The Swedish prosecutor on Monday asked a local court to issue a detention order for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in a rape case, Reuters reported. Assange, who has refuted the allegations against him, is currently in London where he was arrested in April after spending seven years inside the Ecuadorian embassy.
Assange was sentenced to 50 weeks in prison on May 1 for skipping bail in 2012 and seeking refuge in the embassy.
The WikiLeaks founder had skipped bail to avoid extradition to Sweden in connection with sexual assault allegations levelled by two women in 2010. The alleged incident had occurred at a WikiLeaks conference in Stockholm. Prosecutors stopped the investigation because of his absence but the lawyer for one of the women asked for the case to be reopened.
Deputy Chief Prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson said she would issue a European arrest warrant for Assange if the court approves her appeal. “I request the District Court to detain Assange in his absence, on probable cause suspected for rape,” Persson said.
Besides Sweden, the United States authorities have also sought his extradition for his role in a major classified information leak. A lawyer representing Australian national Assange said he will consult his client before responding to the plea. “Since he is in prison in England, it has so far not been possible even to speak to him by telephone,” Per Samuelson told Reuters.