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Julian Assange questioned by prosecutors over rape allegations

The WikiLeaks founder, holed up at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, meets with Swedish officials.

Julian Assange's cat makes an appearance Monday.
Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

Swedish authorities on Monday came face to face with Julian Assange, six years after issuing an arrest warrant for him.

The meeting took place at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, has been living in asylum since 2012. The Australian native is wanted in Sweden on an allegation of rape, but he fears that officials there would extradite him to the US to face prosecution over leaked government and military documents.

It's a complicated back story that's mirrored in the structure of Monday's meeting. Swedish prosecutor Ingrid Isgren arrived at the embassy to be present while an Ecuadorian prosecutor poses questions to Assange regarding the rape accusation. The Swedish officials also plan to seek a DNA sample from Assange, according to The New York Times.

The questioning could extend over three days, the Guardian reported.

Assange has not been formally charged in connection with the allegation from 2010, which he denies. Investigation into two other possible charges came to an end last year because of time limitations.

While those matters simmered in the background, issues tied to WikiLeaks have repeatedly boiled over. The whistleblower organization published its first document in December 2006 and came crashing into public view soon thereafter with the release of thousands of classified documents tied to US military operations, NSA surveillance of world leaders and other government activities. Since then, it says, it has published 10 million documents.

WikiLeaks continued to make waves during the US presidential contest this year between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Last month, for instance, WikiLeaks published thousands of emails allegedly belonging to Clinton's campaign manager, John Podesta, that suggested the Democratic nominee had a too-cozy relationship with Wall Street firms. In July, it stirred controversy with leaked emails that offered an unflattering behind-the-scenes look at the Democratic National Committee.

The Clinton campaign has avoided confirming or denying whether the emails from WikiLeaks are real. Assange has said WikiLeaks was operating in the public interest.

In October, Ecuador cut off Assange's internet access over concerns about his potential influence on the US elections.

As photographers waited to shoot Isgren's arrival at the Embassy, Assange's cat, James, was spotted wearing a tie in the window. The cat was given to Assange by his children in May to keep him company and has its own Twitter account, which claims it is "interested in counter-purrveillance."