NEWS
13/05/2019 3:36 PM IST

Julian Assange: Swedish Prosecutors Re-Open Inquiry Into Rape Allegation

The WikiLeaks co-founder should face a new interview, the prosecutor said.

Julian Assange will face a revived investigation over a rape allegation in Sweden after a decision by prosecutors to re-open the case.

The WikiLeaks co-founder, who denies the claim, avoided extradition to Sweden by seeking refuge at the Ecuadorean embassy in 2012.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Eva-Marie Persson, Sweden’s deputy director of prosecutions, said Assange should face a new interview into the allegation.

Assange, 47, was evicted last month and sentenced to 50 weeks in jail for breaching his bail conditions.

dpa
Julian Assange was detained by British police this month after seven years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

The request to re-start the investigation came from lawyers representing Assange’s alleged victim.

Swedish prosecutors dropped the rape investigation in 2017 because they were unable to proceed while he remained inside the embassy.

Assange had also faced investigation for a second sex-related allegation in Sweden, which was dropped in 2017 because the statute of limitations had expired.

He denied both allegations.

Kristinn Hrafnsson, WikiLeaks’ editor-in-chief, said in a statement that the re-opening of the investigation came amid “political pressure” on Sweden.

Hrafnsson said: “Since Julian Assange was arrested on 11 April 2019, there has been considerable political pressure on Sweden to reopen their investigation, but there has always been political pressure surrounding this case,”

“Its reopening will give Julian a chance to clear his name,” Hrafnsson added.

The United States also wants to extradite Assange from the UK over his alleged role in the release of classified military and diplomatic material through Wikileaks in 2010.