Publicado: Vie, May 17, 2019
Global | Por Milagro Delgado

Sweden to reopen rape case against WikiLeaks’ Assange

Sweden to reopen rape case against WikiLeaks’ Assange

Assange is now serving a 50-week sentence in the high security Belmarsh prison in London for jumping bail and finding refuge inside the Ecuadorian embassy for seven years until he was dragged out last month.With good behaviour, he would qualify for a 50 per cent remission of his sentence and be out in 25 weeks. All the documents, cell phones, computers and other devices are expected to be handed over to the United States.

Sweden is resuming its investigation of Julian Assange on rape allegations and will issue a European warrant for his arrest, state prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson said Monday.

Assange insists the sex was consensual.

The Australian secret-spiller now faces questioning in Sweden, on top of being held on a USA extradition warrant for allegedly conspiring with former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to hack into a Pentagon computer.

Earlier this month, a criminal law expert told NPR that despite adding to his legal complications, Assange could actually benefit from having Sweden involved. Most of the claims had expired due to the statute of limitations, but the rape allegation is not yet time barred.

Assange was arrested in April at the Ecuadoran embassy in London, where he spent seven years after seeking asylum.

"His attitude is that he is happy to cooperate with Sweden and that he wants to be interviewed and that he wants to clear his name", Per Samuelson, a Swedish lawyer for Assange, told Reuters.

Governor Eric Holcomb directs flags to be flown at half-staff
Holcomb also asks businesses and residents across the state to lower their flags to half-staff. Wednesday, May 15, on the east side of the state Capitol's judicial wing in Bismarck.

If Sweden requests Assange's extradition from the UK, Home Secretary Sajid Javid would choose which request - Sweden's, or America's, to address first.

The statute of limitations on that case expires next August. A Swedish court would formally issue the extradition request, which Assange could appeal.

Persson said it was "impossible to predict" how the extradition process would unfold. If found guilty, the 47-year-old could face up to four years in Swedish prison. Swedish authorities have had to shelf it because Assange was living at the embassy at the time and there was no prospect of bringing him to Sweden.

Neither of the alleged victims has been named publicly.

"Since Julian Assange was arrested in 11 April 2019, there has been considerable political pressure on Sweden to reopen their investigation, but there has always been political pressure surrounding this case", he said. In Assange's case, the action has been brought by the United States government, which if successful could consign him to possibly a life time in prison or even a death sentence.

Olsen reported from Copenhagen, Denmark.

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