Swedish prosecutor drops probe into some Julian Assange sex allegations

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The Swedish Prosecution Authority has dropped its investigation into some of the sex allegations against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange as they are now "time barred."

A statement said the Director of Public Prosecution Marianne Nye had discontinued her investigation with respect to alleged sexual molestation and unlawful coercion. An additional alleged incident of sexual molestation will be time barred on August 18. But an inquiry into an allegation of rape will continue.

The alleged events took place five years ago in August 2010.

Mr Assange, who has been living at the Ecuadorian embassy in London for over three years after being granted political asylum, said he was "extremely disappointed" that the Swedish prosecutor has managed to avoid hearing his side of the story entirely.

The Swedish statement said an incident of suspected rape will be time barred on 17 August 2020 and a preliminary investigation will continue with respect to this alleged crime.

"The status of the evidence is unchanged and the possibilities to continue the investigation by interviews with the suspect are not exhausted."

The prosecutor said: "Julian Assange, on his own accord, has evaded prosecution by seeking refuge in the Embassy of Ecuador.

"As the statute of limitation has run on some of the crimes, I am compelled to discontinue the investigation with respect to these crimes.

"I regret having to say that this means there will be no closure with regard to these events, as we have not been able to interview the suspect."

Assange sought refuge in the Ecuador embassy over three years ago, fearing that if he travelled to Sweden to be interviewed, he would be sent to the United States for questioning about the activities of WikiLeaks.

He said he was "extremely disappointed" with today's announcement, adding: "There was no need for any of this. I am an innocent man. I haven't even been charged. From the beginning I offered simple solutions. 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 managed to avoid hearing my side of the story entirely.

"This is beyond incompetence. I am strong but the cost to my family is unacceptable. Even though I have been improperly treated, I would like to thank the many people in Sweden and the UK who have been very understanding of the wrong which has been done to me and my family."