Swedish prosecutors on Monday said they were reopening a 2010 rape investigation against WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, hoping to bring him to justice before the statute of limitations expires in August 2020, AFP reports.
Sweden’s Deputy Director of public prosecutions, Eva-Marie Persson stated this while addressing reporters in Stockholm.
The Australian whistleblower, who hid himself in the Ecuadoran embassy in London for seven years to avoid a British extradition order to Sweden, was arrested on April 11 after Ecuador gave him up.
In May, a London court sentenced him to 50 weeks in jail for breaching the British order.
According to Persson, “there is still probable cause to suspect that Mr Assange committed rape.”
She added: “The previous decision (in May 2017) to close the investigation was not based on difficulties related to evidence, but on difficulties that blocked the investigation.
“Now that he has left Ecuador’s embassy, the conditions in the case have changed and I am of the opinion that the conditions are in place once again to pursue the case.”
The 47-year-old has always claimed the Swedish allegations were a pretext to transfer him to the United States, where he fears prosecution over the release of millions of classified documents by WikiLeaks.