Sweden Reopening Julian Assange Rape Case, Complicating U.S. Extradition Effort

Swedish authorities announced Monday that they’re reopening their rape case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after he’d been kicked out of the Ecuadoran embassy in London. The nation’s deputy director of public prosecutions Eva-Marie Persson made the announcement in a news conference, according to the BBC.

He remains locked up at the Belmarsh prison in London, after being sentenced to 50 weeks behind bars for violating bail conditions.

Sweden would seek extradition, but this will complicate similar efforts in the United States. The Department of Justice wants to prosecute him for helping Chelsea Manning crack a password on U.S. Department of Defense computers.

Sweden dropped their criminal case two years ago, while Assange remained at the Ecuadoran embassy.

“Since Julian Assange was arrested on 11 April 2019, there has been considerable political pressure on Sweden to reopen their investigaiton, but there has always been political pressure surrounding this case,” WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson said in a statement. He maintained that Assange was willing and able to answer questions about the case at the Ecuadoran embassy.

[Image via Jack Taylor/Getty Images]

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