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Assange investigations dropped

August 13, 2015

Swedish prosecutors have dropped three investigations into Julian Assange. The allotted five years had expired to bring sexual coercion charges against the WikiLeaks founder.

WikiLeaks: Julian Assange
Image: Getty Images/AFP/F. Coffrini

On Wednesday, Swedish prosecutors dropped sexual assault probes into the WikiLeaks founder launched in 2010 after a statutory time limit expired. However, prosecutors said they would continue with investigations into a further allegation of rape against Assange, also made in 2010. That charge will remain valid until 2020.

An attorney for one of Assange's unnamed accusers said her client had a mixed reaction to the dropping of the charges. "While she feels that he should have been brought to justice, it is at the same time a relief to get away from the events that took place five years ago," Claes Borgstrom told the German news agency DPA on Wednesday. "She lives a normal life and would rather not be reminded. There is some relief that this will be dropped."

Infografik Schlüsselmomente im Fall Assange Englisch

Assange has denied the accusations for the past five years and has been holed up inside Ecuador's London embassy since June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden. Ecuador has granted Assange asylum after other countries have refused. The WikiLeaks founder fears that Britain might extradite him to Sweden, which could then send him to the US, where he could face trial for publishing military and diplomatic documents that show that the country spied on Japan, Germany, Brazil and other nations.

In cases of sexual molestation and coercion - the allegations made against Assange - Swedish prosecutors must bring charges within five years. They have a further five years to bring any charges over an allegation of rape.

mkg/kms (Reuters, AFP)