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  • WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange makes a speech from the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy, in central London, Britain, Feb. 5, 2016.

    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange makes a speech from the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy, in central London, Britain, Feb. 5, 2016. | Photo: Reuters

Published 13 April 2019

Lawyer Elizabeth Massi Fritz said the legal team would do "everything we possibly can" to reopen the case in Sweden.

Julian Assange is facing possible legal action in Sweden as an abandoned rape case investigation against him could be reopened. He is already awaiting charges in the United Kingdom and possible extradition to the United States.

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The lawyer of a woman who has accused the WikiLeaks founder of raping her in 2010 has asked Swedish prosecutors to reopen their investigation.

Assange was granted asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in 2012 allowing him to avoid extradition to Sweden where prosecutors had wanted to question him over the rape allegation, an accusation he denies. As Assange was beyond their reach while at the embassy, the Swedish prosecutors "discontinued" the investigation of serious sexual misconduct in 2017.

The WikiLeaks founder was accused of rape and other sexual offenses against two women following a conference in Stockholm, Sweden in 2010. He has denied the allegations, saying what occurred was consensual.

Since his asylum was abruptly rescinded by the Ecuadorean government leading to his arrest from the London embassy last Thursday, the case could have legs again. At the request of the alleged victim's lawyer Friday, Swedish prosecutors said they were re-examining the case.

Elizabeth Massi Fritz, lawyer to the said she would do "everything we possibly can" to reopen the case in Sweden.

More than 70 British members of parliament signed a letter urging the U.K. interior minister to ensure Assange is extradited to Sweden if the case is reopened against him.

RELATED: 
Alleged WikiLeaks Collaborator Ola Bini Arrested in Ecuador

The letter, signed late Friday, mostly by Labour Party MPs, urged Interior Minister Sajid Javid to ensure the rape claim against him is "properly investigated" and "stand with the victims of sexual violence."

"We do not presume guilt, of course, but we believe due process should be followed and the complainant should see justice be done," the statement said.

Assange was arrested by British police Thursday after U.K. law enforcement officials were “invited into the embassy by the Ambassador, following the Ecuadorean government’s withdrawal of asylum.”

As he was being hauled out of the embassy by British police in a dramatic scene shortly after nine o’clock in the morning, the Australian-born Assange was heard shouting, "This is unlawful, I'm not leaving!"

British Prime Minister Theresa May hailed the news with British alacrity in parliament, to cheers and cries of "Hear, hear!" from lawmakers.

“This goes to show that in the United Kingdom, no one is above the law,” May said.

Assange's attorney, Jen Robinson, said that, in addition to being arrested for breach of bail conditions, Assange is also being processed in relation to a U.S. extradition request on a warrant that was issued in December 2017 for conspiracy with Chelsea Manning in early 2010.

The judge presiding over the case at the Westminster Magistrates’ Court, Judge Michael Snow,  said that Assange, who was carrying a copy of Gore Vidal's "History of The National Security State" with him in court at the time, was someone with the behavior of “a narcissist who cannot get beyond his own selfish interests.”

Snow found Assange guilty of breaching bail and faces a jail sentence up to one year in the U.K.


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