The Swedish authorities have decided to drop the rape investigation against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Sweden’s Deputy Public Prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson announced at a press conference in Stockholm on Tuesday.
According to Persson, the reason behind the decision is that “the evidence has weakened considerably due to the long period of time that has elapsed since the events in question.”
“I would like to emphasize that the injured party has presented a credible and reliable version of the facts. Her statements have been consistent, extensive and detailed; however, my general assessment is that the probationary situation has weakened so much that there is no longer any reason to continue the investigation,” said Persson, as reported in the Guardian.
The prosecutor explained that an additional interview with Julian Assange would not significantly change the balance of evidence in this case. “The evidence is not strong enough to present an accusation,” she added.
The investigation against Assange was reopened in May 2019 after the Swedish authorities decided to suspend it in 2017. According to the Swedish Prosecutor’s Office, a total of seven interviews with witnesses were conducted as part of this investigation during the summer of 2019.
Rape was one of the four allegations of sexual assault that the Australian faced after visiting Sweden in August 2010. In August 2015, the statute of limitations for three of the four accusations expired. Assange has denied all the accusations.
After the announcement in Sweden, the editor-in-chief of Wikileaks, Kristinn Hrafnsson, reacted to the news via Twitter saying: “Let’s focus now on the threats Assange has been warning for years: the belligerent prosecution of the United States and the threat that poses for the First Amendment. ”
In prison in London, Julian Assange is under threat of extradition to the United States where he faces a sentence of up to one hundred and seventy-five years in prison for spying.
The US authorities have accused him of endangering some of their sources when, in 2010, 250,000 diplomatic cables and about 500,000 confidential documents relating to US military activities in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan were released.