Swedish Lawyer For Alleged Julian Assange Victim Pushing To Reopen Probe

A Swedish lawyer representing the alleged victim in a rape investigation involving WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says she would push to have prosecutors reopen the probe, that was dropped in 2017.

"My client and I have just received the news that Assange has been arrested. The fact that what we have been waiting and hoping for for nearly seven years is now happening, of course, comes as a shock to my client," Elisabeth Massi Fritz, the lawyer of the alleged victim, told Reuters.

Assange was arrested on Thursday by British police at Ecuador's embassy in London where he had been holed up since 2012.

"We will do all we can to get prosecutors to reopen the Swedish preliminary criminal investigation so that Assange can be extradited to Sweden and be prosecuted for rape," she said in a text message.

Assange is carried out of the Embassy by police. Image: CBS News

The Swedish Prosecution Authority reacted cautiously to news Assange's arrested in London.

"This is news to us too, so we have not been able to evaluate the information that is now available," chief prosecutor Ingrid Isgren said in a statement.

"We don't know why he was arrested. We are following the situation," she added.

The authority said they had no further comment.

READ MORE: Julian Assange Arrested In London 

READ MORE: Julian Assange: A Timeline Of The WikiLeaks Founder's Case

Sweden dropped a rape investigation into Assange in May 2017.

A preliminary investigation can, however, be resumed as long as the statute of limitations has not entered into force. In this case, regarding suspected rape, that does not apply until mid August 2020, the authority said.

Image: Getty

Three other cases of alleged sexual assault against Assange were dropped in 2014 due to a Swedish statute of limitations.

Featured image: Getty