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Julian Assange’s Swedish Rape Investigation Reopened, Swedish Prosecutors Say

The Wrap Monday, 13 May 2019
Prosecutors in Sweden announced Monday that they plan to reopen a rape investigation into WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange that had been officially closed in 2017.

“I have today taken the decision to reopen the preliminary investigation,” Eva-Marie Persson, Sweden’s deputy director of public prosecutions, told reporters Monday. “I take the view that there exists the possibility to take the case forward.”

“There is still a probable cause to suspect that Assange committed a rape,” she added. “It is my assessment that a new questioning of Assange is required.”

*Also Read:* WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Sentenced to 50 Weeks in Jail, Still Faces Extradition to US

The case stems from 2010 allegations that Assange engaged in nonconsensual sex with two women in Sweden during a stay there in 2010.

Assange has always vigorously denied the accusations and maintained his innocence. In a statement, WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson said the decision by Sweden to reopen the case had been motivated by “political pressure.”

“Since Julian Assange was arrested in 11 April 2019, there has been considerable political pressure on Sweden to reopen their investigation, but there has always been political pressure surrounding this case,” he said.

*Also Read:* 'SNL': Julian Assange, Played by Michael Keaton, Goes to Prison With Lori Loughlin and Michael Avenatti

Authorities in Sweden had been unable to prosecute the claims against Assange as a result of his long residency at the Ecuadorian embassy in London — which protected him both from Swedish law and later on growing calls that be be arrested and indicted for his role in publishing hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee in 2016.

In April, Assange was formally expelled from the embassy, promptly delivered into British custody and ultimately sentenced to an 50 weeks in jail on charges of skipping bail on the rape charge.

The decision by Sweden could complicate efforts to extradite Assange to the United States, where he is facing charges of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion for agreeing to help break a password to a classified U.S. government computer. British authorities will now have to decide which case takes precedence.

*Related stories from TheWrap:*

WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Sentenced to 50 Weeks in Jail, Still Faces Extradition to US

WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Arrested in London

WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Faces Criminal Charges, Prosecutors Accidentally Reveal

Seth Rich Family Finally Gets Apology, Retraction Over DNC-Wikileaks Conspiracy Column
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News video: Swedish investigation into rape allegation against Assange will be reopened

Swedish investigation into rape allegation against Assange will be reopened 00:56

Swedish prosecutors are to reopen an investigation into a rape allegation against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, deputy director of prosecutions Eva-Marie Persson announced. She told a press conference in Stockholm that circumstances had changed following Assange's arrest last month when he was...

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