And the Julian Assange saga goes on in west London’s Knightsbridge at the Ecuadorean Embassy where the WikiLeaks founder is holed up. Four years, £12.6m police surveillance costs, a UN ruling of unlawful detention and several balcony appearances later the Swedish chief prosecutor Ingrid Isgren has finally braved the press scrum to question Assange over allegations he sexually assaulted a woman in Stockholm in 2010.
The Australian has continued to protest his innocence saying consensual sex took place claiming the charges are politically motivated. He has expressed his fears of extradition to the US where he is unlikely to be welcomed with open arms after embarrassing data dumps masterminded by his whistleblowing organisation.
However, Assange still has his die-hard supporters with Baywatch’s Pamela Anderson also dropping in with a tray of delicacies for the Australian. Harrods’ food hall is quite handy, but it could turn out to be a foolhardy jaunt for nibbles when Scotland Yard is lurking around the corner and ready to pounce. But under no risk of imminent arrest is Assange’s recently acquired tabby who has the run of the diplomatic mission. It can be seen most days keeping an alert eye on the comings and goings at Hans Place and relaying messages to its master.
Ms Isgren and Swedish police inspector Cecilia Redell left the embassy at 13:30 local time (13:30 GMT) on Monday 14 November without making any statement to the media. There is speculation they may carry on questioning Mr Assange over several days. A statement released on behalf of the Swedish prosecutors, quoted by the Press Association, said the investigation would remain confidential. “Therefore, the prosecutors cannot provide information concerning details of the investigation after the interview,” it stated.
One of Mr Assange’s lawyers, Per Samuelson, said his client “is very happy that he finally will be given the opportunity to give his statement to the Swedish prosecution”.
“He has been waiting for this for over six years. He has prepared himself very carefully and will give a statement and will co-operate to the full extent.”
This is set to run and run.