Sweden reopens rape probe against Assange


Swedish prosecutors said Monday they were reopening a 2010 rape investigation against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

They said they are hoping to bring him to justice before the statute of limitations expires in August 2020, AFP reports.

The 47-year-old Assange who is also the Wikileaks publisher claimed the Swedish allegations were a pretext to transfer him to the United States, where he fears prosecution over the release by WikiLeaks of millions of classified documents.

“I have today decided to reopen the investigation… There is still probable cause to suspect that Mr Assange committed rape,” the deputy director of public prosecutions, Eva-Marie Persson, told reporters.

“The previous decision (in May 2017) to close the investigation was not based on difficulties related to evidence, but on difficulties that blocked the investigation.”

The Australian born whistleblower, who was holed up for seven years in the Ecuadoran embassy in London to avoid a British extradition order to Sweden, was arrested on April 11 after Ecuador gave him up.

A London court sentenced him on May 1 to 50 weeks in jail for breaching the British order.