Julian Assange may face rape charges in Sweden

By Helene Fung

Julian Assange went into the Ecuadorian embassy in London back in 2012 for asylum, hoping to avoid being extradited to Sweden for sexual assault charges against him (which he denied committing). After seven years, Ecuador withdrew asylum, and Mr Assangewas arrested and removed from the embassy on Thursday 11th of April, 2019.

The sexual assault charges were dropped in May 2017, but the Swedish Prosecution Authority indicated in a statement that they are now re-examining the case and considering a request to resume preliminary investigation. The request was made by Elisabeth Massi Fritz, a lawyer representing one of the alleged victims, following news of Mr Assange’s arrest.

The prosecutors said they do not have a timetable for making any decisions on the case, but added that the statute for limitations would not expire until August 2020.

After Mr Assange’s arrest, he was charged and found guilty of breaching bail in Westminster Magistrates Court. It was also announced in court that he is to facea charge of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion in the US, for his alleged role in WikiLeaks’ 2010 dumping of government secrets.

Mr Assange’s Swedish lawyer, Per E Samuelson, told media that it would be “highly unlikely” Mr Assange would face a Swedish courtroom, and that the US’s extradition request would trump Sweden’s.

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