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01:46

Sweden: Reopening of Assange rape case welcomed by alleged victim's lawyer

Sweden, Stockholm
May 13, 2019 at 14:44 GMT +00:00 · Published

The lawyer for the women who reported that WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange raped her in 2010 said her client felt "gratitude" for Sweden's reopening of the investigation, during a press conference in Stockholm on Monday.

"I can pass on that my client feels great gratitude and she is very hopeful about getting restitution and we both hope that justice will finally win," said lawyer Elisabeth Massi Fritz.

The decision to reopen the case "signals something important; that all are equal before the law, that no one stands above the law, not even if your name is Julian Assange," said Massi Fritz.

"It signals with clarity and strength that the Swedish justice system does not allow itself to be influenced by media or even political pressure."

On Monday, Sweden's state prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson announced that she will reopen a preliminary investigation into an allegation of rape against Assange.

Prosecutors dropped the investigation in 2017, because they were unable to proceed while Assange remained living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. The WikiLeaks founder also faced an investigation for three other sex-related allegations, which were dropped in 2015 due to passing the statute of limitations. Assange denies all the allegations.

On April 11, a lawyer for one of the women involved asked for the investigation to be resumed.

After spending seven years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, Assange is in prison in Britain following his arrest in April. He was sentenced to 50 weeks in prison for breaking his bail conditions by absconding to the embassy.

01:46
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The lawyer for the women who reported that WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange raped her in 2010 said her client felt "gratitude" for Sweden's reopening of the investigation, during a press conference in Stockholm on Monday.

"I can pass on that my client feels great gratitude and she is very hopeful about getting restitution and we both hope that justice will finally win," said lawyer Elisabeth Massi Fritz.

The decision to reopen the case "signals something important; that all are equal before the law, that no one stands above the law, not even if your name is Julian Assange," said Massi Fritz.

"It signals with clarity and strength that the Swedish justice system does not allow itself to be influenced by media or even political pressure."

On Monday, Sweden's state prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson announced that she will reopen a preliminary investigation into an allegation of rape against Assange.

Prosecutors dropped the investigation in 2017, because they were unable to proceed while Assange remained living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. The WikiLeaks founder also faced an investigation for three other sex-related allegations, which were dropped in 2015 due to passing the statute of limitations. Assange denies all the allegations.

On April 11, a lawyer for one of the women involved asked for the investigation to be resumed.

After spending seven years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, Assange is in prison in Britain following his arrest in April. He was sentenced to 50 weeks in prison for breaking his bail conditions by absconding to the embassy.

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