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Swedish prosecutors reopen inquiry into rape allegation against Julian Assange

On Monday, Swedish deputy of the director of public prosecution, Eva-Marie Persson, announced that an inquiry into a rape allegation against Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange will be reopened.

– After reviewing the investigation, my assessment is that there is still probable cause to suspect that he committed rape, Eva-Marie Persson said at a press conference in Stockholm.

The preliminary investigation was dropped two years ago as the prosecutors felt they were not able to continue the investigation, as Julian Assange was staying in Ecuador's embassy in London under the protection of the Ecuadorian authorities. He moved in to the embassy after the Supreme Court in the United Kingdom decided to extradite him to Sweden.

– The decision the ceilings by prosecutor Marianne Ny to discontinue the investigation was not motivated by difficulties related to evidence, Eva-Marie Persson continued.

Eva-Marie Persson has decided to reopen the investigation againt Julian Assange. Photo: Magnus Hallgren

However, last month, Julian Assange was evicted from the embassy, and the Ecuadorian authorities also decided to withdraw his protection. He was promptly arrested and later sentenced to 50 weeks in prison in Britain for breaching the conditions of bail.

The woman who made the allegations of rape against Julian Assange has wanted the case to be reopened and the Swedish prosecutors have considered it an option after Julian Assange was evicted from the embassy last month.

was suspected of four offences in Sweden in 2010. The statute of limititation expired for three of the allegations in 2015.

The statute of limitation for the allegation of rape, which is now being reopened, will expire in August 2020.

Elisabeth Massi Fritz, counsel for the injured party, has said that she believes it is possible that Julian Assange will be extradited to Sweden before the statute of limitation expires.

”We expect the Swedish prosecutors to show decisiveness,” she wrote to DN about the case.

Elisabeth Massi Fritz says that her client feels ”grateful” about the decision of the prosecuters:

" She has been very disappointed, but today she has regained her trust in the Swedish judicial system.

Assange is also facing charges in the US, where he is suspected of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion. He has previously said that he fears that the Swedish authorities will extradite him to the US if he moves from Britain to Sweden.

– If Julian Assange would be extradited to Sweden he would not be extradited from here to a third country without consent from the UK, Eva-Marie Persson said at the press conference.

Assange has denied the rape charges.

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