Sweden Drops Rape Investigation into Wikileaks’ Assange

Two months earlier Assange was evicted from the Ecuador Embassy in London where he had been holed up since 2012

A rape investigation involving everyone's favourite cupboard-dwelling WikiLeaker, Julian Assange, has been dropped, Swedish prosecutors told the world's press today.

In a document tweeted by Melzer, the envoy accuses Sweden of "actively and knowingly" contributing to Assange's torture, and accuses prosecutors there of working in tandem with Britain's Crown Prosecutorial Service to keep the case against Assange alive in the face of exculpatory evidence.

But he has spent most of the past decade either in custody or holed up in Ecuador's London embassy as he has tried to avoid extradition - first to Sweden and then to the United States.

Deputy Chief Prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson revealed the news in a press conference in Stockholm as she gave an update on the case involving Assange, who is now in jail in Britain.

"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".

"After today's decision my client needs time to process everything that has happened over these nine years in order to be able to move on with her life", she said. "Time is a player in this decision".

The saga began in 2010 when Mr Assange faced allegations of sexual assault and rape in Sweden, which he always denied, saying they were a pretext and the ultimate goal was to transfer him to the US.

Separately, the U.S. is seeking Assange's extradition from the United Kingdom over his alleged role in the release of classified military and diplomatic material by Wikileaks in 2010.

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Per E Samuelson, Assange's lawyer, said that he believed his client's high profile skewed the way he was treated.

Most of those charges relate to obtaining and disseminating classified information over his website WikiLeaks publishing military documents and diplomatic cables.

Admirers have hailed Assange as a hero for exposing what they describe as abuse of power by modern states and for championing free speech.

In 2013, when the Swedish authorities indicated they would drop the investigation, the British government interceded and pressured them not to do so, since the European Arrest Warrant for Assange-issued for questioning only, not laying any charges-had been the basis for seeking his detention.

The case had divided opinion in Sweden, a country with strong traditions of support for both women's rights and media freedom.

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.

The decision by the Swedish prosecutor heads off a potential dilemma for the British courts which might otherwise have had to decide between competing USA and Swedish extradition requests.

The extradition case will be heard in February 2020.

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