With all investigative steps having been taken in the rape case against Julian Assange, the Swedish prosecutor has announced that there's little evidence that Assange committed a criminal act and the case has been dropped.
The Prosecution Authority said that oral testimony they were presented within the case had “weakened”.
The official WikiLeaks Twitter account broke the news:
URGENT: Sweden Drops Investigation of Julian Assange.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) November 19, 2019
“I want to inform about my decision to discontinue the preliminary investigation,” deputy chief prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson told a news conference.
The WikiLeaks founder has avoided extradition to Sweden since 2012 when he sought refuge at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
The 48-year-old WikiLeaks publisher was kicked out in May and is now serving 50 weeks in jail for breaching his bail conditions. He is currently being held at Belmarsh prison in London where his sentence is being served.
Sweden had previously decided to drop the case against Assange in May of 2017, saying 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”
However, after two years, prosecutors revived their investigation into Assange as soon as he was kicked out of the Ecuadorian embassy.
At the time, Wikileaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson openly accused Sweden of caving to outside pressure, saying that the allegations are purely political and that “there has been considerable political pressure on Sweden to reopen their investigation, but there has always been political pressure surrounding this case.”
Today Hrafnsson said: “Sweden has dropped its preliminary investigation into Mr Assange for the third time, after reopening it without any new evidence or information.
“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.”
Assange is still fighting extradition to the US, which accuses him of publishing classified documents that showed unsavory actions of the US military and other departments.