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Main » Sweden drops Assange investigation, United Kingdom police says he still faces arrest

Sweden drops Assange investigation, United Kingdom police says he still faces arrest

19 May 2017

We have won the Assange case.

The Swedish prosecutor is dropping its investigation into an allegation of rape against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

Last month CIA Director Mike Pompeo called WikiLeaks a "hostile intelligence service", and Sessions, responding to a question about Assange, said the Trump administration was stepping up its efforts against all leaks of sensitive information.

He said American officials made up the case in an attempt to have him extradited.

In January, Assange said he stood by an offer to go to the United States providing his rights were upheld and if former military intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, who was responsible for a 2010 leak of classified materials to Assange's anti-secrecy group, was freed.

Assange's lawyer, Per Samuelson, hailed Sweden's decision to drop the investigation as "a total victory for us". "I do not forgive or forget".

He says says his battle is not over, and "the proper war is just commencing".

Mr Assange faces extradition to the United States for questioning over the activities of WikiLeaks if he leaves the embassy.

Ny and Chief Prosecutor Ingrid Isgren were briefing reporters on the decision in Stockholm.

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"We have been waiting a long time for this decision", Christophe Marchand, a member of Assange's Brussels-based legal team, told AFP.

At a press conference in Quito, Long called on Britain allow Assange safe passage so he could take up his asylum in Ecuador.

"This has gone on long enough", Long said.

"The truth is, he gave a very good explanation: this was consensual sex between two adults and nothing else".

Julian Assange, in a photo posted on his Twitter page on Friday.

Julian Assange's lawyer is asking French president Emmanuel Macron to intervene in support of the WikiLeaks founder. "He is the only political prisoner in Western Europe".

"At this point, all possibilities to conduct the investigation are exhausted". "So we don't make any statements on the issue of guilt", she said via a translator.

In a court document seen by Reuters, Ny said there were no further avenues to pursue to take the investigation forward. "My assessment is the transfer can not be carried out in a foreseeable future", Ms Ny told reporters.

"The Metropolitan Police Service is obliged to execute that warrant should he leave the Embassy".

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Sweden's top prosecutor, Marianne Ny, on Friday released a statement announcing that the rape charges against Mr. Assange had been dropped.

Assange responded to the worldwide arrest warrant by seeking refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy, officially designated as Ecuadorian territory within London, and has been residing there since June 2012.

But it added that Assange is now wanted for a "much less serious offense" than the original sex crimes claims, and police "will provide a level of resourcing which is proportionate to that offense".

It's not known if US officials are seeking Assange's arrest because of a possible sealed indictment.

After the Swedish announcement.

"This implies that we can now demonstrate that the U.S. has a will to take action... this is why we ask for the arrest warrant to be cancelled so that Julian Assange can fly to Ecuador and enjoy his political asylum", lawyer Per Samuelsson told AFP at the time. "Focus now moves to the UK", WikiLeaks tweeted.

British police said separately that it was still under obligation to arrest Assange were he to leave the embassy. It is not clear if that may change now that the investigation has been dropped.

Prosecutors were trying to determine, among other things, if Assange had sex with the woman while she was asleep and without using a condom.

August 13 - Swedish prosecutors drop investigations into the allegations of sexual assault against Assange because they had run out of time to bring charges but continue with investigations over the rape allegation.

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Mr Assange has not set foot outside the building, ultimately fearing he could be extradited to the United States over Wikileaks' publishing of huge amounts of classified information.

Sweden drops Assange investigation, United Kingdom police says he still faces arrest