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Sweden sets date for Assange hearing

Stockholm -

A Swedish court will consider whether an arrest warrant for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should be repealed at a hearing on July 16, court officials said on Friday.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. File picture: Lefteris Pitarakis. Credit: Associated Press

Assange's Swedish defence attorneys requested that the Stockholm District Court repeal a November 2010 arrest warrant it issued after a Swedish prosecutor cited the need to question Assange about the alleged sexual assault of two women in August 2010.

The Australian national denies the allegations.

Assange's defence team wants the court to repeal the warrant on grounds that the prosecutor failed to act in a timely manner in the case.

Earlier this week, the prosecution rejected claims it was not moving fast enough and that a proposal to interview Assange at the embassy would not be “effective,” since a trial would still have to take place in Sweden if charges are brought.

A court official told dpa on Friday that Assange's defence team can comment on the prosecution's response prior to the pending hearing.

Assange has spent the past two years at the embassy of Ecuador.

The South American country granted him asylum as he fears extradition to the United States over the leaks of classified government documents. - Sapa-dpa

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