Ecuador moves Assange questioning to November

Julian Assange, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of WikiLeaks speaks via video link during a press conference on the occasion of the ten year anniversary celebration of WikiLeaks in Berlin, Germany, October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

QUITO (Reuters) - Ecuador has delayed until Nov. 14 its questioning of Julian Assange in a Swedish rape investigation, at the Wikileaks founder’s request, the prosecutor’s office of the Andean country said on Wednesday.

The questioning, led by an Ecuadorian prosecutor and originally scheduled for Monday, could help end a four-year-long deadlock since Assange took refuge in Ecuador’s London embassy.

“He made the request in a document, via the Ecuadorian ambassador in the United Kingdom, in which he sets out his reasons pertaining to protection guarantees and self-defense,” the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

Swedish chief prosecutor Ingrid Isgren and a police investigator will be allowed to be present to ask questions through the Ecuadorian prosecutor, who will later report the findings to Sweden, the European country’s prosecutors have previously said. Swedish authorities want to question Assange, 45, over allegations that he committed rape in 2010. Assange denies the allegations.

Reporting by Alexandra Valencia; Writing by Alexandra Ulmer; Editing by Clarence Fernandez