WikiLeaks’ founder, Julian Assange, is currently in custody after being arrested by the UK’s Met police at the Ecuadorian Embassy London earlier in the day.
The Swedish prosecution is considering reopening the investigation into a woman’s claim of having been sexually assaulted by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, a representative said.
“We are studying this issue and will announce our decision during the day”, Karl Jigland said, as cited by Svenska Dagbladet.
The lawyer of the woman, who claimed she had suffered the assault, has said that she and her client welcomed the news of Assange’s arrest in London and pledged to seek to reopen the case.
“My client and I have just received the news that Assange is arrested. Of course, it’s a shock for my client, as what we’ve been waiting for and what we’ve been hoping for over the past seven years has finally happened. We intend to do everything to have the prosecutor’s office to reopen the investigation so that Assange would be transferred to Sweden and brought to trial on rape charges”, Elisabeth Massi Fritz said, as cited by Expressen.
The statement comes after Assange’s arrest. In 2010, Assange fled to Sweden as the US authorities launched a probe into his activities, to be promptly accused of sexual assault by two women.
© REUTERS / PETER NICHOLLSLIVE UPDATES: Julian Assange Arrested at Ecuadorian Embassy in London After 7 Years of Asylum
While the investigation into the sex-related crimes was dropped in May 2017 and the arrest warrant was officially revoked, the probe can be relaunched if Assange is extradited to Sweden before August 2020, when the statute of limitations expires.
The whistleblower has been residing in the Ecuadorian Embassy since 2012. The UK authorities have carried out a warrant for Assange’s arrest, issued after he breached bail conditions linked to an investigation in Sweden. The Swedish authorities have since dropped their investigation. Assange has been fearing potential extradition to the United States, because WikiLeaks published a number of classified documents, allegedly leaked from US government agencies.