- Prosecutors in Sweden decided Monday that they will re-open their investigation into claims that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange raped a woman there in 2010.
- He was first accused in 2010, but the case was disrupted by Assange’s almost seven-year stay as a political asylum seeker in Ecuador’s London embassy.
- Eva-Marie Persson, a senior Swedish prosecutor, said she would pursue the case as she believes there is probable cause to try him.
- Assange is currently in London’s Belmarsh prison, serving a conviction for breaching bail conditions.
- The US is also seeking to prosecute Assagne for alleged computer hacking linked to WikiLeaks. It is not clear which case will get precedence, or what will happen to Assange next.
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Swedish prosecutors have decided to reopen a rape investigation into WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
The decision comes as Assange is already in prison in the UK, and also faces possible extradition to the US on claims of hacking a government computer, linked to his activity with WikiLeaks.
Eva-Marie Persson, the lead prosecutor in the case, announced the decision on Monday morning that Sweden would reopen its investigation into one allegation of rape.
Persson made the decision for the legal reason that previous court hearings in Sweden established that there is enough evidence to warrant a trial.
Persson will shortly request a warrant for Assange’s detention through an European Arrest Warrant.
She added that because Assange has been convicted in the UK and faces extradition to the US, British authorities can decide on the order of priority in the case of a conflict between Sweden’s arrest warrant and the US extradition request.
Swedish prosecutors opened a sexual assault investigation into Assange in August 2010, and in 2012 the UK ruled the he should be extradited to Sweden to face questioning. He is accused of rape and molestation.
Assange has consistently denied the allegations. In June 2012 he moved into Ecuador’s embassy in London as a political asylum seeker, compliating the case.
Swedish prosecutors dropped their investigation into Assange in August 2015, saying that they could not pursue the case while he was in the embassy.
US prosecutors requested Assange’s extradition last month Ecuador revoked his asylum, and Assange was arrested and forcibly removed from the embassy.
One of the women involved in the Swedish allegations asked for the investigation to be reopened after Assange’s expulsion from the embassy. Her name has not been made public.
Two weeks ago a British court also sentenced him to 50 weeks in prison for breaching bail conditions in the UK and avoiding extradition to Sweden seven years ago.
Assange is currently living in a high-security prison in southeast London.
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