Swedish officials said they are optimistic about reaching an agreement with Ecuador on legal assistance which could pave the way to questioning WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in London on outstanding accusations against him.
Last month, prosecutors dropped cases of alleged sexual misconduct against the 44-year-old Australian, who has avoided extradition to Sweden by sheltering in Ecuador’s embassy in London since 2012.
But they say they want to question him about accusations of rape made after his visit to the Scandinavian country five years ago.
Justice ministry spokeswoman Cecilia Riddselius said talks between Swedish officials and their counterparts in Ecuador had been “very good, very constructive” and could lead to a general agreement on legal cooperation “in time for Christmas”.
Assange denies all accusations against him and has welcomed being questioned at the London embassy.