Sweden drops Julian Assange investigation after nearly 10 years

Nick Miller writes

Swedish prosecutors have dropped their investigation into an allegation that Julian Assange raped a woman in Stockholm in August 2010, saying the decade of delay means the evidence is now too weak to support a prosecution.

In a statement released on Tuesday, WikiLeaks said Assange had “always expressed his willingness to engage” in the Swedish investigation, which it said had become “exceptionally politicised”.

“There has been no prospect for a fair hearing [in Sweden] for many years,” the WikiLeaks statement said. “An investigation into how the justice system failed to withstand the political and media pressure and lessons learned should be pursued.”

Kristinn Hrafnsson, WikiLeaks’ editor-in-chief, said the focus should now be on “the threat Mr Assange has been warning about for years: the belligerent prosecution of the United States and the threat it poses to the First Amendment”.

He said the UK Crown Prosecution Service had “artificially prolonged the Swedish preliminary investigation” by advising Sweden against questioning Assange in the UK and pressuring Sweden into keeping the investigation alive.

Assange gave a statement to Swedish prosecutors who visited him at the Ecuador embassy in Knightsbridge, London in 2016. In his statement he rejected the rape allegation, saying his relations with the alleged victim had been consensual.

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