Sweden has closed its investigation into Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, stating that the evidence against him is not strong enough to prove he committed a crime.
While all investigative steps have been taken in the case, including additional interviews with Assange during his stay in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, the evidence is not strong enough to prove he committed a criminal act according to the prosecutor.
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Deputy Director of Public Prosecution, Eva-Marie Persson, has confirmed that the authorities would discontinue the case that dates back to 2010 and resulted in Assange seeking political asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where he stayed for seven years.
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Speaking at a news conference on Tuesday, Persson said: “I want to inform about my decision to discontinue the preliminary investigation.“
The Prosecution Authority added that oral testimony in the case had “weakened,” which is natural over time. The decision can be appealed.
Sweden had previously dropped the case against Assange in May of 2017, announcing 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“
Then, after two years prosecutors revived their inquiry into Assange following his removal from the embassy.
At the time, Wikileaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson accused Sweden of bowing to external pressure, saying “there has been considerable political pressure on Sweden to reopen their investigation, but there has always been political pressure surrounding this case.“
Assange has avoided extradition to Sweden for seven years after he sought refuge at the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2012. The 48-year-old publisher was kicked out in May, and was sentenced to 50 weeks in jail for breaching his bail conditions.
He is currently being held at Belmarsh prison in London, despite having served the entirety of his 50 week sentence. He faces extradition to the United States on 17 charges related to his work obtaining top-secret US national security information and faces up to 175 years in prison if convicted.