It was reported this week that the case against Julian Assange is set to expire after reaching the 5-year statute of limitations. The case against him was tied to unfounded rape allegations brought by Swedish prosecutors, who have failed to gather enough evidence against him in the past 5 years to formally charge him with a crime.
The accusations came in 2012 during the height of the Wikileaks controversy and Assange has always denied the claims, stating that they were a smear tactic and an attempt to get him into custody so he could be extradited to the US for his role in exposing government secrets.
Since the scandal began, Assange sought asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he has been trapped since 2012. One of the charges against him will still stand, and will not expire until 2020, but Assange has said that even if the charges are dropped fully, he will remain in the embassy because he still fears that the American government will be after him regardless.
“Our position is that the investigation should have been shut down earlier because there wasn’t enough evidence to keep it going,” Thomas Olsson, an attorney for Assange, told the BBC.
“It’s regrettable that it’s gone on for this long. We are convinced that as soon as he has the opportunity to give his version of the circumstances, there’ll be no need to continue the investigation,” he added.
Authorities in the UK are still pushing for his extradition, and have maintained a constant guard over the embassy, which has cost the UK taxpayers nearly $20 million over the past three years.
“We are clear that our laws must be followed and Mr Assange should be extradited. As ever, we look to Ecuador to help bring this difficult, and costly, situation to an end,” an official with the UK government told the BBC.
John Vibes writes for True Activist and is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war.
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