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

Sweden drops rape probe against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

Sweden drops rape probe against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

A Swedish prosecutor said on Tuesday she would not proceed with an investigation into an allegation of rape against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after a review of the evidence, Trend with reference to Reuters reports.

The investigation to probe the sexual assault case, which was dropped in 2017, was reopened in May this year.

At the moment, Assange is serving a 50-week sentence in London for skipping bail and taking asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy, which cast him out in April.

The statute of limitations in the case expires in August 2020.

"After completing the investigation, it is now clear that oral testimony supporting the claimant's account has weakened", Eva-Marie Persson, deputy director of public prosecution, said in Stockholm yesterday.

"However, my overall assessment is that the evidential situation has been weakened to such an extent that that there is no longer any reason to continue the investigation".

"After today's decision my client needs time to process everything that has happened over these nine years in order to be able to move on with her life". "Time is a player in this".

Investigations into the sexual assault charges stemmed back to 2010 when the 48-year-old Assange, during his stay in Stockholm, allegedly raped and abused two women.

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Jeong also said there were no discussions of reducing the number of USA troops on the peninsula during the negotiations. The U.S. negotiator added he ended the meeting in order to give South Korea time to reconsider its position.

Assange is now serving a jail term of 50 weeks in the UK's Belmarsh prison for skipping bail to avoid being sent to Sweden over sexual assault allegations.

Prosecutors had struggled for years to interrogate Assange in person, but an interview was carried out with the help of an Ecuadorian prosecutor at the embassy in 2016. He is now being held pending his next hearing in February on the U.S. extradition request.

Tuesday's decision by Sweden's prosecution authority follows a June court ruling that Assange should not be detained.

The campaign's Greg Barns chipped in to tell The Register: "The decision by Sweden is the only one it could have taken". It finally recognises that Julian Assange adamant denial of wrongdoing is the truth.

"Let us now focus on the threat Mr. Assange has been warning about for years: the belligerent prosecution of the United States and the threat it poses to the First Amendment", WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson said, according to the BBC.

Even some critics of Assange say the United States charges against him could be troubling, since they treat publication of secrets as a crime, activity that advocates of press freedom say is essential for journalism.

The Obama administration revived the use of the Espionage Act, bringing numerous charges against leakers under the 1917 law, and prosecuting and sending Chelsea Manning to prison for supplying WikiLeaks with documents on USA atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan, secret diplomatic cables to the State Department, and records of torture and mistreatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

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