Swedish prosecutor drops Assange rape investigation

Swedish prosecutor drops Assange rape investigation

Swedish prosecutor drops Assange rape investigation

Sweden dropped a preliminary investigation Tuesday into an alleged rape by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Mr Assange is now fighting extradition to the USA, which accuses him of publishing secret documents.

Deputy Director of Public Prosecution Eva-Marie Persson took the decision to "discontinue the investigation regarding Julian Assange", the Swedish Prosecution Authority said.

Australian Assange, 48, has repeatedly denied the sex crime allegations, calling them part of a plot to discredit him and secure his eventual transfer to the US.

Although the prosecutor's decision can be appealed, it probably closes the case, which was launched in 2010.

"Her statements have been coherent, extensive and detailed; 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".

The WikiLeaks Defense Fund said in a statement Tuesday that from the start of the Swedish investigation, "Assange's expressed concern has been that waiting in the wings was a United States request that would be unstoppable from Sweden and result in his spending the rest of his life in a USA prison".

It is the third time that Sweden has been compelled to shelve the investigation for lack of any evidence to support it, and confirms that the claims of "rape" or "sexual assault" by Assange are a politically motivated fraud. Speaking at a news conference on Tuesday, she said: "I want to inform about my decision to discontinue the preliminary investigation".

A spokesman for Assange's legal team said: "From the outset of Sweden's preliminary investigation, Julian Assange's expressed concern has been that waiting in the wings was a United States extradition request that would be unstoppable from Sweden - and result in his spending the rest of his life in a USA prison". That little stunt cost his rich backers more than £90,000 in forfeited bail sureties - and eventually earned him a 50-week prison sentence once British police captured him.

A British court is expected to start a hearing in February on whether he should be extradited to the US. He was arrested for jumping bail and jailed.

He was removed from the Ecuadorian embassy in London in April this year after spending nearly seven years holed up there to avoid extradition on the Swedish allegations.

Mr Assange is now imprisoned in HMP Belmarsh and was due to be released on September 22.

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.

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

Related news



[an error occurred while processing the directive]