Sweden officially re-opens rape probe against Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange
Swedish prosecutors have re-opened an investigation into a rape allegation made against Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange in 2010. The inquiry has been revived at the request of the alleged victim's lawyer. Assange, who denies the charges, has avoided extradition to Sweden for seven years after seeking refuge at the Ecuadorean embassy in London in 2012.
The 47-year-old was evicted last month and sentenced to 50 weeks in jail for breaching his bail conditions. He is currently being held at Belmarsh prison in London. Swedish prosecutors originally decided to drop the rape investigation two years ago, saying they felt unable to take the case forward while Assange remained holed up inside the Ecuadorean embassy. But on Monday, Sweden's deputy director of public prosecutions, Eva-Marie Persson, announced that the case would be reopened.
"There is still probable cause to suspect that Mr Assange committed rape. Now that he has left Ecuador's embassy, the conditions in the case have changed and... the conditions are in place once again to pursue the case," she said.