World

Swedish prosecutor drops rape probe into WikiLeaks' Assange

Swedish prosecutor drops rape probe into WikiLeaks' Assange

But the British police have said they will arrest Assange as soon as he walks out of the embassy because he broke his conditions for bail - a relatively minor offence under British law - by failing to surrender on June 29, 2012 for extradition to Sweden.

Assange contends the United States should recognize his First Amendment rights as a journalist.

Long added: "Ecuador was clear from the outset that it would fully co-operate with the Swedish justice system".

British police said before the announcement that Assange is still wanted in Britain for jumping bail.

Ny told reporters that prosecutors had been unable to make a full assessment of the case and were not making a finding on whether Assange was guilty or innocent of the allegations.

Samuelson says he spoke by telephone with Assange, who told him: "Yes, Per, it feels much better today". British police say they still intend to arrest him, if he leaves the Ecuadorean Embassy.

Chief Prosecutor Marianne Ny filed a request to the Stockholm District Court to revoke his arrest warrant, apparently ending a seven-year stand-off, the BBC reported.

The Swedish prosecutor's office said in a statement it had made a decision to end its investigation.

Assange also lashed out at Sweden for taking seven years to investigate allegations he maintained were baseless.

Mr Assange reacted to the news by tweeting a photo of himself smiling inside the Ecuadorian Embassy where he has been living for nearly five years.The European arrest warrant issued for Mr Assange is being revoked, sparking speculation he would be leaving the London embassy.




The police statement said Assange was previously wanted for "an extremely serious offence" in Sweden and the police presence around the embassy had "reflected the serious nature of that crime".

Swedish judges had also refused to take into account the opinion of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, which in February 2016 said Assange was effectively "arbitrarily detained" by Sweden and Britain and called for the arrest warrant to be annulled.

The preliminary investigation against Julian Assange for rape (lesser degree) is to be discontinued.

Ms Ny said the motive for her decision was that there is no reason to believe the decision to surrender Mr Assange to Sweden can be executed in the foreseeable future.

"UK refuses to confirm or deny whether it has already received a United States extradition warrant for Julian Assange".

She told a press conference in Stockholm that the investigation could be reopened if Mr Assange returns to Sweden before the allegation against him elapses under Swedish law in August 2020.

He feared Sweden would hand him over to the United States to face prosecution over WikiLeaks' publication of thousands of classified military and diplomatic documents in one of the largest information leaks in US history. "Focus now moves to United Kingdom".

"Now that the situation has changed and the Swedish authorities have discontinued their investigation into that matter".

British police kept up a round-the-clock guard outside the embassy until December 2015, when the operation was scaled back partly because of the costs, which had exceeded 11 million pounds (over $17.5 million at the time).

Sweden's top prosecutor says she is dropping an investigation into a rape claim against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after nearly seven years.


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