Sweden re-opens Julian Assange rape investigation

Sweden will re-open itsinvestigation into an allegation of rape against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the country’s deputy chief prosecutor announced on Monday.

Swedish courts had found “probable cause” on several occasions for Assange to be suspected of rape, prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson told reporters in Stockholm.

However a decision on filing charges had not yet been made, she emphasized.”I would like to make the following very clear: my decision to re-open the preliminary investigation is not equivalent on whether or not to file an indictment with the courts. This is the matter we’ll have to revisit,” Persson added.

Persson also said Assange has yet to be formally been notified of the rape accusation.

The prosecutor explained that Sweden wants to conduct a new interview with the WikiLeaks founder and that investigators could travel to the UK, where Assange is currently incarcerated, if he does not consent to an interview via video link.

Assange is already facing a provisional extradition request from the US for one count of conspiring with former US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to access Defense Department computers in order to steal military secrets in 2010.

Proceedings through UK courts for that extradition request have been adjourned until May 30.

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