News

World

Sweden Drops Rape Investigation into Wikileaks’ Assange

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after he was arrested by British police, in London, Britain, April 11, 2019. (Henry Nicholls/Reuters)

Sweden has ended an investigation into rape allegations brought against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, prosecutors announced Tuesday.

“Deputy Director of Public Prosecution Eva-Marie Persson has today decided to discontinue the investigation,” said prosecutors. “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.”

Assange was captured by authorities in Britain in 2010 following the rape allegations in Sweden. While Sweden had fought to extradite him, Assange managed to delay the extradition and in 2012 holed himself up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he remained for seven years before Ecuador expelled him into the hands of British police.

The decision by Swedish prosecutors may make it easier for Assange to be extradited to the U.S., where he is currently wanted on charges relating to a document dump published by Wikileaks in 2010. Those documents contained classified information from the U.S. military, and were leaked to the organization by then-private Bradley Manning. Manning pleaded guilty to charges of espionage and was sentenced to 21 to 35 years in prison, but had his sentence commuted by President Obama in 2017.

A full hearing to decide on Assange’s extradition to the U.S. is scheduled for late February in Britain. If extradition is allowed, Assange will face charges of espionage, including conspiring with Manning to crack a password that would provide access to classified material on a U.S. government computer.

In 2016 Wikileaks released thousands of documents stolen by Russian hackers from Democratic National Committee servers that showed favoritism in the DNC towards then-candidate Hillary Clinton at the expense of Bernie Sanders. The revelations caused Democratic infighting and led to the resignation of then-DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

Most Popular

Elections

Buttigieg’s Hollow Military Bragging

The term “veteran” wields a strange talismanic power in American politics today; the military is almost the only institution in American life that has maintained very high favorability ratings over the past 30 years. Invocation of the sacred words “military service” invariably grants a presumed license to ... Read More
Elections

Buttigieg’s Hollow Military Bragging

The term “veteran” wields a strange talismanic power in American politics today; the military is almost the only institution in American life that has maintained very high favorability ratings over the past 30 years. Invocation of the sacred words “military service” invariably grants a presumed license to ... Read More
White House

Impeachment Doesn’t Require a Crime

Senate Republicans, by and large, have reached an unspoken consensus about President Trump and Ukraine. He should not have put a temporary freeze on congressionally authorized aid to Ukraine, should not have dabbled with using the aid to get Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden or a nutty theory about Ukrainian ... Read More
White House

Impeachment Doesn’t Require a Crime

Senate Republicans, by and large, have reached an unspoken consensus about President Trump and Ukraine. He should not have put a temporary freeze on congressionally authorized aid to Ukraine, should not have dabbled with using the aid to get Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden or a nutty theory about Ukrainian ... Read More
World

Alarmists Were Wrong about the Soleimani Strike

Two weeks ago, the United States seemed on the brink of starting another war in the Middle East after a drone strike killed Iran’s most notorious spymaster, Qasem Soleimani, as he departed an international airport in Baghdad. The shadowy general, in charge of the Iranian equivalent of the CIA, was one of the ... Read More
World

Alarmists Were Wrong about the Soleimani Strike

Two weeks ago, the United States seemed on the brink of starting another war in the Middle East after a drone strike killed Iran’s most notorious spymaster, Qasem Soleimani, as he departed an international airport in Baghdad. The shadowy general, in charge of the Iranian equivalent of the CIA, was one of the ... Read More