World

Swedish prosecutor drops case against Julian Assange

Swedish prosecutor drops case against Julian Assange

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

"Chief Prosecutor Marianne Ny has today chose to discontinue the preliminary investigation regarding suspected rape concerning Julian Assange", the prosecutor's office said in a statement.

Today will be declared as a historic victory for whistleblowers as Julian Assange paved the path to his freedom two days after Chelsea Manning was released from prison. Ny said she will call back the European arrest warrant on Assange.

Assange, 45, has been holed up in the embassy since 2012 after skipping bail to avoid extradition to Sweden over the allegation of rape, which he denies.

In documents filed to the Stockholm District Court, Prosecutor Ny said legal obstacles had prevented the case from moving forward.




The Australian national has previously expressed concern that he could end up being extradited and facing the death penalty in the United States over allegations of revealing government secrets through his site, WikiLeaks. US President Donald Trump last month said he would support any decision by the Justice Department to charge Assange.

Britain and the USA have an extradition treaty, so if Assange leaves the Ecuadorian Embassy where he's claimed asylum, the British could arrest him and send him to the US.

The Metropolitan Police Service in London said after the news was announced that it remained obliged to arrest Assange should he leave the Ecuadoran embassy on a lesser charge of failing to surrender to a court, the BBC reported.

"As long as we fear that this is a case of political persecution.as long as we fear for Mr. Assange's integrity and human rights, we will continue with our policy of offering him asylum", Long said in a telephone interview.

A lawyer for the woman who accused Assange of rape slammed the decision to drop the investigation.


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