Published: Wed, November 20, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Sweden drops investigation into alleged rape by Julian Assange

Sweden drops investigation into alleged rape by Julian Assange

In May, Swedish prosecution announced the reopening of the investigation against Julian Assange over rape charges, just over a month after he was stripped of his political asylum by Ecuador and arrested at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

He has since served a 50-week sentence in Belmarsh prison for jumping bail but controversially remains behind bars as authorities weigh whether to extradite him to the United States, which wants to charge him over the release of classified information that shed light on U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

While the alleged victim is still credible and her statements reliable, the evidence against Assange isn't sufficient to file charges, the deputy director of public prosecution, Eva-Maria Persson, said. The 48-year-old remains in London's Belmarsh prison awaiting a hearing next February over possible extradition to the U.S., where he faces 18 criminal charges related to the 2010 release of thousands of classified documents detailing U.S. military activity in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Nine years have gone", Swedish prosecutor Eve-Marie Persson said.

A statement from the Don't Extradite Assange campaign said: "Pamela has a personal emergency which has meant she has had to go home and cancel everything for the next two weeks".

However, in 2012, the elusive Assange sought refuge at the Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid extradition to the United States, who also wanted Assange for crimes of treason and espionage.

Sweden will not proceed with its preliminary probe into sexual assault claims against Julian Assange, WikiLeaks whistleblowing organization said Tuesday.

Swedish prosecutors have dropped a nine-year-old rape investigation into Julian Assange, saying that "the evidence has weakened considerably due to the long period of time that has elapsed since the events in question".

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The U.S.is seeking to bring Assange overseas to face espionage charges.

Sweden on Tuesday dropped its investigation into an alleged rape by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is now in prison in Britain.

"I want to inform about my decision to discontinue the preliminary investigation", Persson told a news conference.

WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson hailed the Swedish decision and said the United States charges were Assange's main concern.

Assange appeared last month in a United Kingdom court hearing, where his lawyers sought extra time to fight the American charges.

Since leaving the embassy, Assange has served a British sentence for skipping bail.

The US accuses Assange of conspiring with former US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to crack passwords to gain access to the information, which was subsequently posted on WikiLeaks.

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