19:38 GMT +315 October 2019
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    Wikileaks founder Julian Assange speaks from the balcony of the Ecuadorean Embassy in London (File)

    LIVE UPDATES: Sweden Reopens Inquiry Into Rape Allegations Against Assange

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    Sweden Reopens Inquiry Into Assange Sexual Assault Case (9)
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    In 2010, 2 Swedish women accused Julian Assange of sexual assault, with the country’s authorities later opening a probe into the women’s allegations. By 2015, the statute of limitations had expired on 3 of the accusations against Assange because he had been holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. The case was eventually dropped 2 years later.

    Swedish prosecutors have announced that an inquiry into rape allegations against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange have been reopened. During a Monday press conference, Sweden's Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Eva-Marie Persson said that circumstances now allow for Assange to be extradited from the UK, where he is currently being held in prison, to Sweden.

    READ MORE: Julian Assange Won't Survive Extradition to US, Pamela Anderson Fears (VIDEO)

    The Swedish prosecution then announced it would seek the extradition of Assange after he has served his prison term in the UK, adding that, the whistleblower could not be sent to a third country without London's consent.

    In the meantime, WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kistinn Hrafnsson has said that the reopening of the case would give Assange a chance to clear his name.

    "Since Julian Assange was arrested on 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. Its reopening will give Julian a chance to clear his name", Hrafnsson said in a statement.

    In August 2010, just months before the US announced that there was an "active" investigation into WikiLeaks after it published Iraq and Afghanistan war logs, two women in Sweden came forward with accusations of rape and molestation against Assange.

    READ MORE: Manning Could Delay US Superseding Indictment Against Assange

    The Australian-born journalist vehemently denied the allegations, stressing that the sex was consensual, and insisted that the case was politically motivated because it emerged shortly after WikiLeaks dumped US docs.

    Even though the investigation was closed, a special prosecutor has reopened the probe, saying that she wanted to interrogate him again on two counts of sexual molestation, one count of unlawful coercion and one count of "lesser-degree rape".

    After Assange fled to London, Sweden demanded that he be extradited to face the allegations there, with UK's Supreme Court ruling in favour of the prosecution in 2012. In an attempt to avoid extradition, Assange, who lost a final appeal in the British court, asked for asylum at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he subsequently spent over seven years.

    By August 2015, the statute of limitations had expired on three allegations; the investigation into the "lesser-degree rape", whose statute of limitations is to expire in 2020, remained open until May 2017.

    READ MORE: 'Tricky Task' for Sweden to Pass Verdict on Assange Rape Inquiry

    The prosecution dropped the case in 2017, as they said that it didn't seem possible to get him to Sweden in the foreseeable future. Swedish authorities, however, emphasised that the case could be resumed if he visited Sweden before 2020.

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    • 19:04

      Lawyer for Assange's Alleged Rape Victim Hopes UK to Extradite Whistleblower to Sweden

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      Lawyer for Assange's Rape Accuser Hopes UK to Extradite Assange to Sweden

      STOCKHOLM (Sputnik) - The lawyer for the woman who accused WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of rape in 2010 before having her case dismissed years later hailed on Monday the decision of Swedish prosecutors to reopen the case, saying that it was in her client's interest for the United Kingdom to extradite Assange to Sweden.
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    • 16:11

      How Assange Sexual Assault Case Unfolded Over the Years

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      Swedish Probe: How Assange Sexual Assault Case Unfolded Over the Years

      Mr. Assange has remained at the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden, stating fears of being extradited to the United States for espionage charges after publishing classified documents from US veteran whistleblower Chelsea Manning.
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    • 14:56

      Prosecutors Will Need to Move Quickly in Light of Statute of Limitations - Lawyer for Alleged Rape Victim

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      Swedish Lawyer for Assange's Rape Accuser Expects Inquiry to Result in Criminal Charge

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      Lawyer for Assange Rape Accuser Holds Presser

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    • 12:53

      Assange Wants to Help Investigation, Only Fears US Extradition - Swedish Lawyer

      According to Assange's lawyer Per E Samuelson, his client is ready to to help put an end Swedish rape allegations and only fears being extradited to the United States.

      "He has always wanted to help solve this Swedish issue, his big predicament in life is that he risks being extradited to the United States because of his journalistic work".

    • 12:47

      There Has Been 'Political Pressure' on Sweden to Reopen Assange Case - WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief

      WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson said Monday that the reopening of a 2010 rape investigation against Assange will give him "a chance to clear his name".

      The official added that there had been "political pressure" on Sweden to reopen the case into Assange.

    • 12:37

      Sweden to Seek Assange's Extradition After He Serves Prison Term in UK

      Sweden is hoping to have some "indication" from the United Kingdom on Assange's extradition in the summer, Persson said.

    • 12:36

      Assange's Lawyer Slams Sweden's Decision to Reopen Inquiry Into Rape Allegations as an 'Embarrassment'

      "I'm surprised. It's embarrassing for Sweden to reopen the investigation", Per E Samuelson told Swedish TV.

    • 12:34

      If Extradited to Sweden, Assange Couldn't be Sent to Third Country Without UK Consent - Swedish Prosecutor

      According to Eva-Marie Persson, Sweden will issue a so-called European arrest warrant. Thus, the UK will have to decide to extradite Assange to Sweden or to the United States.

      "In the event of a conflict between a European Arrest Warrant and a request for extradition from the US, UK authorities will decide on the order of priority", Persson said, as quoted in the statement of the Swedish Prosecution Authority.

    • 12:21

      New Interview With Assange Should be Held - Swedish Prosecutor

      "It is my assessment that a new questioning of Assange is required", Eva-Marie Persson, Sweden's deputy director of public prosecutions, told a news conference in Stockholm.

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    Sweden Reopens Inquiry Into Assange Sexual Assault Case (9)
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