In Sweden, prosecutors are reopening an investigation into sexual assault allegations against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and are seeking his extradition to face charges in Sweden. Prosecutors had dropped the investigation in 2017 because they said the case could not proceed while Assange was holed up at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, where he lived for seven years before being forcefully removed by British police last month. Assange has since been sentenced to 50 weeks in jail in Britain for skipping bail in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden. Assange has denied the sexual assault accusations. Assange previously faced another sexual misconduct allegation, but its statute of limitations expired in 2015.
WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson said, “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. This case has been mishandled throughout.” The United States is also seeking Assange’s extradition over the publication of leaked documents by Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning, which showed evidence of U.S. war crimes in Iraq.