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11 Apr 2019 13:26
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is seen on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in 2017. (Reuters/Peter Nicholls)
The lawyer of the Swedish woman who accused Julian Assange of rape in 2010 said Thursday she and her client would ask Swedish prosecutors to reopen the investigation which was dropped in 2017.
“We will do everything we can to get the prosecutors to reopen the Swedish investigation so that Assange can be extradited to Sweden and be prosecuted for rape. As long as the statute of limitations has not expired my client has hope for restitution,” lawyer Elisabeth Massi Fritz said.
Sweden’s director of public prosecutions Marianne Ny decided in May 2017 to shut a preliminary investigation into the rape allegations.
She argued that since Assange could not be reached after taking up residence in the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2012, it was not possible to proceed with the probe.
Ny also said that if Assange were to become available again, prosecutors could decide to reopen the investigation.
A spokesman for the Swedish Prosecution Authority told AFP on Thursday they were following the news of Assange’s arrest.
“We are looking into the issue,” he said.
The Swedish accusation against Assange dates from August 2010 when the alleged victim, who says she met him at a WikiLeaks conference in Stockholm a few days earlier, filed a complaint.
She accused him of raping her — as she slept — without using a condom despite repeatedly having denied him unprotected sex.
Assange has always denied the allegations, which he feared would lead to him being extradited to the United States and facing trial over the leak of hundreds of thousands of secret US military and diplomatic documents in 2010, which brought WikiLeaks to prominence.
© Agence France-Presse
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