Julian Assange Escapes Part Of Sexual Assault Investigation

Julian Assange is one of the world’s most wanted men. One normally sees his name associated with the international whistleblower cable site Wikileaks, which has been in operation since 2006. Wikileaks has been the source for media information when things develop in the investigations of people accused of treason and espionage, such as the Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning cases. Often, the name Julian Assange is seen alongside these names, though Assange claims to be neutral, and simply feels that people have the right to information. This makes Assange a person of interest for the investigative bodies of many countries, but Sweden wants to prosecute him for a different reason.

In August, 2010, Julian Assange was accused of four counts of inappropriate sexual trespass, including unlawful sexual coercion, two counts of sexual molestation, and a single count of lesser-degree rape. USA Today reports that one of the counts of sexual molestation, and the count of unlawful sexual coercion, have ceased to be pursued, because of an expiration of the statute of limitations, and a third count, Assange’s other sexual molestation charge’s statute, will expire on August 18. The Swedish government will remain vigilant in pursuing the rape charge against Julian Assange, because the statute of limitations still has several years to run.

Marianne Ny, a Swedish prosecutor, has offered a statement on the situation which has been relayed by the Guardian.

“Julian Assange has voluntarily stayed away from justice by taking refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy. Now that the limitation period has passed for some of the [alleged] crimes I am forced to discontinue the preliminary investigation in these parts. This means that the investigation of the events is left unfinished because the suspect has not been heard, which I regret.”

Julian Assange is an Australian national, so to be questioned about the remaining rape charge, Sweden must get permission to question him. The extradition laws of Australia allow Sweden to do this, but Assange has claimed in Ecuador at the London Embassy. In order for Julian Assange to be questioned, Sweden must negotiate with Ecuador to do so. This has resulted in a frustrating deadlock, allowing Assange to avoid charges for his alleged crimes.

This, by no measure, means Julian Assange will be in the clear if just waits out the remaining statute. According to Australia’s ABC News, Ecuador and Sweden have agreed to open negotiations to end this deadlock. If these talks are successful, Julian Assange fears that he could be extradited to the United States, where he may be brought up on further charges, including the collusion with enemies of the United States.

[Image by Hannah Peters / Getty Images]