18:31 GMT22 October 2020
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    Sweden dropped the investigation into sexual assault allegations against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in 2017, bringing an end to a seven-year legal standoff.

    Julian Assange has requested compensation from Sweden for his legal costs, totalling roughly 9 million kronor ($969,000), related to the investigation into rape allegations, Stockholm daily Svenska Dagbladet reported.

    READ MORE: Ecuador Stays Silent on Assange's Allegedly Imminent Expulsion From Embassy

    According to the newspaper, the sum would cover Assange’s expenses on lawyers in Sweden, the UK, and Ecuador.

    The WikiLeaks founder also reportedly seeks 600,000 kronor ($64,500) for the translation of documents in the course of the investigation, and over 1 million kronor ($107,500) for sending requests to the United Nations and other international organisations.

    The was been filed with the Supreme Court after the district and appeal courts rejected it, as in 2011, Assange turned down a public defender appointed and paid for by the state, having hired private lawyers instead.

    Svenska Dagbladet cited Assange’s Swedish attorney Per Samuelson as saying that the lawyer of the alleged victim in the case has already received 450,000 kronor ($48,375) from the state as compensation.

    "We asked the Supreme Court to consider this case, since it is crucial that people who have been suspected of committing crimes for several years receive compensation for the costs", Samuelsson said.

    In his appeal, Samuelson and six other Swedish lawyers argue that there are “special reasons” for reimbursement, since Assange has been in custody for seven years.

    READ MORE: Assange Ousting 'Politicised', Linked to Moreno Corruption Probe – Activists

    In 2010, two women in Sweden came forward with accusations of rape and molestation against Julian Assange. He has consistently denied the allegations, saying that the sex was consensual and that the case was politically motivated, as it followed WikiLeaks’ dumps of classified US military documents in 2010.

    The same year, he was arrested in London after the Swedish prosecution issued an international arrest warrant against him; he was released on bail soon after. The legal battle lingered on, with Sweden demanding that he be extradited to face allegations there; in 2012, Britain’s Supreme Court ruled in favour of the extradition.

    In a desperate bid to avoid extradition, Assange asked the Ecuadorean Embassy for asylum, and since then he’s been holed up there to avoid extradition to Sweden, and then, supposedly, to the United States.

    Three years later, Swedish prosecutors dropped part of their probe, but proceeded with the rape investigation. In 2017, Sweden announced it would discontinue the investigation against Assange, with the prosecution saying that it didn’t seem possible to get the whistle-blower to Sweden “in the foreseeable future”. Britain has still not dropped the arrest warrant against him.


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