Mr. Assange waving last June from the window of Ecuador's London embassy. Reuters
STOCKHOLM—Members of Sweden's parliament have for the first time publicly called on prosecutors to step up their efforts to question Julian Assange on sexual-assault allegations he faces in Sweden.
Staffan Danielsson, a member of Parliament in the country's ruling coalition, on Monday said prosecutors should travel to London to interview Mr. Assange rather than insisting he come to Sweden. "It's in the interest of everyone involved in this process that the prosecutor reaches a conclusion to either file charges or dismiss the case, and it's obvious that Assange won't come to Sweden," said Mr. Danielsson of the Center Party, a junior member in the ruling coalition.
In Sweden, lawmakers rarely weigh in publicly on matterss being handled by justice officials, and the call puts renewed pressure on prosecutors to find a way to move the case forward.
Mr. Assange, the WikiLeaks founder who has been living at Ecuador's embassy in London since the Latin American country granted him political asylum in the summer of 2012, hasn't been questioned on the allegations that he raped one woman and molested another during a visit to Stockholm in 2010. He denies the allegations and hasn't been charged with a crime.
Mr. Assange was arrested in the U.K. in December 2010 on a European Union-wide warrant requested by Sweden. He fought a lengthy court battle to avoid extradition, which he ultimately lost. As a result, he sought asylum at Ecuador's embassy.
The WikiLeaks founder has long argued that the Swedish investigation is politically motivated and backed by Washington as a way to speed his eventual extradition to the U.S., where he says he would be tried for publishing thousands of classified U.S. government documents. The U.S. hasn't charged Mr. Assange with a crime or issued an extradition request for him.
Swedish officials and the lawyer for the two women say the investigation into the allegations have nothing to do with WikiLeaks activities. Swedish prosecutors have said they want him to travel to Sweden for questioning on the sexual-assault allegations, while Mr. Assange has said he is willing to talk in London.
The prosecutor "needs to turn every stone to see whether this case can be moved forward," Johan Pehrson, another member of Sweden's parliament who sits on the committee for justice affairs for the Liberal Party, also a partner in the ruling coalition, said Monday. Mr. Pehrson first spoke out on the issue Sunday during a debate on Swedish television.
The Swedish Prosecution Authority said it isn't changing its position on wanting Mr. Assange to come to Sweden. Marianne Ny, the prosecutor in charge of the case, has refrained from discussing the details of the matter while Mr. Assange remains in London. But a statement published on the Prosecution Authority's website Sunday said there is "significant risk that questioning in London will not move the investigation forward."
The authority added that an interview with Mr. Assange would have to be carried out by British police, and the questioning would be restricted by the contents of the European arrest warrant. A spokesman for Beatrice Ask, Sweden's justice minister, declined to discuss the case, saying it wouldn't be appropriate for a minister to interfere in specific legal matters.
"At the moment prosecutors feel unable to [question Assange in the U.K. with assistance from British police]," Mr. Pehrson, the Swedish lawmaker, said. "I respect that, but now we have a deadlock which affects the injured parties."
Mr. Assange has no plans to surrender himself, said Thomas Olsson, the lawyer who acts as Mr. Assange's legal representative in Sweden. "All this time, Mr. Assange has made himself available and has urged the Swedish prosecutor to conduct any necessary interviews with him in London," Mr. Olsson said. "I spoke to Mr. Assange on Sunday, and he still has no intention to leave Ecuador's embassy as long as he sees a risk of being handed over to U.S. authorities."
Anne Ramberg, head of the Swedish Bar Association, added her voice to those pushing for a change of course. Ms. Ramberg said it was time for Swedish prosecutors to show pragmatism and evaluate the option to question Mr. Assange in London, rather than wait for the arrest warrant to be executed.
"Clearly, this process has gotten out of hand," Ms. Ramberg said. "I understand that Swedish prosecutors find it offensive that Mr. Assange, a suspected rapist, wants to control the process. But for the sake of everyone involved, including the plaintiffs, this shouldn't become a matter of prestige."
Write to Niclas Rolander at and Sven Grundberg at