Sweden drops Julian Assange rape investigation


Swedish authorities have dropped an investigation into a rape allegation made against WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange in 2010, following a review of the evidence.

Sweden’s deputy chief prosecutor, Eva-Marie Persson, said the complainant’s evidence had initially been deemed credible and reliable, but that after nearly a decade, witnesses’ memories had faded for natural reasons.

“After conducting a comprehensive assessment of what has emerged during the course of the preliminary investigation I then make the assessment that the evidence is not strong enough to form the basis for filing an indictment,” Persson said.

She added that an appeal against the decision could be made to the office of Sweden’s attorney general.

Assange, who denies the accusation, has avoided extradition to Sweden for seven years after seeking refuge at the Ecuadorean embassy in London in 2012.

However, the investigation was reopened in May this year after Assange was removed from the embassy when the Latin American government abruptly withdrew his asylum.

He was immediately arrested and is currently serving a 50-week sentence at Belmarsh prison in London for breaching his bail conditions.

The 48-year-old Australian is also battling extradition to the US over his alleged role in the release of classified military and diplomatic material in 2010.

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