Sweden drops rape allegation against Assange
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The preliminary investigations against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in Sweden on charges of rape are being dropped. He is currently serving a 50-week prison sentence in the UK and is fighting extradition to the US.
DThe Swedish judicial authorities are suspending rape investigations against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Meanwhile, the incident is so long that the evidence has weakened significantly, said the Deputy Director of Swedish law enforcement, Eva-Marie Persson, on Tuesday. The prosecution's decision could be challenged, Persson said.
The founder of the disclosure platform is currently in custody in the UK. He was the subject of a European arrest warrant for rape allegations in Sweden. He was afraid of being extradited first to Scandinavia and finally to the United States. This option is now excluded.
A possible extradition to the US is not yet off the table, because the US Justice has filed an extradition request, which was approved by the British. The extradition request will begin on February 25, 2020.
Assange was accused in Sweden of raping a woman in August 2010. He has always denied that. Other allegations are now barred.
The Swedish investigation had been stopped in 2017 before, because it had failed to investigate the allegations sufficiently. The question of guilt could not be clarified at that time. In May 2019, however, the Swedish Public Prosecutor's Office resumed its preliminary investigations and applied for arrest warrants, which the competent court in Uppsala rejected in June. The prosecution had refrained from appealing against the refusal of the arrest warrant.
The Wikileaks founder had entrenched himself for years in the Embassy of Ecuador in London to avoid extradition to Sweden. Washington wants Assange to face charges of helping whistleblower Chelsea Manning publish secret material on US military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. If convicted on all 18 counts, he faces 175 years in prison.