Sweden requests detention order for WikliLeaks founder over rape allegation

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A Swedish prosecutor on Monday requested that WikliLeaks founder Julian Assange be detained in absentia on suspicion of rape.

If the local court approves the request, deputy chief prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson said she would then issue a European arrest warrant concerning Assange’s “surrender to Sweden” after he has served his 50-week sentence in Britain for skipping bail.

Persson announced recently that Sweden was to re-open a preliminary rape investigation into Assange that was dropped in 2017.

A request to re-open the probe was made April 11 by an attorney who represents a woman who alleged that she was raped by Assange during a 2010 visit to Sweden.

However, Assange has denied the allegation.

The request was made the same day as British police dragged Assange from the Ecuadorian embassy in London after Ecuador withdrew his political asylum.

Assange, 47, is also the subject of a U.S. extradition request linked to charges of conspiring with former U.S. military intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to leak a trove of classified material in 2010.

Since the U.S. also wants Assange’s extradition, Persson said it was up to British authorities to determine which request would have precedence.

Persson’s application was filed at the district court in Uppsala, north of Stockholm.

The court said a hearing date was pending.

(dpa/NAN)

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