Julian Assange and Sweden Accusations
Is there an active Swedish investigation into Julian?
What were the accusations against Julian? Why were investigations into Julian dropped?
A few weeks after WikiLeaks published the Afghan War Logs, and just two days after Julian applied for a work and residence permit, two women in Sweden filed complaints against Julian. These complaints involved sexual encounters that all parties agreed were consensual, but that the women suggested may have exceeded the scope of their consent. Swedish authorities quickly ruled out the most serious possible charges, but investigations continued.
The investigation was dropped and reopened two separate times. In 2013, Sweden attempted to withdraw its request for Julian to be extradited as part of its preliminary investigation, but officials with the U.K.’s Crown Prosecution Service intervened and dissuaded them from doing so. In 2019, with Julian in British custody and with the U.S. seeking his extradition, Sweden again dropped its charges.
Was Julian trying to avoid facing accusations in Sweden?
No. Julian has consistently maintained his innocence and repeatedly demonstrated his willingness to address the accusations. He cooperated with investigators in Sweden and asked to be interviewed there in 2010. Swedish prosecutors told him he was permitted to leave the country without being interviewed. Julian remained confident that he would be cleared of any wrongdoing.
What Julian feared was the possibility that Sweden would extradite him to the U.S. to face charges related to his exposure of U.S. government secrets — a fear that ultimately proved justified. A 2011 email from a Stratfor executive, which was publicly leaked in 2012, stated that the U.S. had a “sealed indictment on Assange.” In 2018, U.S. officials inadvertently disclosed an indictment against Julian in a legal filing. The unprecedented U.S. charges Julian faces carry a possible sentence of 175 years in prison.