Sweden to reopen rape probe against WikiLeaks founder Assange | News

Julian Assange is to be investigated in Sweden over a rape case dating from August 2010, prosecutors announced on Monday.

The WikiLeaks founder, currently held in Belmarsh prison in London, now faces possible extradition from Britain.

“My assessment is there is still probably cause [to investigate] rape and a lesser offence,” Eva-Marie Persson, Sweden’s deputy director of public prosecutions, said.

Sweden had first issued an arrest warrant and declared Assange an “internationally wanted suspect” in November 2010.

But after Assange skipped bail in the UK and went into hiding at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, the extradition order was impossible to enforce.

In November 2016, Assange was interviewed by Ecuadorian prosecutors after an agreement was reached between Sweden and Ecuador to cooperate in criminal investigations.

“Mr Assange was recently sentenced to 50 weeks in prison [in the UK],” Persson said. “He will serve 25 weeks before he is eligible for release.

“My intention is to submit to the district court today to appoint a public defender. It is also my intention in the near future [to ask] that the district court order Mr Assange remanded in absentia.

“I will proceed to issue a European arrest warrant providing for him to be extradited to Sweden after serving his sentence in the UK,” she said, at a press conference in Stockholm.

The US also wants to extradite Assange over his publishing of leaked military videos showing the killing of civilians in Iraq. Persson said she expected the US to submit a formal extradition request to the UK no later than June 14, 2019. A decision on which extradition request would be given greater priority “will be left entirely to the British authorities”.

“If he’s extradited to Sweden, he must not be extradited to a third country without the consent of the British authorities,” she said.

“A future Brexit will not, according to available information, impact on the case.”

Swedish prosecutors had filed preliminary charges in 2010 after two women said they were victims of sex crimes committed by Assange when he visited the country.

Seven years later, a case of alleged sexual misconduct was dropped when the statute of limitations expired.

That left a rape allegation, and the case was closed as it could not be pursued while Assange was living at the embassy and there was no prospect of bringing him to Sweden.

The statute of limitations on that case does not expire until August 17, 2020.

“While Mr Assange is serving his sentence in the UK, I intend to further the investigation as much as possible,” Persson said. That process could include interviews via video link.

“I would like to make the following very clear: My decision to re-open the preliminary investigation is not an indication of whether to file an indictment with the court,” Persson said.


SOURCE:
Al Jazeera and news agencies

Source

more recommended stories

  • Trump says US warship ‘destroyed’ Iranian drone in Gulf | Iran News

    The United States says a US Navy ship.

  • Trump’s racism and American exceptionalism | USA

    The uproar over US President Donald.

  • Iran seizes foreign oil tanker for ‘smuggling oil’, crew arrested | Iran News

    Iran‘s Revolutionary Guard Corps have seized.

  • Crowd chants ‘send her back’ as Trump renews attacks on Omar | USA News

    US President Donald Trump has intensified.

  • ‘Wizard’ arrested after hack of most Bulgarian taxpayers’ details | News

    A 20-year-old Bulgarian cybersecurity worker was.

  • US slaps sanctions on Myanmar army chief over Rohingya abuses | News

    The United States has announced sanctions.

  • Religious restrictions on the rise globally: report | News

    Religious restrictions are on the rise.

  • Iran hits back at US demands on ballistic missiles, proxy groups | News

    Iran has hit back at US.

  • Malaysia parliament to debate move to lower voting age to 18 | News

    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Malaysia’s parliament.

  • El Salvador rape victim jailed for stillbirth goes on trial again | El Salvador News

    San Salvador, El Salvador – Evelyn.

  • Powerful earthquake rocks parts of eastern Indonesia | News

    A strong, shallow earthquake has struck.

  • Cricket: England beat New Zealand to win World Cup | News

    World Cup winners 1975 – West.

  • Barry weakens but Louisiana authorities warn threat remains | News

    Slow-moving tropical storm Barry has weakened.

  • Why is Turkey’s purchase of Russian weapons controversial? | USA

    A battle appears to be looming.

  • UK police warning to media over leaked memos stirs anger | News

    Senior British politicians, including both contenders.

  • The informal networks resisting Honduras’s abortion ban | Honduras

    Tegucigalpa, Honduras – At 22 years.

  • Suicide attack at Somalia hotel followed by gunfire | Somalia News

    A car bomb went off in.

  • Sudan’s ruling military council says coup attempt foiled | News

    Sudan‘s ruling military council (TMC) says.

  • Ghana’s president wants Africa-Europe relationship to change | Colonialism News

    Africa must change its relationship with.

  • Ex-UN chief joins chorus of concern over floods at Rohingya camps | News

    Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has.

  • US wants Senate-approved deal with Iran: US envoy Brian Hook | News

    The Trump administration wants a Senate-approved agreement.

  • After ISIL, children try to catch up with school in Mosul | ISIS/ISIL News

    Mosul, Iraq – It was the.

  • US wants military coalition to safeguard waters off Iran, Yemen | Iran News

    The United States says it is.

  • Israel’s separation wall endures, 15 years after ICJ ruling | News

    In the occupied West Bank, the.

  • Turkey seeks to arrest hundreds over alleged Gulen links | News

    Turkish prosecutors have ordered the arrest.

  • Iran: World powers won’t get a better nuclear deal | USA News

    Iran warned world powers they will.

  • Iran passes new nuclear deal limit as China blames US for crisis | News

    Iran has passed the uranium enrichment cap.

  • Trump hits back at UK envoy who called White House ‘inept’ | Trump News

    US President Donald Trump has hit back.

  • Indonesia: Tsunami warning issued after strong earthquake | News

    Indonesian authorities have issued a tsunami.

  • Anti-racists outnumber far-right Proud Boys at DC rally | USA News

    Washington, DC – Counterprotesters outnumbered members.

  • How can modern slavery be stopped? | UK

    They were told they’d get jobs.

  • Media haven or hell? The paradox of journalism in Turkey | Turkey

    In this special edition of the.