QUITO (Reuters) – Ecuador’s prosecutor said on Monday it does not see a quick way out for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been holed up in the country’s embassy in Britain for four years.
Swedish prosecutors earlier this month questioned Assange at the London embassy in an investigation into allegations that he committed rape in Sweden in 2010.
Ecuador must deliver a written version of the testimony to Swedish prosecutors and will do so in December, said Ecuador’s prosecutor, Galo Chiriboga.
Assange, who is Australian, fears deportation to Sweden and the United States, where he could be charged for the publication of hundreds of thousands of secret U.S. diplomatic cables.
“Four years have passed and we are only at this stage, but that is no longer attributable to Ecuador, it is attributable to Swedish prosecutors. I do not think there is a quick way out,” Chiriboga told reporters.
Assange, who has denied the rape charges on various occasions, is also wanted by British authorities for violating the conditions of his house arrest.
Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Guillaume Long said this month that Assange should receive guarantees that he will not be extradited if he faces justice in Sweden.
(Reporting by Alexandra Valencia in Quito; Writing by Girish Gupta; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)