Swedish prosecutors have been accused of “victimising” Julian Assange after it was revealed they had interviewed 44 people in the UK but were refusing to question the WikiLeaks founder in the London embassy where he is living.
Supporters said Assange was being “singled out” after he agreed to be interviewed inside the Ecuador embassy over sex assault allegations in Sweden, claims which he denies.
The Australian has been granted political asylum by Ecuador but fears that if he goes to Sweden he will be taken to the US for questioning about the activities of WikiLeaks.
A Freedom of Information request by the Hazel Press news organisation revealed that Sweden has been granted 44 requests to interview a witness or suspect in the UK since 2010.
Jen Robinson, a member of the Assange legal team, said important questions were now being raised.
She said: “First, they refused to take his testimony while he remained in Sweden.
“Then they refused to hear it in the UK, saying it was illegal to come here.
“Five years later, after being rebuked by their own courts, they say they’ll consider it.
“Now we find out that not only was it standard practice all along, but that 44 other people in the UK were interviewed by Sweden during this same time period.”
British human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said: “Julian Assange has been in various forms of detention for five years, without ever having been charged with any offence
“ This amounts to pre-trial punishment and is a gross abuse of his human rights and the legal system.”
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