Swedish authorities request detention order against WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange

Last Updated: May 20 2019 19:00
Reading time: 1 min, 20 secs

On Monday, a Swedish prosecutor said that Swedish authorities issued a request for a detention order against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is now jailed in Britain.

Prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson says if the Swedish court decided to detain Assange “on probable cause suspected for rape ... I will issue a European Arrest Warrant.”

The development sets up a possible future tug-of-war between Sweden and the United States over any extradition of Assange from Britain.

Assange was evicted last month from the Ecuadorian Embassy where he had been holed up with political asylum since 2012. He was then immediately arrested by British police on April 11 and is currently serving a 50-week sentence in Britain for jumping bail in 2012.

On Monday, Persson that British authorities will decide any conflict between a European arrest warrant and US extradition request for Assange.

On May 13, Swedish prosecutors reopened a preliminary investigation against Assange, who visited Sweden in 2010, after two Swedish women said they were the victims of sex crimes committed by Assange.

According to the request for a detention order obtained by The Associated Press, Assange is wanted for “intentionally having carried out an intercourse” with an unnamed woman “by unduly exploiting that she was in a helpless state because of sleep.”

The request added there was “an aggravating circumstance” because Assange didn’t use a condom.

Persson said the day and time for the detention hearing regarding Assange at the Uppsala District Court north of Stockholm that will make the decision has not yet been decided.

“However, in my view, the Swedish case can proceed concurrently with the proceedings in the UK,” Persson said in a statement.