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Sweden to reopen Julian Assange rape case – CNET

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange faces a reopened Swedish rape investigation.

Daniel Leal-olivas /AFP/Getty Images

Swedish authorities will reopen an investigation into rape allegations against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

The inquiry was revived at the request of the alleged victim's lawyer, according to the BBC. It began after two women in 2010 accused Assange (who was living in London) of sexually assaulting them while in Stockholm for a WikiLeaks conference.

Assange is serving a 50-week sentence in British prison for skipping bail in 2012, having been arrested immediately after leaving the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

Sweden to reopen Julian Assange rape case     - CNET

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He'd lived there for nearly seven years to avoid being extradited to Sweden over the 9-year-old allegations and later to the US for his alleged role in a massive leak of classified materials, which the US Justice Department called "one of the largest compromises of classified information in the history of the United States."

Sweden dropped the investigation in 2017 because it couldn't proceed while Assange remained in the embassy, but prosecutors noted at the time that they hadn't cleared him.

In the wake of his arrest, one of the alleged victim's lawyers, Elisabeth Massi Fritz, tweeted about their efforts to get the Swedish investigation reopened.

"No rape victim should have to wait 9 years to see justice be served," she wrote.

Since the US has already kicked off the extradition process on the conspiracy charge,  British officials "will decide on the order of priority," according to the Swedish Prosecution Authority. Earlier this month, Assange refused to surrender to a US extradition request during a London hearing.

Neither WikiLeaks, Assange's lawyer nor the US Justice Department immediately responded to a request for comment.

First published at 2:53 a.m. PT.
Updated at 3:55 a.m. PT: Adds more detail.

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