Sweden drops Assange rape investigation

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Media captionWho is Julian Assange?

Prosecutors in Sweden contain dropped an investigation into a rape allegation made against Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange in 2010.

Assange, who denies the accusation, has carried out without extradition to Sweden for seven years after searching for refuge at the Ecuadorean embassy in London in 2012.

The forty eight-year-ancient Australian grow to be evicted in April and sentenced to 50 weeks in jail for breaching his bail stipulations.

He is currently being held at Belmarsh jail in London.

The Swedish investigation had been shelved in 2017 but grow to be re-opened earlier this year following his eviction from the embassy.

Individually, the US is searching for Assange’s extradition from the UK over his alleged aim in the liberate of classified militia and diplomatic arena materials by Wikileaks in 2010.

What did the prosecutors reveal?

Deputy Director of Public Prosecution Eva-Marie Persson took the resolution to “stop the investigation referring to Julian Assange”, the Swedish Prosecution Authority mentioned.

“The motive for this resolution is that the evidence has weakened significantly due to the the very lengthy time frame that has elapsed on anecdote of the events in request,” it added.

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Eva-Marie Persson mentioned the resolution had been taken after interviews with seven witnesses

Ms Persson mentioned: “I’d fancy to stress that the injured event has submitted a legit and legit version of events.

“Her statements were coherent, intensive and detailed; alternatively, my total evaluation is that the evidential agonize has been weakened to such an extent that that there’s no longer any longer any motive to continue the investigation.”

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Media captionJulian Assange being dragged from the Ecuadorean embassy in London

Prosecutors instructed newshounds the resolution to tumble the inquiry had been taken after interviews with seven witnesses in the case.

One chapter over, one more barely begun

Caroline Hawley, BBC diplomatic correspondent

With the dwell of Julian Assange’s apt troubles in Sweden, one lengthy chapter in the saga is over. However one more one, in the US, has barely begun.

The Wikileaks founder always argued that his dismay of being extradited from Sweden to the US grow to be why he had taken refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London. That political refuge ended unceremoniously in April, when he grow to be dragged out by British police.

Now Assange faces 18 felony costs in the US, in conjunction with conspiring to hack authorities computers and violating espionage felony guidelines. If convicted, he could perhaps face decades in jail.

From in the attend of bars in Belmarsh jail, Assange is looking out for to put together for the case. The resolution by Swedish prosecutors this day scheme there’ll now be no competing extradition demand to the one from the US.

What grow to be the Swedish investigation about?

Assange grow to be accused of rape by a girl and sexual assault by one more one following a Wikileaks conference in Stockholm in 2010. He has always denied the allegations, announcing the intercourse grow to be consensual.

He moreover faced investigations for molestation and unlawful coercion, but these conditions were dropped in 2015 on anecdote of time had bustle out.

What has the response been?

There grow to be no immediate commentary from Assange but Wikileaks welcomed the Swedish pass to tumble the investigation.

Wikileaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson mentioned: “Allow us to now center of attention on the menace Mr Assange has been warning about for years: the belligerent prosecution of the US and the menace it poses to the First Amendment.”

What costs does Assange face in the US?

Australian-born Assange faces a fee of conspiracy to commit laptop intrusion in the US.

He is accused of taking part in a single of the ultimate ever leaks of authorities secrets and systems, which could perhaps end result in a jail term of up to 5 years.

In June, the then UK Residence Secretary, Sajid Javid, formally accredited an extradition demand from the US.

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Assange gestures with a thumbs up after he grow to be arrested by Met Law enforcement officers at the Ecuador Embassy in London

Assange grow to be due to the be launched from HMP Belmarsh in September after serving the custody duration of his jail term.

However a seize ruled that Assange could perhaps just peaceable dwell in jail until his extradition listening to due to the his “historical previous of absconding”.

Final month, a seize rejected Assange’s attempt and prolong the elephantine extradition listening to, which is scheduled to utilize place at Westminster Magistrate’s Court in London in February.

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