STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – A Swedish prosecutor dropped a rape investigation against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, ending the near decade-old case that had sent the anti-secrecy campaigner into hiding in London’s Ecuadorian embassy to avoid extradition.
Although the prosecutor’s decision can be appealed, it probably closes the case, which was launched in 2010. The accuser’s lawyer said she was studying whether to appeal it.
Assange skipped bail in Britain to avoid possible extradition and took refuge in the embassy in 2012. He was dragged out by police in April this year, and is now in jail fighting extradition to the United States on computer hacking and espionage charges unveiled after he left the embassy.
While Assange was in the embassy, the statute of limitations ran out on investigating all but one of several Swedish sex crime complaints originally filed by two women. Deputy Chief Prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson reopened the remaining case after Assange left the embassy, but she said on Tuesday the passage of time meant there was not enough evidence to indict Assange. MORE