The country of Sweden has reportedly reopened a preliminary investigation into accusations of rape brought against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
TechCrunch reports that Sweden plans to issue a European Arrest Warrant for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange over accusations of rape brought against him in 2010. The Swedish government will also be issuing a detention order to Uppsala District Court due to the fact that the alleged crime was said to have taken place in Enköping municipality.
Previous investigations into the claims were dropped after Assange fled to the Ecuadorian embassy in London, England in 2012. Recently, Assange was removed from the embassy for extradition to the U.S. under charges of conspiracy with Chelsea Manning in 2010. There was a second allegation of rape made against Assange by another Swedish woman but this case could not be reopened due to a legal time-limit on the case which had expired.
Assange no longer has diplomatic asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy and was arrested in a public display last month after being found guilty of breaching his 2012 bail conditions. Assange was sentenced to 50 weeks prison time by a judge in the Southwark Crown Court and is currently serving his sentence at Belmarsh prison in the U.K.
Eva-Marie Persson. Sweden’s deputy director of public prosecution stated that any issues that arise between the European Arrest Warrant and existing U.S. extradition requests will be handled by UK authorities. Persson stated:
I am well aware of the fact that an extradition process is ongoing in the UK and that he could be extradited to the US. In the event of a conflict between a European Arrest Warrant and a request for extradition from the US, UK authorities will decide on the order of priority. The outcome of this process is impossible to predict. However, in my view the Swedish case can proceed concurrently with the proceedings in the UK.
Discussing why Sweden was choosing now to go reopen the case, Persson stated: “On account of Julian Assange leaving the Ecuadorian embassy, the circumstances in this case have changed. I take the view that there exists the possibility to take the case forward.” Persson added that reopening the investigation into Assange means that “a number of investigative measures will take place.”
WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson commented on the reopening of the investigation, stated that the country is doing so “under intense political pressure” and that the case “has been mishandled throughout.” Hrafnsson added that further investigation into the allegations “will give Julian a chance to clear his name.”
Hrafnsson stated: “Assange was always willing to answer any questions from the Swedish authorities and repeatedly offered to do so, over six years. The widespread media assertion that Assange ‘evaded’ Swedish questioning is false.”
The expiry date on the case is reportedly set for some time in August 2020, as a result, 70 UK MP’s signed a letter urging the home secretary to “champion action” to ensure that Assange faces Swedish authorities. The letter called for Sajid Javid to “stand with the victims of sexual violence and seek to ensure the case against Mr Assange can now be properly investigated,” and to ensure “due process” in the case.
Tonight over 70 parliamentarians stand with victims of sexual violence, and are calling on both the Home Secretary and the shadow Home Sec to urge them both to be champions of action to ensure Julian Assange faces Swedish authorities and is extradited there if they so request: pic.twitter.com/uaJMM984Cc
— stellacreasy (@stellacreasy) April 12, 2019
Breitbart News will continue to report on WikiLeaks and further developments in Assange’s case.