Sweden to continue Assange sexual assault investigation

Swedish prosecutor drops two charges, but will continue sexual assault allegations made against WikiLeaks founder.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy, in London, UK. (February 5, 2016)

Updated Apr 21, 2017

Swedish prosecutors on Thursday have withdrawn two of four sexual assault allegations made against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange due to running out of time to bring charges.

“Now that the statute of limitations has expired on certain offences, I am obliged to drop part of the investigation,” said Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny.

However, Ny also said her investigation over rape allegations made against Assange will continue.

The current allegations dropped are one count of sexual assault and unlawful coercion. An allegation of sexual molestation is expected to be expired on August 18.

Assange can still be prosecuted for rape, as there is a 10-year statute of limitations and it will run out in 2020.

Assange had been accused of sexually assaulting two women he met while on a trip in Sweden in 2010. The 44-year-old has denied the allegations made against him.

Under the Swedish law prosecutors are forbidden to charge Assange with a crime that was committed within five years of the alleged offences.

Assange has been living in refuge in Ecuador’s London embassy since 2012 to avoid deportation.

British police officers have been guarding the embassy on a 24 hour basis after Sweden issued a warrant calling for the arrest of the Australian national, who could be extradited to Sweden to face charges.

Assange stated the allegations are a plot to get him deported to Sweden to be later extradited to the US, where he is wanted for the leaking of 500,000 classified military files and could potentially face the death penalty.  


TRTWorld and agencies