Sweden drops Assange rape investigation after nearly 10 years

A Swedish prosecutor says they are not proceeding with an investigation into an allegation of rape against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

The move came after a review of the evidence with the deputy chief prosecutor saying that while the complainant's evidence was deemed credible and reliable - after nearly a decade, witnesses' memories had faded.


"It is my assessment that all investigative steps that can be taken have also been taken. However, the evidentiary basis is such that the corroborating evidence is not sufficient to in the way that is prescribed by the Supreme Court, deem that the description of the alleged criminal act can be proven."

The 48-year-old Australian citizen has repeatedly denied the allegation against him.

Assange was dragged from the Ecuadorian embassy in London in April after spending almost seven years holed up there to avoid extradition on the Swedish allegations.

He's now being held in a British jail pending a hearing in February on extradition to the U.S., which wants Assange over 18 criminal counts including conspiring to hack government computers and violating an espionage law.

The move by the prosecutor also heads off a possible dilemma for the British courts.

They may have had to decide between competing extradition requests from the U.S. and Sweden.

The prosecutor says the decision to drop the investigation could be appealed.