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Sweden Rejects Detention Request For Assange

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is taken from court, where he appeared on charges of jumping British bail seven years ago, in London on May 1.

A Swedish court has rejected a request to have WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange detained in absentia over a 2010 rape allegation.

Swedish prosecutors had filed a request with a court in the city of Uppsala to have Assange, currently imprisoned in Britain, detained in his absence -- the first step toward seeking his extradition from Britain.

The June 3 court ruling does not mean a preliminary investigation in Sweden should be abandoned.

The Australian, 47, denies the rape allegation.

Assange was arrested by British police in April after spending seven years in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London.

He was subsequently sentenced to 50 weeks in jail for breaching bail conditions.

In May, Swedish authorities reopened an investigation into alleged rape, which had been closed in 2017 after Assange took refuge in the Ecuadoran Embassy.

The United States is also seeking Assange's extradition on charges he published classified information and assisted a former U.S. Army intelligence analyst to obtain classified information.

On May 30, British authorities postponed a hearing on the U.S. extradition request because Assange was too ill to participate by video link. A new hearing was set for June 12.

Based on reporting by Reuters, dpa, and AP