The founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange will see a rape case against him reopened by Swedish prosecutors. Eva-Marie Persson, the deputy director of public prosecutions, made this known at a press conference, stating that she will be reopening the preliminary investigation on the case against the Wikileaks founder.
Lawyers Seek Resumption of Assange’s Rape Case
The Swedish prosecutors were looking into the rape allegation case but dropped the investigation in 2017. Assange was seeking refuge at Ecuador’s embassy in London at the time, and this made it impossible for the prosecutors to proceed with the case. However, the prosecutors stated that the investigation could be resumed if Assange’s situation changes.
The change in the situation that the prosecutors sought occurred last month when the Ecuadorian government revoked his asylum and removed him from the embassy. Assange was arrested for breach of bail by the British government afterward, with the WikiLeaks founder having spent seven years at the Ecuadorian embassy.
A lawyer for one of the women involved in the case demanded that investigations should resume. The Swedish rape allegation against Assange started in 2010. He fought in the British courts, albeit unsuccessfully, to have both the Swedish extradition order and the preliminary investigations dropped. According to Assange’s lawyers, if he is extradited to Sweden, he would be handed over to the United States where he would likely face prosecution over the WikiLeaks case.
Meanwhile, WikiLeaks is confident that reopening investigations into the rape case would allow Assange to prove his innocence. The editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, Kristinn Hrafnsson stated that since Assange’s arrest last month, there has been significant political pressure on Sweden to resume the rape investigation. He added that this case has always been surrounded by political pressure and reopening it will allow Julian to clear his name.
There was another sex-related allegation investigation involving Assange, but it was abandoned in 2015 as time had elapsed.
Assange Gets 50 Weeks Prison Sentence in the United Kingdom
Last month, a British court sentenced Assange to 50 weeks in prison for breaching bail when he sought asylum at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. He was arrested on April 11, 2019, after the Ecuadorian government revoked his asylum. On the same day, he was arrested, Assange appeared in court and was convicted on the charge of jumping bail.
Assange who is currently being held at the Belmarsh Prison in East London, appeared via videolink at Westminster magistrates’ court earlier this month, stating that he does not approve his extradition to the United States. The case was adjourned until 30 May after the court heard that the extradition process would span months.
The WikiLeaks founder and director is being charged with conspiracy to hack into a computer network at the Pentagon. He is accused of aiding an Army private to download classified databases in 2010 illegally. The illegally downloaded files have already been made public by WikiLeaks, and according to the federal indictment, the files contained classified information about wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The charge against Assange in the US could see him get up to five years in prison.