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Swedish court rejects request to detain Assange in rape case

Fredrik Sandberg, AFP | Deputy prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson (R) at the Julian Assange case hearing in the Uppsala District Court on June 3, 2019.

A Swedish court on Monday rejected a request to detain Julian Assange over a 2010 rape case, dashing the prosecutor's hopes of having him swiftly extradited from Britain.

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The Uppsala district court said that while it considered the WikiLeaks founder "a suspect" in the case, the fact that Assange was currently in prison in Britain meant he does not need to be formally detained in Sweden to be questioned by Swedish prosecutors.

The ruling however doesn't mean a preliminary investigation in Sweden should be abandoned, only that Assange wouldn't be extradited and could be questioned in Britain.

Last month, the 47-year-old Assange was evicted from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London 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.

He is also fighting extradition to the US, which accuses him of publishing secret documents.

(FRANCE 24 with AP and AFP)

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