Published: Mon, May 13, 2019
Global Media | By Garry Long

Sweden to reopen rape case against WikiLeaks' Assange

Sweden to reopen rape case against WikiLeaks' Assange

Swedish prosecutors have announced they will re-open the investigation into WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Acknowledging that the U.S.is now seeking Assange's extradition, Persson added that it will be up to British authorities to determine how to prioritize multiple requests for Assange's extradition and/or arrest.

A lawyer representing the Swedish victim in a rape investigation involving WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange has urged Swedish prosecutors to move quickly with their inquiries, with a statute of limitations looming next year.

Assange's Swedish lawyer said his client wants to help put Swedish rape allegations to bed and only fears being extradited to the United States, calling Sweden's decision to reopen the investigation "an embarrassment".

The founder of the whistleblower organization is now in jail in the United Kingdom, where he is serving a 12-month sentence for skipping bail in August 2012 as he fought extradition to Sweden in connection with the same case. He has always denied the allegations, saying the sex was consensual.

Assange was recently kicked out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where he'd been living since 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden for the alleged sexual assault.

- April 11, 2019: London police arrest Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy for breaching bail conditions in 2012, as well as on behalf of US authorities, shortly after Ecuador's government withdrew his asylum status.

People hold signs during a protest outside Southwark Crown Court where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will be sentenced, in London, Britain, May 1, 2019.

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US authorities allege Assange conspired to commit computer intrusion in the USA and played a crucial part in one of the biggest leaks of government documents. The court heard that the extradition process would take "many months".

Following the announcement, WikiLeaks said the investigation would give Assange a chance to clear his name. British authorities will have to decide which extradition request takes precedence.

- July 2014: Assange loses bid to have an arrest warrant issued in Sweden against him canceled.

Documents and possessions left behind by Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in London will reportedly be handed over to the US government. "If he's extradited to Sweden, he must not be extradited to a third country without the consent of the British authorities".

Australian-born Assange faces a charge of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion in the US.

The Swedish government is looking at reopening the sexual assault case against Assange, a head prosecutor told reporters, according to the AP.

"Then Sweden wanted to drop its arrest warrant for Assange as early as 2013". She added: "It is my assessment that a new questioning of Assange is required".

But the USA also wants to extradite Assange over his publishing of leaked military videos showing the killing of civilians in Iraq. The Swedish prosecution questioned Assange on two separate occasions, in 2010 and 2016.

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