Sweden dropped case against Julian Assange
A Swedish prosecutor dropped an investigation into an allegation of rape against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
The decision by a Swedish prosecutor to drop an investigation into an allegation of rape against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange ended the near decade-old case that had sent the campaigner into hiding in London’s Ecuadorian embassy to avoid extradition.
The prosecutor’s decision can be appealed, but it is believed it will closed a case which was launched in 2010. The accuser’s lawyer said she was studying whether to appeal the decision.
Assange, an Australian citizen, skipped bail in Britain to avoid possible extradition and took refuge in the Ecuador embassy in 2012. He was dragged out by police in April this year, and is now in jail in Britain fighting extradition to the United States on separate computer hacking and espionage charges.
While Assange was in the Ecuador embassy, the statute of limitations ran out on investigating all but one of several Swedish sex crime complaints originally filed by two women. Deputy Chief Prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson reopened the remaining case after Assange left the embassy, but she said on Tuesday that all points out to the fact that there was not enough evidence to indict Assange.
“After conducting a comprehensive assessment of what has emerged during the course of the preliminary investigation - Persson told a news conference - I then make the assessment that the evidence is not strong enough to form the basis for filing an indictment. “Nine years have passed. - she added - Time is a player in this decision.”
Assange, 48, has repeatedly denied the sex crime allegations and said they were part of a plot to discredit him and secure his eventual transfer to the United States.