Swedish authorities have dropped investigation against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange over rape allegations levelled against him in 2010. The decision was announced on Tuesday, by Deputy Director of Public Prosecution Eva-Marie Persson, in a news conference at Stockholm, CNN reported.
The investigation was dropped due to the weakening of evidence owing to the lapse of 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", she informed. According to the Swedish prosecutor's office, a total of seven witness interviews were conducted as part of this investigation during the summer of 2019.
'Encounters were consensual'
Assange was accused of rape and sexual assault of multiple women in 2010, while he was in Stockholm for a lecture. He maintained that the encounters were consensual and the case was politically motivated.
Wikileaks, co-founded by Assange in 2006, released a footage, in 2010, of US troops shooting 18 unarmed Iraqi civilians. Same year, the organization released classified military documents on USA's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy
The same year, he was detained in UK, while Sweden issued an international warrant against him over rape allegations. It was in 2012 that he was granted refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy, in London. Throughout these 7 years, while he has stayed in the embassy, he maintained that if he is sent to Sweden, he will be extradited to the United States for releasing the classified information.
In April, this year, he was evicted from the embassy. Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno announced that the country was withdrawing 'diplomatic asylum from Assange for repeatedly violating international conventions and coexistence protocol'.
In May, Sweden opened rape investigations against Assange. 10 days later, USA filed 17 new charges against Assange for violating Espionage Act, for releasing classified information on US military. Since April, this year, he is serving a 50-weeks prison term at Belmarsh jail in London, for breaching his bail conditions.