Swedish prosecutors drop rape investigation into Julian Assange

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from the window of a prison van as he is driven out of Southwark Crown Court in London on May 1, 2019 | Daniel Leal-Olivas

Investigators said evidence had been weakened due to how much time had passed since 2010 accusation.

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Swedish prosecutors on Tuesday dropped an investigation into rape allegations against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

The Australian has always denied the accusation, which dates back to 2010, and avoided being extradited to Sweden by seeking refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London in 2012. He was arrested at the embassy last month and sentenced to 50 weeks in a British jail for violating his bail conditions.

Swedish prosecutors first dropped the rape case in 2017, but reopened it when Assange was evicted from the embassy.

The prosecutor’s office said in a statement Tuesday, however, that investigators have now decided to drop the case again because “the evidence has weakened considerably due to the long period of time that has elapsed since the events in question.”

“I would like to emphasise that the injured party has submitted a credible and reliable version of events. Her statements have been coherent, extensive and detailed; however, my overall assessment is that the evidential situation has been weakened to such an extent that that there is no longer any reason to continue the investigation,” said Eva-Marie Persson, deputy director of public prosecution, in the statement.

Assange is also in the midst of an extradition case for him to be sent to the U.S. over allegations he conspired to break into a Pentagon computer. He faces 17 charges of spying and one of computer hacking.

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