Sweden has closed its rape investigation into Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, saying that the evidence against him is not strong enough for an indictment.
URGENT: Sweden Drops Investigation of Julian Assange.— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) November 19, 2019
While all investigative steps have been taken in the case, including additional interviews with Assange, the evidence does not prove he committed a criminal act according to the prosecutor.
The Prosecution Authority added that oral testimony in the case had "weakened," which is natural over time. The decision can be appealed.
Sweden had previously dropped the case against Assange in May of 2017, announcing that "Given that all options for moving the investigation forward are now exhausted, it appears that — in light of the views expressed by the supreme court on the proportionality of arresting someone in absentia — it is no longer proportional to maintain the decision to remand Julian Assange in his absence"
Then, after two years prosecutors revived their inquiry into Assange following his ouster from the embassy. At the time, Wikileaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson accused Sweden of bowing to external pressure, saying "there has been considerable political pressure on Sweden to reopen their investigation, but there has always been political pressure surrounding this case."
Kristinn Hrafnsson, WikiLeaks editor-in-chief: “Let us now focus on the threat Mr Assange has been warning about for years: the belligerent prosecution of the United States and the threat it poses to the First Amendment.⁰"— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) November 19, 2019
Assange avoided extradition to Sweden for seven years after he sought refuge at the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2012. The 48-yaer-old publisher was kicked out in May, and was sentenced to 50 weeks in jail for breaching his bail conditions. He is currently being held at Belmarsh prison in London, where he faces extradition to the United States on 17 charges related to his work obtaining top-secret US national security information. He faces up to 175 years in prison if convicted.
Oh man its almost like the whole thing was an excuse to arrest Assange and then extradite him to the US— Tim Pool (@Timcast) November 19, 2019
If only someone would warned us it was a sham https://t.co/5NHI8iX66p