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Friday, September 16, 2016, 17:38

Assange detention order upheld

By Associated Press

Assange detention order upheld
In this Feb 5, 2016, file photo, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange stands on the balcony of the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. (AP Photo / Frank Augstein, File)

STOCKHOLM — A Swedish appeals court on Friday upheld a detention order for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is wanted by prosecutors in a rape investigation.

The decision by the Svea Court of Appeal means that the arrest warrant stands for the 45-year-old Australian, who has avoided extradition to Sweden by seeking shelter at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012.

Assange, who denies the rape allegation, has challenged the detention order several times. It was not immediately clear whether he would appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.

Upholding a lower court ruling, the appeals court said Swedish prosecutors are actively trying to move the investigation forward and set up an interrogation of Assange at the embassy. Acting on behalf of Swedish investigators, an Ecuadorian prosecutor is set to question Assange on Oct. 17.

"This means that there is at present no reason to set aside the detention order. Julian Assange's claim to that effect shall therefore be refused," the court said.

The rape allegation stems from Assange's visit to Sweden in 2010.

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