Sweden's deputy director of public prosecutions, Eva-Marie Persson, decided to end her office's investigation of rape allegations against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
In a news conference in Stockholm on Tuesday she said that „the injured party has submitted a credible and reliable version of events. Her statements have been coherent, extensive and detailed." But „my overall assessment is that the evidential situation has been weakened to such an extent that there is no longer any reason to continue the investigation," she continued. The extention of the inquiry from 2010 to 2017 played a role in this decision. It was about the difficulty of extracting reliable accounts from witnesses after such a long delay, particularly in a high-profile case that has been widely covered by the media.
The investigation into Assange was reopened in May following his dramatic removal from Ecuador's embassy in central London the previous month. Assange has repeatedly denied the allegations against him. He is now held in a British prison as his lawyers fight U.S. attempts to extradite him to answer a number of charges, including conspiring to hack government computer networks. Assange was charged with 17 counts under the Espionage Act in the US. A full UK court hearing on whether Assange will be extradited to the US is set to take place in late February.