WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was questioned by prosecutors at the Ecuadorian embassy in London on Monday over rape allegations against him.
Assange was granted asylum by Ecuador and has been residing at the Ecuadorean embassy in London since June 2012. The WikiLeaks founder was accused of rape in 2010 by two Swedish women and is wanted by Swedish authorities for questioning. Assange has denied all the allegations, claiming that they were politically-motivated.
Swedish prosecutor Ingrid Isgren was reportedly present at the embassy when Assange was being questioned by the Ecuadorian prosecutor. The questioning is expected to last several days, according to Assange's lawyer Per Samuelsson.
"I am very hopeful. Objectively, there is no doubt that everything happened as Assange said it did," Samuelsson said.
The WikiLeaks founder has repeatedly said that he met the two women, who have accused him of rape, on a trip to Sweden and his sexual encounters with them were consensual.
Assange has sought asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy as he fears that if he is sent to Sweden to face trial, he will be extradited to the United States for publishing thousands of classified US documents through his website WikiLeaks. If extradited to the US, he could face a long prison sentence or even death penalty.
The Swedish prosecutors had dropped the sexual assault probe against him last year after the statute of limitations of the case had expired. However, the authorities still want to interrogate him in the 2010 rape allegation against him. The statute of limitations for the rape probe is 10 years.
Ecuador last month had temporarily cut off Julian Assange's internet access at the embassy in London. The country said that it took the steps citing fears that Assange was using internet to tamper with the US presidential elections.
Assange's whistleblowing website, earlier this year, had released leaked emails of the US Democratic National Committee (DNC) right before the party's convention in July. The website also recently released a cache of emails from Hillary Clinton campaign adviser John Podesta's accounts.
Soon after Republican Donald Trump's US election win, a petition was launched by his supporters calling Trump to pardon Assange by "absolving him of any crimes alleged against him," referring to the release of confidential military documents of the US government.