Stockholm — The Swedish prosecutor heading an investigation into a rape allegation against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange filed a request with a local court on Monday for him to be detained in absentia. If granted, the court order would be the first step in a process to have Assange extradited from Britain, where he is serving a 50-week sentence for skipping bail. Sweden reopened the rape investigation last week. It was begun in 2010 but dropped in 2017 after Assange took refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London. Assange, who denies the accusation, was arrested in London in April after spending seven years inside the embassy. "I request the district court to detain Assange in his absence, on probable cause suspected for rape," deputy chief prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson said in a statement on Monday. She said she would issue a European arrest warrant for Assange to be surrendered to Sweden if the court decided to detain him. Sweden's decision to reopen the rape investigation casts...

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