Julian Assange: Sweden reopens rape investigation


Swedish prosecutors are to re-open investigation into a rape allegation against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Swedish prosecutors originally chose to drop the rape investigation two years ago, saying they felt unable to take the case forward while Assange remained inside the Ecuadorean embassy.

The Australian whistleblower, who holed himself up in the Ecuadoran embassy in London for seven years to avoid a British extradition order to Sweden, was arrested on April 11 after Ecuador gave him up.

Assange is also charged in the United States with conspiracy to "commit computer intrusion" by helping former USA intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning of "cracking a password" to access classified documents. He also slammed media reports that Assange had eluded questioning throughout his time in London, insisting that "Assange was always willing to answer any questions from the Swedish authorities and repeatedly offered to do so, over six years".

He is now in London's Belmarsh Prison serving a 50-week sentence for jumping bail in 2012.

He is already facing the possibility of being extradited to the United States on charges of conspiring to break into a classified government computer.

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What is the Swedish investigation about?

Sweden will issue a European Arrest Warrant requesting Assange's detention. Assange has denied wrongdoing, asserting that they were politically motivated and that the sex was consensual.

A case of alleged sexual misconduct was dropped in 2017 when the statute of limitations expired.

Neither of the alleged victims has been named publicly.

Hrafnsson also alleges that he has received reports of Swedish and British authorities destroying documents related to the case, though he did not provide any evidence.

However, if Sweden made an extradition request, Ms Niblock said it would be for the home secretary to decide which request would take precedence, considering factors such as the seriousness of the offence and which request was made first.