a tremendous impact on the election. The emails exposed Clinton and her team and assisted in Trump’s election.
With that in mind, there has been numerous calls to President-elect Trump to pardon the WikiLeaks founder when he is in the oval office.
Trump should really pardon Julian Assange. His forcing of transparency and fearlessness may have saved us from Clinton’s WWIII.
— Cassandra Fairbanks (@CassandraRules) November 9, 2016
There is even a change.org petition asking Trump to pardon Assange with almost 20,000 signatures currently.
The official Wikileaks account tweeted in response to all of the support: “Thanks to the many calling on Trump to pardon Assange. Yet all that is needed is for the DoJ to do the right thing.”
So will Trump pardon him? Trump has previously condemned the former Wikileaks source Edward Snowden for being a traitor. But, didn’t WikiLeaks help him win? Will he come to Assange’s aid because of that?
Editor’s note: I was never a fan of Wikileaks, but it does seem an array of “dark side” forces were instrumental bringing out substantial truths, that told the ugly truth about a popular candidate. We actually owe them a debt, and I believe Assange should be freed.