Jueves, 27 Febrero, 2020

MIA Defends Julian Assange Against Rape Allegations

Swedish prosecutors to decide on lifting Assange warrant Swedish Prosecutors Drop Rape Probe of WikiLeaks' Assange
Eleena Tovar | 20 May, 2017, 22:33

Julian Assange has given a clenched-fist salute as he welcomed a Swedish decision to drop a rape investigation against him as "an important victory".

Assange faces arrest by British police on charges of skipping bail and also fears extradition to the United States over WikiLeaks' publication of top secret U.S. military and diplomatic documents.

For his part, Assange himself posted a simple photo of himself in a relaxed pose, smiling, as news broke of the Swedish decision. He said Assange had convinced Swedish prosecutors during a November meeting past year that he was not guilty of any sex offenses.

"Seven years without charge while my children grew up without me".

Speaking to a crowd of reporters and supporters from the balcony of the Ecuadorean embassy in London, Assange said "today is an important victory" for him and for the United Nations human rights system, while noting that his battle is "far form over".

The lawyer for Assange's accuser said it was a "scandal" that the case was not tried in court.

American officials have previously stated they would try a "very serious criminal investigation" against Assange and Wikileaks for leaking large volumes of classified documents online, including those related to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Swedish judges have refused to take into account the opinion of the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, which in February 2016 said Assange was effectively "arbitrarily detained" by Sweden and Britain and called for the arrest warrant to be annulled.

"The investigation against Julian Assange is discontinued", read a statement put out by Director of Public Prosecution Ms. Marianne Ny.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has suggested that the arrest of Assange could be an American priority, saying last month the USA was "stepping up our efforts on all leaks". U.K police said they will arrest him if he leaves the premises, where he has been granted asylum.

The allegations surfaced after two women accused Assange of sexual misconduct during a visit to Stockholm in 2010.

She said the case could be reopened if Assange returns to Sweden before the statute of limitations expires in 2020.

"It is a scandal that a suspected rapist can escape justice and thereby avoid the courts", her lawyer, Elisabeth Fritz, told AFP in an email.

Sweden's top prosecutor dropped a long-running inquiry into a rape claim against Assange on Friday, saying there was no way to detain or charge him "in the foreseeable future" because of his protected status inside the embassy.

"Now that the situation has changed and the Swedish authorities have discontinued their investigation into that matter, Mr Assange remains wanted for a much less serious offence".

"In relation to Julian Assange, any decision that is taken about the United Kingdom action in relation to him were he to leave the Ecuadorian Embassy would be an operational matter for the police", she said. An offense punishable by up to a year in prison or a fine.