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Lawyer says Assange 'is happy today'

19 May 2017

British Prime Minister said it would be for police to decide if Julian Assange should be arrested if he leaves the Ecuadorean embassy in London after Swedish prosecutors said on Friday they had dropped a rape investigation against the WikiLeaks.

The Metropolitan police in London said Assange would also face immediate arrest for breaching his bail conditions; a warrant was issued when he failed to attend a magistrates court after entering the embassy, according to the Guardian. Chief prosecutor Marianne Ny speaks during a press conference in Stockholm on Friday May 19, 2017.

The Swedish Prosecution Authority said in a statement that Sweden's director of public prosecution, Marianne Ny, "today chose to discontinue the investigation" into a rape claim against Assange.

The announcement by prosecutor Marianne Ny means the outspoken WikiLeaks leader no longer faces sex crime allegations in Sweden, although British police said was still wanted for jumping bail in Britain in 2012.

Shortly after the announcement, Assange posted on Twitter a picture of himself smiling broadly, without comment.

Samuelson says he spoke by telephone with Assange, who told him: "Yes, Per, it feels much better today".

"What I do know is that Sweden does not stop him from doing it. Sweden is out of the game", he said.

Julian Assange's lawyer is asking French president Emmanuel Macron to intervene in support of the WikiLeaks founder.

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Another lawyer, Christophe Marchand, stated that "We have been waiting a long time for this decision".

The source added that Ecuador would now intensify its diplomatic efforts with the United Kingdom so that Julian Assange could "enjoy his asylum in Ecuador". "We are very pleased and very moved, as this marks the end of his nightmare".

August 20: Swedish prosecutor issues arrest warrant for Assange based on one woman's allegation of rape and another woman's allegation of molestation. Prosecutors were trying to determine, among other things, if Assange had sex with the woman while she was asleep and without using a condom.

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 USA history. At the point when a prosecutor has exhausted the possibilities to continue the investigation, the prosecutor is obliged to discontinue the investigation.

On Friday, Assange's accuser called the prosecutor's decision a "scandal", her lawyer said Friday.

"It is a scandal that a suspected rapist can escape justice and thereby avoid the courts", Elisabeth Massi Fritz told AFP in an email.

LONDON (AP) - Swedish prosecutors have dropped their investigation into a rape allegation against Julian Assange, nearly seven years after it began and five years after the WikiLeaks founder sought refuge inside Ecuador's London embassy.

The investigation had suffered from multiple procedural complications since it began.

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The rape allegation followed a Wikileaks conference in Stockholm in 2010.

In a letter sent to the Swedish government on May 8, Ecuador condemned "the obvious lack of progress" in the investigation despite Assange's questioning in the presence of the Swedish prosecutor at the embassy in November 2016.

Sweden's top prosecutor says "costs were not a reason for putting down the investigation" of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

WikiLeaks tweeted after the Swedish announcement: "UK refuses to confirm or deny whether it has already received a USA extradition warrant for Julian Assange".

The Justice Department investigation of Assange and WikiLeaks dates to at least 2010, when the site first gained wide attention for posting thousands of files stolen by the former US Army intelligence analyst now known as Chelsea Manning.

Assange has been essentially locked up inside the small Ecuadorian embassy in the United Kingdom since 2012 following his lost battles to avoid extradition from the UK to Sweden over the rape allegations, which he has always fervently denied.

Shortly afterward, he lodged his request for asylum in Ecuador and fled to the country's embassy in London.

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