Swedish prosecutors said Tuesday they have dropped their investigation into jailed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange over a 2010 rape allegation, even though they found the plaintiff's claim "credible."
"My assessment is that all investigative measures that can be taken have been taken. But... the evidence is not strong enough to file an indictment," deputy director of public prosecutions Eva-Marie Persson told reporters.
The investigation was launched after a Swedish woman who met Assange at a conference in Stockholm in August 2010 accused the Australian of having unprotected sex with her while she was sleeping. She said she had repeatedly refused to have unprotected sex with him. Assange has always denied the allegation.
"I want to stress that the plaintiff has given a credible and reliable account [of events]. Her statement is clear, lengthy and detailed," Persson said in a statement. "But altogether, my assessment is that the evidence has weakened in such a way that there is no longer reason to continue the investigation."
Prosecutors had struggled for years to interrogate Assange in person.
"I have... determined that it cannot be proven that a crime has been committed. But it would be totally wrong of me to say that it is the plaintiff's fault," Persson told AFP.
The 48-year-old WikiLeaks founder has been held at a top-security British prison since April after police dragged him out of the Ecuadoran Embassy in London, where he had been holed up since 2012 to avoid an extradition order to Sweden.