Second time lucky: Sweden drops Julian Assange rape investigation

www.theregister.co.uk | 11/19/2019 | Staff
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A rape investigation involving everyone's favourite cupboard-dwelling WikiLeaker, Julian Assange, has been dropped, Swedish prosecutors told the world's press today.

Deputy director of public prosecutions Eva-Marie Persson told journalists that the case against Assange had been discontinued, around seven years after allegations were first made against him by two complainants related to incidents that allegedly took place in August 2010.

Reason - Decision - Evidence - Period - Time

"The reason for this decision is that the evidence has weakened considerably due to the long period of time that has elapsed since the events in question," said the Swedish Prosecution Authority in a public statement.

Citing previous decisions of the Swedish Supreme Court on the legal tests needed to proceed with a rape investigation, prosecutors said these rulings "imply that it is insufficient for the injured party's version of events to be more credible than the suspect's [evidence, on its own, to justify a prosecution*]; however, a credible assertion of events on the part of the injured party in combination with other facts that have emerged may be sufficient for a conviction."

Sweden - Evidence - Allegation - Prosecution - Allegation

It appears that in Sweden there must be independent evidence that backs up an allegation before a prosecution can go ahead. An allegation alone, however compelling, appears not to meet the legal threshold.

Naomi Colvin, an Assange campaigner currently with the Bridges for Media Freedom campaign group, tweeted: "Without wanting to state the obvious, if the investigation had ever been conducted properly, this [today's dropping of the investigation] would have happened many years ago."

Campaign - Greg - Barns - Register - Decision

The campaign's Greg Barns chipped in to tell The Register: "The decision by Sweden is the only one it could have taken. It finally recognises that Julian Assange's adamant denial of wrongdoing is the truth. It is the US that must now be persuaded to drop its unfair and dangerous pursuit of Assange."

After the passage of nearly 10 years,...
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