Julian Assange rape investigation reopened in Sweden

Julian Assange rape investigation reopened in Sweden

Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange is set to be investigated over allegations of rape.

But on Monday, Sweden's deputy director of public prosecutions, Eva-Marie Persson, announced that the case would be reopened.

The Swedish prosecutor said it would request Assange be detained in his absence on probable cause for an allegation of rape and that it would issue a European arrest warrant - the process under which his extradition would be sought.

Assange, who was arrested last month after being evicted from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, was sentenced to 50 weeks in jail for breaching his bail conditions.

The US wants to extradite Assange from the United Kingdom over his alleged role in the release of classified military and diplomatic material in 2010. Sweden discontinued the investigation in 2017 because they said they were unable to advance the case while Assange was holed up at the embassy.

Swedish prosecutors are reopening a rape case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after he was removed from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

- May 13, 2019: Swedish authorities reopen investigation of rape allegation against Assange and say they will seek his extradition.

Rape charges: Swedish prosecutors filed preliminary charges - a step short of formal charges - after Assange's visit to the Scandinavian country in 2010.

Manning passed hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks, exposing USA military wrongdoing in the Iraq war and diplomatic secrets about scores of countries. "It is also my intention in the near future [to ask] that the district court order Mr Assange remanded in absentia", said Persson, speaking in Stockholm. She said he would soon ask a Swedish court to remand him in custody in absentia, and a European arrest warrant would be issued.

Fritz said the decision to reopen the inquiry showed that "no one is above the law, not even if their name is Julian Assange".

In the months and years that followed, Assange's legal team filed multiple requests to dismiss his detention, to force Swedish prosecutors into action to either continue or drop the case, and finally, to have the decision to reopen the case overruled.

Assange has always insisted that allegations of rape are false and offered in the past to travel to Sweden for questioning on condition that the government could guarantee he would not be extradited to the US.

- November 2018: A USA court filing that appears to inadvertently reveal the existence of a sealed criminal case against Assange is discovered by a researcher.

The investigation began after two women in 2010 accused Assange (who was living in London) of sexually assaulting them while in Stockholm for a WikiLeaks conference.

Manning was recently released from two months in jail after she was held in contempt for refusing to testify before a U.S. grand jury about her interactions with Assange.

The U.S. and United Kingdom signed a joint extradition treaty to take Assange from the Embassy, as reported on this news site. Then Swedish chief prosecutor Eva Finne said that day: "I don't think there is reason to suspect that he has committed rape". His arrest came after Ecuador rescinded Assange's asylum claim due to "repeated violations to global conventions and daily life".

Sweden had filed an global arrest warrant to detain Assange, and the British courts made a decision to surrender Assange to Sweden in 2011.

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