Assange rape claims: Complainant welcomes Swedish investigation's reopening

Julian Assange

Earlier today, Sweden's deputy director of public prosecutions, Eva-Marie Persson, said she was reopening the rape investigation into Assange.

If Sweden formally seeks Assange's extradition to Sweden, it will be up to British authorities to decide whether Sweden's request gets precedence over a U.S. extradition request.

Fifth, nearly entirely omitted from current media reporting is that the initial Swedish preliminary investigation in 2010 was dropped after the chief prosecutor of Stockholm concluded that "the evidence did not disclose any evidence of rape" and that "no crime at all" had been committed.

While a Swedish case of alleged sexual misconduct was dropped in 2017 when the statute of limitations expired, a rape allegation remains.

Swedish authorities initially issued an arrest warrant for Assange, who is Australian, over allegations of rape and molestation in August of 2010. The statute of limitations has already expired in the other woman's case.

WikiLeaks' editor Kristinn Hrafnsson said on Monday that the prosecutor's decision would give Assange "a change to clear his name", adding that there had been "political pressure" on Sweden to reopen the case. Assange denies the allegations. He was arrested by British police on April 11 and is now in London's Belmarsh Prison serving a 50-week sentence for jumping bail in 2012.

"Julian Assange has been convicted of a crime in the United Kingdom and will serve 25 weeks of his sentence before he can be released, according to information from United Kingdom authorities".

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. Should they opt to reopen the case, Stockholm and Washington could face a logistical headache in terms of determining which country Assange should be extradited to first. The court heard that the extradition process would take "many months".

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Wikileaks said the reopening of the Swedish investigation would give Assange a chance to clear his name. British authorities will have to decide which extradition request takes precedence. Swedish authorities chose to reopen the rape case after the lawyer of the accuser said she is still willing to pursue charges. She is seeking a fresh European Arrest Warrant in order to request extradition from the UK.

Assange's Swedish lawyer, Per Samuelsson, told The New York Times that Sweden's decision is "not proportionate", saying, "He has been sentenced to 50 weeks".

- February 24, 2011: District court in Britain rules Assange should be extradited to Sweden.

Documents and possessions left behind by Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in London will reportedly be handed over to the USA government.

She said circumstances now allow for an extradition to Sweden from Britain and a new interview with Assange should be held.

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

"My client feels great gratitude and she is very hopeful about getting restitution and we both hope that justice will win".

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