Swedish prosecutors file request to detain Julian Assange over rape claim

Swedish prosecutors have submitted an application for a detention order against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Deputy director of public prosecution Eva-Marie Persson asked Uppsala District Court to detain Assange in his absence.

He is serving a 50-week sentence in Belmarsh Prison in London for bail violations.

Assange was dragged out of the Ecuadorian embassy last month after living there for almost seven years.

Swedish prosecutors are reopening an investigation into a rape allegation against Assange, which he denies.

“I request the District Court to detain Assange in his absence, on probable cause suspected for rape.

“If the court decides to detain him, I will issue a European Arrest Warrant concerning surrender to Sweden”, said Ms Persson

Assange is also facing extradition proceedings by the United States.

Ms Persson added: “In the event of a conflict between a European Arrest Warrant and a request for extradition from the US, UK authorities will decide on the order of priority.

“The outcome of this process is impossible to predict. However, in my view the Swedish case can proceed concurrently with the proceedings in the UK.”

WikiLeaks said Assange’s property from his time living in the embassy, including electronic equipment and legal documents, is being removed on Monday and “handed over” to the US.

WikiLeaks said United Nations officials and Assange’s lawyers were not being allowed to be present.

Lawyers said it was an illegal seizure of property, which has been requested by the US authorities.

The material is said to include two of Assange’s manuscripts.

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