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Sweden reopens Assange rape investigation, to seek extradition

13 May 2019 - 89   - 0

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden reopened an investigation into a rape allegation against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Monday and will seek his extradition from Britain, potentially delaying efforts by the United States to bring him to its courts to face trial over a huge release of secret documents.

Deputy Chief Prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson told a news conference she would continue a preliminary investigation that was dropped in 2017 without charges being brought because Assange had taken refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London.

Assange was arrested in Britain last month after spending seven years hiding inside the embassy.

The United States is also seeking his extradition on conspiracy charges relating to the public release by Wikileaks of a cache of secret documents, including assessments of foreign leaders, wars and security matters.

The Swedish prosecutor said it would request Assange be detained in his absence on probable cause for an allegation of rape and that it would issue a European arrest warrant - the process under which his extradition would be sought.

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