The move of the Swedish prosecutor complicates the case against Assange because Britain now has to decide whether to extradite WikiLeaks founder to the US or to Sweden.

HM Belmarsh prison
Assange is serving 50 weeks sentence in Belmarsh Prison in UK, for jumping bail when he fled to the Ecuadorean embassy in 2012.

(— May 14, 2019) — Sweden reopens the investigation into allegations of rape against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. If found guilty he may be sentenced to four years in prison.

Sweden’s state prosecutor announced today that the country is reopening a preliminary investigation into allegations of rape against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, which was also confirmed by his Swedish lawyer, Reuters reports.

The agency quotes the prosecutor’s statement that “the circumstances now permit the extradition to Sweden from the United Kingdom” where Assange is now in jail, following his arrest last month in London, after the Ecuador Embassy revoked his asylum.

The court in London sentenced Julian Assange to 50 weeks in prison for violating the conditional sentence of imprisonment, as he did not appear before the court on June 29, 2012.

There is still a well-founded suspicion that Assange committed rape, Deputy Chief Prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson told a news conference in Stockholm. She estimates that additional forensic tests of Assange are needed.

This move by Swedish prosecutor complicates the efforts of the US to get their hands on Assange put him on trial for espionage since there are two extraditions requests now.

World agencies report that Parson told a press conference that she understands that Great Britain now has to decide whether to extradite Assange to the US or to Sweden.

“I am well aware of the fact that an extradition process is ongoing in the UK and that he could be extradited to the US,” Persson said.

Persson said that the prosecutor will issue a so-called “European arrest warrant” and that the British authorities will have to make a decision whether to prioritize Assange’s extradition to the Swedish or US authorities who are charging Assange for the publication of confidential military and diplomatic documents.

In 2017, the Swedish authorities dropped charges of sexual assault against Assange, and the rape case will become outdated in August 2020. Assange denied the accusations and claimed that they were politically motivated. He stated that sex with the woman that accused him of rape happened with the consent of both parties involved.

Assange who is currently in London’s Belmarsh prison, an institution also known as the “British Guantanamo,” is facing a maximum sentence of four years imprisonment in Sweden.