Swedish Court Rules Not to Extradite Julian Assange in Rape Probe - NBC Connecticut
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Swedish Court Rules Not to Extradite Julian Assange in Rape Probe

The WikiLeaks founder is also fighting extradition to the U.S., which accuses him of publishing secret documents.



    5 Way to Maintain Your Mobile Lifestyle . . . for Less
    Matt Dunham/AP, FIle
    This May 1, 2019, file photo shows WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange being taken from court, where he appeared on charges of jumping British bail seven years ago, in London. Assange had been jailed for 50 weeks for breaching his bail after going into hiding in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should not be extradited to Sweden for a revived rape investigation, but should still be questioned in the case while he is imprisoned in Britain, a Swedish court ruled Monday,

    The ruling by the Uppsala District Court doesn't mean the preliminary investigation must be abandoned, only that Assange doesn't face extradition to Sweden any time soon.

    Eva-Marie Persson, Sweden's deputy director of public prosecutions, said she has not decided whether to appeal.

    "I will also issue a European Investigation Order in order to interview Julian Assange," Persson said, adding that she hasn't picked a possible date for the questioning in England.

    A Timeline of WikiLeaks' Julian Assange's Time in Self-Exile

    [NATL]A Timeline of WikiLeaks' Julian Assange's Time in Self-Exile

    WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange had spent up to six years in self-imposed exile at the Ecuadorean embassy in London until he was forcibly carried out and arrested by British police. These were the events that led up to it.

    (Published Thursday, May 23, 2019)

    Assange's lawyer in Sweden, Per E. Samuelsson, said his client would "be happy, we are happy" to learn he won't be extradited to Sweden.

    The 47-year-old Assange was evicted on April 11 from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he had been holed up with political asylum since 2012. He was immediately arrested by British police and is currently serving a 50-week sentence for jumping bail in 2012.

    He is also fighting extradition to the United States, which accuses him of violating the Espionage Act by publishing secret documents hacked from the Pentagon containing the names of confidential military and diplomatic sources.

    Last week, Assange missed a court session in Britain, reportedly due to health problems.

    The allegations two Sweden women made against Assange stem from a trip to Stockholm he made in August 2010. One of the women was involved in organizing a political event and offered to host Assange at her apartment. The other woman was in the audience.

    A police officer who heard the women's accounts decided there was reason to suspect they were sex crime victims and handed the case to a prosecutor for further investigation.

    Assange’s Lawyer on Arrest: ‘This Sets a Dangerous Precedent’

    [NATL] Assange’s Lawyer on Arrest: ‘This Sets a Dangerous Precedent’

    Julian Assange’s lawyer, Jennifer Robinson, told reporters outside a London court Thursday that her client’s arrest sets a dangerous precedent for the rights of journalists.

    (Published Thursday, April 11, 2019)

    Assange has denied wrongdoing, asserting that the allegations were politically motivated and that the sex was consensual.

    The part of the probe dealing with sexual misconduct was dropped in 2017 when the statute of limitations for charging Assange with that crime expired.

    The rape allegation still could be prosecuted; the statute of limitations expires in August 2020. Swedish authorities shelved the case while Assange was living at the Ecuadorian Embassy since there was no prospect of bringing him to Sweden for questioning.

    Assange is wanted in Sweden on suspicion of "intentionally having carried out an intercourse" with an unnamed woman "by unduly exploiting that she was in a helpless state because of sleep," according to court documents.

    Assange faces a maximum of four years in prison in Sweden if he is convicted of rape.