LONDON, U.K. (NBC) – Swedish prosecutors Monday said they’re reopening a rape case against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and will seek his extradition from Britain.
The move sets up a legal battle with the United States, where the Australian computer hacker is separately wanted for allegedly hacking into a Pentagon computer.
The Swedish government already wants to fight to extradite Assange on that rape allegation back in 2012. It’s why Assange sought refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in the first place.
He was arrested last month after Ecuador revoked his asylum and is now serving a 50-week sentence for skipping bail in Britain.
Monday, the Swedish prosecutor said she would re-issue a European arrest warrant for Julian Assange.
Eva-Maria Persson, Sweden’s deputy director of public prosecutions said, “After reviewing the preliminary investigation in its current state, my assessment is that there is still probable cause to suspect that Mr. Assange committed rape, [and] an offense of… a lesser offense.”
He has not been charged or indicted and has always denied the allegations.
The British government will have to decide whether to deal with Sweden’s request first or the US case, the request to extradite Assange on a charge of conspiring to hack Pentagon computers. A decision made by the head of the home office in the United Kingdom.
If Sweden wins out it means the US would then have to go through Sweden to extradite Assange and would still need the OK from British courts.