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Sexual allegations against Julian Assange dropped

Prosecutors in Sweden have now dropped their investigation into the alleged sexual offences carried out by Julian Assange. They suggest that the memories of those involved are "too hazy" to corroborate his accuser’s account after nine years.

Eva-Marie Persson, deputy director of public prosecution, said “After completing the investigation, it is now clear that oral testimony supporting the claimant’s account has weakened, this is mostly due to the length of time that has passed since the events. Naturally, memories fade.”

Ms Persson has interviewed seven witnesses since reopening the case in May, but had yet to question Assange himself. The 48-year-old is still in London’s Belmarsh prison awaiting a hearing next February over possible extradition to the US. He faces a further 18 criminal charges related to the 2010 release of classified information involving the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Nils Melzer, UN special rapporteur on torture, called for an investigation into Sweden’s treatment of Assange, charging that it had always been “inevitable” the case would be discontinued. Ms Persson yesterday stressed that she had found the account given by Assange’s accuser “credible and reliable” and her statements “coherent, and detailed”.

However, where guilt comes down to whose account is more credible then additional corroborative evidence is required under Swedish law. Elisabeth Massi Fritz, the lawyer for Assange’s unnamed accuser, said she disagreed with the decision to abandon the case.

By contrast Assange’s lawyer, Per E Samuelson, said that he believed his client’s high profile skewed the way he had been treated. Then further commented that attention was now focussing on, "resisting the extradition request from the US.”

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