Get in line, USA: Sweden reopens Assange rape allegations probe

Applies for European Arrest Warrant

Sweden's deputy director of public prosecutions Eva-Marie Persson is reopening an investigation into WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange regarding allegations of rape.

In early April the lawyer for the injured party in Scandanavia asked prosecutors to resume the preliminary investigation. The allegations date from August 2010.

Persson said today in a statement: “I take the view that there exists the possibility to take the case forward. Julian Assange has been convicted of a crime in the UK and will serve 25 weeks of his sentence before he can be released...

"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.”

Sweden will issue a European Arrest Warrant requesting Assange’s detention. Persson said the interview could be carried out in the UK but that would require Assange's consent.

Assange has always denied the accusations.

The Wikileaks founder was this month bundled out of the Ecuadorean embassy where he was based since 2012. He was later sentenced to 50 weeks for jumping bail.

US authorities have charged him with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion.

The lawyer for the complainant tweeted in the weeks before Assange's arrest: "The statute of limitations for the rape allegation against Assange expire in August 2020. Until then we will continue to fight for Assange to be extradited to Sweden and prosecuted for rape."

Assange is currently being held in Belmarsh prison. ®

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