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Julian Assange Sex Assault Claims About To Expire As Sweden's Five-Year Statue Of Limitations Looms

12/08/2015 09:49 BST | Updated 12/08/2015 10:59 BST

Julian Assange could be imminently cleared of three of the four sex assault allegations he faces, as the deadline for prosecuting him is about to expire.

The three allegations, from which he has been hiding in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012 after failing to prevent extradition in the courts, will reach the five-year expiry date within the next week, as set out under the Sweden's statute of limitations.

The situation was branded "an injustice" by a lawyer representing one of the alleged victims.

Assange denies the allegations against him, made by two women in Sweden in August 2010, and insists extradition to Sweden could lead to extradition to the United States over the secret documents published by the whistleblowing organisation.

julian assange

Julian Assange gives a press conference inside the embassy in August 2014

A spokeswoman for the Swedish Prosecuting Authority (SPA) said one allegation of sexual molestation and one of unlawful coercion would expire tomorrow (Thursday), while another of sexual molestation would expire on Tuesday (August 18).

But an allegation of rape will not expire until 2020, she added, meaning Assange could not simply leave the embassy.

Assange has previously said he agreed to be interviewed by Swedish authorities inside the embassy but he claimed in June the country's chief prosecutor had cancelled an interview appointment.

The SPA spokeswoman said: "The prosecutor still wants to interview him. The prosecutor still has not got permission from Ecuador."

Former Tory MP Louise Mensch accused Assange of "cheating rape complainants" and called him a misogynist.

But WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson told the Times (£): "It's quite obvious that the Swedish authorities waited all these years. He doesn't have to clear his name. He has been asking to be interviewed in London for five years - he has asked for this to be moved forward.

"It's come to a time to end this. That case should be dropped as well."

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Solicitor and legal journalist David Allen Green accused the Ecuadorian government of trying to obstruct the SPA by requesting it recognise Assange's asylum status before any interview went ahead.

Mr Green wrote: "It seems unlikely that the latest demands – that the SPA agree to something it cannot lawfully agree to – can be sincere.

"Sincere and co-operative governments do not make impossible demands as pre-conditions. Accordingly, in my view the pre-condition is a sham."

The WikiLeaks twitter accounted posted five "facts" about the case.

Claes Borgstrom, a lawyer representing one of the alleged victims, called the expiration of the allegations an "injustice".

He told the Times: "On one hand she wants him ... to answer to the allegations, and of course to be convicted. But on the other hand she is relieved that she will not have to stand in court."

On Monday, Ecuador's embassy said in a statement: "On no occasion has any representative of the Kingdom of Sweden presented themselves at the embassy in relation to the Assange matter.

"The Republic of Ecuador already made the sovereign decision to grant the journalist Julian Assange asylum on 16 August 2012. At no point has the Republic of Ecuador asked the Kingdom of Sweden to grant Mr Assange asylum."

The Metropolitan Police has posted officers outside the embassy to arrest Assange in case he leaves.

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson told HuffPost UK the cost of this between June 2012, when he went in, and April of this year was £9.2 million.