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Sweden Drops Julian Assange Rape Inquiry

LONDON — The Swedish authorities announced on Tuesday that they would end an investigation into allegations of rape and sexual assault made against Julian Assange, the embattled WikiLeaks founder, that date from 2010.

“The evidence is not strong enough to form the basis of an indictment,” said Eva-Marie Persson, Sweden’s deputy director of public prosecutions. “In such a situation, the preliminary investigation should be discontinued, and that is what has happened.”

The Swedish authorities began investigating Mr. Assange in 2010, after two women accused him of assaulting them during separate sexual encounters while he was visiting Stockholm.

When the Swedish authorities issued a European arrest warrant seeking his extradition from Britain for questioning over “suspicion of rape, three cases of sexual molestation and illegal coercion,” he fled to the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. He remained there for seven years, until his arrest in April after Ecuador revoked his asylum status.

Ms. Persson said that investigators had spoken to two people who had not previously been interviewed. She said that the investigators had found the accusers credible and their statements reliable, but that some parts of the testimonies were contradictory.

“Memories fade for natural reason,” Ms. Persson said, but she emphasized that the “injured party has submitted a credible and reliable version of events.”

“Her statements have been coherent, extensive and detailed,” Ms. Persson said. “However, my overall assessment is that the evidential situation has been weakened to such an extent that there is no longer any reason to continue the investigation.”

The investigation was reopened this year after Mr. Assange was arrested in London.

Mr. Assange was detained last year and jailed for jumping bail. He is currently in jail in Britain as the United States seeks his extradition over accusations that he tried to assist in a breach of classified data.

In September, a British court ruled that Mr. Assange must stay in a British jail until his extradition hearing, which is planned for early next year.

Megan Specia contributed reporting from London, and Christina Anderson from Stockholm.

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