Julian Assange sex assault case dropped

Stockholm, Aug 13 (IANS) Swedish prosecutors on Thursday dropped a sexual assault probe against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange since the time limit on the case has expired, the media reported.

Two women made allegations against Assange in 2010 in Stockholm, but no charges have been brought because the prosecutor has been unable to interrogate him after he challenged an extradition order and claimed political asylum in Ecuador’s embassy in London in June 2012, The Guardian reported.

Assange, who denies the allegations, fears that travelling to Sweden would leave him vulnerable to extradition to the US to face espionage charges. His requests to the Swedish government for a firm guarantee of his safety have been declined.

“Julian Assange has voluntarily stayed away from justice by taking refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy. Now that the limitation period has passed for some of the [alleged] crimes I am forced to discontinue the preliminary investigation in these parts,” Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny said.

“This means that the investigation of the events is left unfinished because the suspect has not been heard, which I regret,” the prosecutor added.

Assange said he was extremely disappointed in the outcome, saying the Swedish prosecutor has managed to avoid hearing his side of the story entirely.

“From the beginning I offered simple solutions,” Assange said.

“Come to the embassy to take my statement or promise not to send me to the United States. This Swedish official refused both. She even refused a written statement. Now she has manage to avoid hearing my side of the story entirely. This is beyond incompetence,” he added.

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