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Sweden Drops Julian Assange Rape Investigation (cnn.com) 187

rmdingler writes: "Sweden is dropping its investigation into WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on rape allegations, according to a prosecution statement released Friday," reports CNN. "Assange, who has always denied wrongdoing, has been holed up at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012, in an effort to avoid a Swedish arrest warrant." Despite Friday's announcement, he's unlikely to walk out of the embassy imminently. There is no apparent change in the risk of being detained in the west, particularly in the U.S., but it's definitely a win for Assange. Joshua.Niland adds: The pressure on Julian Assange may have lifted ever so slightly with Swedish prosecutors dropping their investigation into the allegations of rape. A brief statement ahead of a press conference by the prosecutor later on Friday said: "Director of Public Prosecution, Ms Marianne Ny, has today decided to discontinue the investigation regarding suspected rape (lesser degree) by Julian Assange." This will not likely deter the United States from pursuing their own charges against him for publishing tens of thousands of military documents leaked by Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning. After describing the development as "an important victory," Assange said, "[...] it by no means erases seven years of detention without charge under house arrest and almost five years here in this embassy without sunlight. Seven years without charge while my children grow up without me. That is not something I can forgive. It is not something I can forget."
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Sweden Drops Julian Assange Rape Investigation

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  • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Friday May 19, 2017 @07:29PM (#54452135) Homepage

    Guess I'll have to do it. [aklagare.se] Boldfacing the interesting parts, which for some reason Slashdot didn't bother covering in the summary.

    The investigation against Julian Assange is discontinued

    19-05-2017
    Director of Public Prosecution, Ms Marianne Ny, has today decided to discontinue the investigation regarding the suspected rape (lesser degree) by Julian Assange. The motive is that there is no reason to believe that the decision to surrender him to Sweden can be executed in the foreseeable future.

    – Almost 5 years ago Julian Assange was permitted refuge at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he has resided ever since. In doing so, he has escaped all attempts by the Swedish and British authorities to execute the decision to surrender him to Sweden in accordance with the EU rules concerning the European Arrest Warrant. My assessment is that the surrender cannot be executed in the foreseeable future, says Marianne Ny.

    According to Swedish legislation, a criminal investigation is to be conducted as quickly as possible. At the point when a prosecutor has exhausted the possibilities to continue the investigation, the prosecutor is obliged to discontinue the investigation.

    – At this point, all possibilities to conduct the investigation are exhausted. In order to proceed with the case, Julian Assange would have to be formally notified of the criminal suspicions against him. We cannot expect to receive assistance from Ecuador regarding this. Therefore the investigation is discontinued.

    If he, at a later date, makes himself available, I will be able to decide to resume the investigation immediately, says Marianne Ny.

    As a result of the decision to discontinue the investigation, the prosecutor has reversed the decision to detain him in his absence and withdrawn the EAW.

    – In view of the fact that all prospects of pursuing the investigation under present circumstances are exhausted, it appears that it is no longer proportionate to maintain the arrest of Julian Assange in his absence. Consequently, there is no basis upon which to continue the investigation, says Marianne Ny.

    • U should respect Slashdot for all it gives u - so if we didnt post the content & u did & got karma points, whats the big deal ?
      • U should respect Slashdot for all it gives u

        "You should respect BeauHD's authoritah!"

      • You should respect Slashdot by not posting chatspeak comments.

        This isn't twitter. The character limit is huge.

      • U should respect Slashdot for all it gives u - so if we didn't post the content & u did & got karma points, whats the big deal ?

        Water's wet. Sky's blue. Women have secrets. When you're cliff-diving, the judges award you extra points for degree of difficulty.

        When you're posting on Slashdot, bonus points are awarded for deserved condemnation of the editor, and occasionally the OP.

    • If he, at a later date, makes himself available,

      He's always been available-- they could come to talk to him at the embassy, interview him on the phone, or whatever. He just won't go where it's easy for the US to grab him, which is not at all an unrealistic fear at this point.

      A modest proposal: if we're the good guys, we shouldn't go around acting like the bad guys in a cold war spy novel.

  • Victory redefined? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by shanen ( 462549 )

    Trying to imagine how Assange can see "victory" in any part of his situation. While he started with nice ideals, at this point he has been transformed into a "useful idiot", though it would still make a lot of powerful people quite happy to see him punished well beyond indefinite imprisonment in an embassy.

    Still seems to me to be an economic problem at heart. Largely based on a couple of books about WikiLeaks, I think it was the lack of a viable economic model that led them (though mostly just Assange) to w

    • by Hentes ( 2461350 ) on Friday May 19, 2017 @09:51PM (#54452813)

      Wikileaks had a working "economic model" (it was financed by donations), until their accounts got frozen.

      • by shanen ( 462549 )

        While I have direct reservations about charity business models, both for large and small donors, in this case the use of a charity business model in the WikiLeaks case would require consideration of how to make sure the accounts would not get frozen. From the perspective of the powerful people with secrets to hide, what WikiLeaks wanted to do could seem as threatening as a terrorist attack. From what I've read, I think that Assange started with that perspective, but didn't really think it through.

        The fact t

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If Assange was seriously worried about US prosecution for leaking national security secrets, he should have transitioned genders during the previous administration. That strategy has always (n=1) resulted in a pardon.

  • by Vadim Makarov ( 529622 ) <makarov@vad1.com> on Friday May 19, 2017 @08:20PM (#54452341) Homepage

    and surrender to the US. https://www.usnews.com/news/na... [usnews.com]
    Manning is free. That was the condition. Please Mr Assange, honor your own words.

    • Assange already gave some bullshit excuse as soon as the pardon was announced months ago.

      • Assange already gave some bullshit excuse as soon as the pardon was announced months ago.

        It was reasonable, even prudent, to wait until Manning is actually released from the prison. Who knows, a pardon decision may get reversed and overridden. That wasn't in Assange's bullshit excuse months ago, but anyway. He has had time to think this through in these months. Now Assange must turn himself in to the US authorities, as he promised.

    • At least not at this point. It's an empty pledge, which is why he made it. The UK is who wants him. Regardless of the status or validity of the original rape charge, he fled bail (and is still fleeing) in the UK so they have a criminal case against him. Skipping bail is illegal, even if the court later determines the charge that lead to the arrest and subsequent bail is complete BS.

      Given that he's been flaunting it for quite some time, they are very likely to pursue it as well.

  • because US went off the reservation in pursuit of those guys (him and Snowden). And since that part was very publicly proven [wikipedia.org], it throws some serious shade on the whole accusation thing.
    • by BlueStrat ( 756137 ) on Saturday May 20, 2017 @12:35AM (#54453335)

      because US went off the reservation in pursuit of those guys (him and Snowden). And since that part was very publicly proven [wikipedia.org], it throws some serious shade on the whole accusation thing.

      The US going after Assange is pure, unadulterated, extra-legal revenge for the public political embarrassment WL has caused the US government by exposing their wrongdoing. Assange no more broke US laws than Woodward & Bernstein did in printing the Pentagon Papers, and W & B are US citizens and were on US soil when they printed the PPs, totally unlike Assange.

      But then, if we've learned anything over the past 10 years, it's that those in power believe themselves above the law and think they can do whatever they want and to whomever they want with little consequences.

      Strat

  • by DeplorableCodeMonkey ( 4828467 ) on Friday May 19, 2017 @08:44PM (#54452449)

    Let's put this in a less charged context than rape. Suppose a woman did some lines of cocaine with a man and the claims "he forced me to do that last line of cocaine!" In a system that isn't based on presumed guilt, you know what the court and/or jury are going to see?

    1. She was there of her own free will.
    2. She did cocaine with him freely, by her own admission, for most of that time.
    3. She lacks signs of coercion.
    4. Police have found not traces of evidence to plausibly back up her sudden change of mind.
    5. Another line of cocaine made it into her system.

    Now, if you are a judge or jury who is not a psychopath, you are probably going to weigh that evidence and conclude that you have a non-trivial chance of being the implement of someone's revenge. You are a decent person who doesn't want to throw someone in prison on a "maybe" or a "it looks bad, but I don't know." You're going to side with Assange here.

    • Let's put this in a less charged context than rape. Suppose a woman did some lines of cocaine with a man and the claims "he forced me to do that last line of cocaine!" In a system that isn't based on presumed guilt, you know what the court and/or jury are going to see?

      1. She was there of her own free will.
      2. She did cocaine with him freely, by her own admission, for most of that time.
      3. She lacks signs of coercion.
      4. Police have found not traces of evidence to plausibly back up her sudden change of mind.
      5. Another line of cocaine made it into her system.

      Now, if you are a judge or jury who is not a psychopath, you are probably going to weigh that evidence and conclude that you have a non-trivial chance of being the implement of someone's revenge. You are a decent person who doesn't want to throw someone in prison on a "maybe" or a "it looks bad, but I don't know." You're going to side with Assange here.

      Lets fix your "change of context"

      1. They did cocaine
      2. He asked if she wanted to do heroin, she refused.
      3. So he waited till she was asleep, and then he gave her heroin.

      Of course my change of context still doesn't perfectly capture the scenario, but at least it doesn't ignore the major features of the complaint!

      • Of course my change of context still doesn't perfectly capture the scenario, but at least it doesn't ignore the major features of the complaint!

        First off, let me say that you have won the Internet for the next hour for this spectacular display of intellectual posturing while managing to be utterly clueless that you have said absolutely nothing of legal relevance to my points.

        Now then, I have shocking news for you. Her complaint isn't worth a bucket of warm piss in an honest court room. Do you want to know w

        • 1. She admits she had sex with him with informed consent of what she was doing.
          2. She admits she invited him to spend the night with her, in her bed.

          Agreed.

          3. Fornication is legal, rape is not. Chant that a 1000 times before proceeding if you have to, to understand why we're about to run into problems.

          Also agreed, though I'm not sure why you think I don't understand or agree with this.

          4. She claims she was asleep, but we have no proof she was asleep.
          5. She claims she did not consent to this act, but consented to having sex with him hours earlier.
          6. She has no evidence that can concretely back up another claim of coercion.

          4-6 Is just a simple way of saying it was a case of he said/she said, and you wouldn't expect to find concrete evidence of coercion in a case like that, though an investigation can sometimes come up with real evidence. Such as Assange having bragged to a friend, or Assange forgetting his fabricated story during questioning and admitting guilt, or Assange simply admitting under questioning because he's a human who in

    • by epine ( 68316 )

      1. She was there of her own free will.
      2. She did cocaine with him freely, by her own admission, for most of that time.
      3. She lacks signs of coercion.
      4. Police have found not traces of evidence to plausibly back up her sudden change of mind.
      5. Another line of cocaine made it into her system.

      Troll bait: own free will, freely, by her own admission, most of, traces of, signs of coercion, plausibly, sudden, change of mind, made it into.

      The thing about trolling, is that it needs to somewhat mimic the structure of

  • *alleged* charges. There is nothing formal, only rumors at this point. There is nothing they could actually charge him of other than anything any other journalist has done in publishing same information.

  • Watch RT: Where we tell you what your state run news won't.

  • Assange said, "[...] it by no means erases seven years of detention without charge under house arrest and almost five years here in this embassy without sunlight. Seven years without charge while my children grow up without me. That is not something I can forgive. It is not something I can forget."

    I wonder why he was detained for seven year years?

    Oh yeah, because he was dodging an arrest warrant for a crime (he allegedly) committed.

    If he was concerned about being extradited to the US over wikileaks this doe

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