Mon | Nov 30, 2020

Swedish court rules against extraditing Assange for rape probe

Published:Monday | June 3, 2019 | 11:03 AM
In this May 1, 2019, file photo, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange puts his fist up as he is taken from court in London. The Justice Department has charged Assange with receiving and publishing classified information. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should not be extradited to Sweden for a revived rape investigation, but should still be questioned in the case while he is imprisoned in Britain, a Swedish court ruled Monday.

The ruling by the Uppsala District Court doesn’t mean the preliminary investigation must be abandoned, only that Assange doesn’t face extradition to Sweden any time soon.

Eva-Marie Persson, Sweden’s deputy director of public prosecutions, said she has not decided whether to appeal.

“I will also issue a European Investigation Order in order to interview Julian Assange,” Persson said, adding that she hasn’t picked a possible date for the questioning in England.

Assange’s lawyer in Sweden, Per E. Samuelsson, said his client would “be happy, we are happy” to learn he won’t be extradited to Sweden.

The 47-year-old Assange was evicted on April 11 from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he had been holed up with political asylum since 2012.

He was immediately arrested by British police and is currently serving a 50-week sentence for jumping bail in 2012.

He is also fighting extradition to the United States, which accuses him of violating the Espionage Act by publishing secret documents hacked from the Pentagon containing the names of confidential military and diplomatic sources.

Last week, Assange missed a court session in Britain, reportedly due to health problems.

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