Swedish officials say they are optimistic about reaching agreement with Ecuador on legal assistance which could pave the way to questioning WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in London on outstanding accusations against him.
Last month, prosecutors dropped cases of sexual misconduct against the 44-year-old Australian, who has avoided extradition to Sweden by sheltering in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since 2012, but say they want to question him about accusations of rape made after his visit to the Scandinavian country five years ago.
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Justice Ministry spokeswoman Cecilia Riddselius said Tuesday talks between Swedish and Ecuadorean officials had been "very good, very constructive" and could lead to a general agreement on legal cooperation "in time for Christmas."
Assange denies all accusations against him and has welcomed being questioned at the London embassy.