Sweden's highest court has rejected WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's request to have an arrest warrant for him scrapped, in an investigation into alleged sex crimes which has stretched over nearly five years.
On Monday, The Supreme Court in Stockholm said there is no reason for it to repeal the detention order for Assange while it is still investigating his alleged crimes.
Since 2010, prosecutors have sought to interrogate Assange over allegations of rape, sexual molestation and illegal coercion made by two women after his visit to Sweden that year, which he strenuously denies.
The Australian has been living in Ecuador’s embassy in London since 2012, after the country offered him political asylum. He fears that if he leaves and is extradited to Sweden, he would then be sent to the US where he is wanted for leaking 500,000 military files and 250,000 diplomatic cables online, covering the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and other sensitive subjects.
In March, Swedish prosecutors agreed to question Assange in London.
Assange's lawyers say he fears extradition to Sweden would merely be a first step in efforts to take him to the US.
It is not clear when the Swedish prosecutors will travel to London. They are still discussing practical details with Assange's defense lawyers, such as possible dates and who will be present for the interrogation, according to Karin Rosander, a spokeswoman for the Swedish Prosecution Authority.