Sweden drops Julian Assange alleged rape investigation

LONDON

Sweden discontinued a 2010 alleged rape investigation against WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange, country’s prosecutors said Tuesday.

In a press release, Deputy Chief Prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson gave an update on the Swedish case, saying the investigation has now been dropped.

“I would like to emphasise that the injured party has submitted a credible and reliable version of events,” Persson said.

“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 investigation was shelved in 2017 but then it was reopened after Assange’s eviction from Ecuadorian embassy in London and his arrest.

A separate case of his extradition to the U.S. still continues in the U.K. as the next hearing will be heard early next year.

Assange will face 18 counts of hacking the U.S. government computers and violating the espionage law if he is extradited to the U.S., and a potential prison sentence for years.

He was dragged out of the Ecuador’s embassy building in London earlier this year, where he took refuge for more than seven years.

British police said he was arrested for skipping his bail in 2012 and on behalf of the U.S. due to an extradition warrant.

Later, he was found guilty of breaking his bail terms in 2012 after failing to surrender to security services by the Westminster Magistrates’ Court and given a 50-week prison term.

Assange was due for a release on Sept. 22, however, he is being held for longer on “substantial grounds” that he would abscond.

British Home Secretary Sajid Javid signed an order allowing his extradition in June, stating that the extradition request will be handled by the British judiciary.

The extradition case will be heard in February 2020.
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