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assange

Sweden drops rape investigation into Julian Assange  

 

assange

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

The country’s prosecutors announced on Tuesday that an additional interview with the 48-year-old would not “significantly change the balance of evidence”.

Australian-born Mr Assange had been facing rape-related allegations which he has always denied.

Swedish prosecutors announced that the case has been “discounted.”

Assange is in Belmarsh Prison in London awaiting extradition demands from the United States. He was removed from the Ecuadorian embassy in London in April where he had been granted asylum.

Sweden’s deputy director of public prosecution, Eva-Marie Persson, said they had made the decision because the evidence has “weakened considerably” due to the long period of time that has elapsed since the events in question.

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

“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.”

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Kristinn Hrafnsson, WikiLeaks editor-in-chief, said, “Sweden has dropped its preliminary investigation into Mr Assange for the third time, after reopening it without any new evidence or information.

“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.”

A statement issued by the Swedish prosecuting authorities said: “The preliminary investigation concerning allegations against Julian Assange was resumed on 13 May 2019 after Assange left the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

“The investigation relates to a suspected rape committed in August 2010. A number of investigative measures have been conducted since May, largely in the form of witness interviews.

“The preliminary investigation has now been discontinued, the motive for which is that the evidence has weakened considerably due to the long period of time that has elapsed since the events in question.”

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