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02:47

Germany: 'Not a single reason' to reopen rape case against Assange - lawyer

Germany, Berlin
May 14, 2019 at 18:55 GMT +00:00 · Published

The lawyer of WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange, Baltasar Garzon, said Sweden has "not a single reason" to reopen a rape case against Assange, during a conference held at the Cervantes Institute in Berlin on Tuesday.

"We’ve always thought that the cause behind the Swedish investigation was instrumental," said lawyer leading Assange’s defence Baltasar Garzon.

"There's not a single reason why they need to reopen the case. Why didn’t they reopen it four, five, ten months ago? The only thing that's changed now is that Assange is in jail, but the facts are the same," he added.

Commenting on the conditions in which Assange is being held, Garzon said that he is "alone in a cell and in extreme conditions of care," adding that he can’t even get a proper meeting with his lawyers.

On Monday, Sweden's state prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson announced the decision to reopen a preliminary investigation into rape allegations 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 co-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 in the rape case asked for the investigation to be resumed.

After spending seven years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, Assange was arrested and sentenced to 50 weeks in jail for breaking bail. He is being held at a high-security prison in the UK.

02:47
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The lawyer of WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange, Baltasar Garzon, said Sweden has "not a single reason" to reopen a rape case against Assange, during a conference held at the Cervantes Institute in Berlin on Tuesday.

"We’ve always thought that the cause behind the Swedish investigation was instrumental," said lawyer leading Assange’s defence Baltasar Garzon.

"There's not a single reason why they need to reopen the case. Why didn’t they reopen it four, five, ten months ago? The only thing that's changed now is that Assange is in jail, but the facts are the same," he added.

Commenting on the conditions in which Assange is being held, Garzon said that he is "alone in a cell and in extreme conditions of care," adding that he can’t even get a proper meeting with his lawyers.

On Monday, Sweden's state prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson announced the decision to reopen a preliminary investigation into rape allegations 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 co-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 in the rape case asked for the investigation to be resumed.

After spending seven years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, Assange was arrested and sentenced to 50 weeks in jail for breaking bail. He is being held at a high-security prison in the UK.

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