Tuesday 19 November 2019 1:48 pm

Swedish prosecutors drop Julian Assange rape case

Swedish prosecutors have dropped their investigation into an alleged rape by Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

Assange was accused of rape in Sweden in 2010. He then fled to the UK where he took up residence in the Ecuadorian embassy.

Read more: Julian Assange extradition hearing set for February 2020

The probe had been shelved 2017 but was reopened after Assange left the Ecuadorian embassy in the spring of this year. He is currently in prison in the UK.

Now, the Swedish Prosecution Authority (SPA) has said it will not pursue the case, due to its view that “the evidence has weakened considerably due to the long period of time that has elapsed since the events in question”.

Eva-Marie Persson, deputy director of public prosecution at the SPA, said: “I would like to emphasise that the injured party has submitted a credible and reliable version of events. Her statements have been coherent, extensive and detailed.”

“However, my overall assessment is that the evidential situation has been weakened to such an extent that that there is no longer any reason to continue the investigation.”

Assange has always denied the allegation.

The 48-year-old Australian citizen has been a controversial figure for the last decade.

He founded Wikileaks, the activist media organisation that has published thousands of pages of classified US government documents, many relating to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Read more: Sajid Javid signs US extradition request for Julian Assange

He stands accused in the US of soliciting and publishing classified information. When home secretary, current chancellor Sajid Javid signed an order allowing Assange to be extradited to the US.

Assange is currently in prison in the UK after leaving the Ecuadorian embassy. In September the authorities decided he would stay locked up possibly until his final extradition hearing, which is expected in February.

(Image credit: Getty)