Sweden discontinues rape investigation against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

Clay Curtis
November 19, 2019

The Prosecution Authority said that while the victim was considered credible, oral testimony regarding the case had "weakened" and that corroborating evidence was not strong enough to pursue the case.

Assange is now being held in a UK prison and is in the middle of a court battle to avoid extradition to the United States.

Swedish authorities are ending their investigation into an allegation of rape against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the country's deputy chief prosecutor announced Tuesday. Assange has denied all of the allegations.

The investigation against Assange was reopened in May this year after Swedish authorities chose to suspend it in 2017.

Assange has been held at a top-security British prison since April after police dragged him out of the Ecuadoran embassy in London, where he had been holed up since 2012 to avoid an extradition order to Sweden.

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The 48-year-old Australian was evicted in May and sentenced to 50 weeks in jail for breaching his bail conditions. Persson said the case was dropped at this point because it was not possible for Britain to extradite Assange to Sweden.

He is now serving a 50-week prison sentence in the United Kingdom for a bail violation after seeking asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in 2012.

"I want to inform about my decision to discontinue the preliminary investigation", Persson told a news conference.

Assange also fighting extradition to the US, which accuses him of publishing secret documents. The full hearing to decide his extradition is still set for a five-day period in late February, with brief interim hearings in November and December. Last month, Assange lost a bid in a U.K. court to delay proceedings as he fights extradition to the United States on espionage charges.

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