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Sweden Drops Rape Investigation of Julian Assange

19 May 2017

Now that the situation has changed and the Swedish authorities have discontinued their investigation into that matter, Assange remains wanted for a much less serious offence.

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

"This is a total victory for Julian Assange".

The Crown Prosecution Service said that following the Swedish authorities' decision to drop the investigation, a European Arrest Warrant against him was discharged at Westminster Magistrates' Court. "This is obviously about consensual sex between two adults". "And he's a free man", Samuelson said.

"In view of the fact that all prospects of pursuing the investigation under present circumstances are exhausted, it appears that it is no longer proportionate to maintain the arrest of Julian Assange in his absence", she added.

"Detained for 7 years without charge by while my children grew up and my name was slandered", he said on Twitter.

Assange's taking refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy provoked a stalemate, with diplomatic rules preventing British police from entering the building and Assange unable to leave without facing arrest.

Assange told reporters Friday he would be happy to discuss his case with the U.S. Department of Justice.

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(AP Photo/Matt Dunham). People gather outside of the Ecuadorian embassy in London, Friday May 19, 2017. The South American country has granted him asylum.

Marianne Ny, Sweden's director of public prosecution, said in a statement that the rape investigation was dropped because "there is no reason to believe that the decision to surrender him to Sweden can be executed in the foreseeable future". The Swedish statute of limitation on the case does not expire until August 2020.

However, a lawyer representing the woman who made the allegation of rape described the decision as a "scandal".

United Kingdom has refused to confirm or deny if it has received an extradition warrant for Assange from the US.

Public declarations such as this constituted an "obvious risk" for Assange, the letter said. She said prosecutors had been unable to make a full assessment of the case and were not making a finding on whether Assange was guilty of the allegations.

The preliminary investigation on Assange, 44, was opened in 2010.

Swedish prosecutors continued to insist on questioning Assange in Sweden, but he was finally questioned by Equadorian prosecutors at the London embassy in November previous year.

Samuelsson, the lawyer in Sweden, told Swedish Radio he had been in touch with Assange via text message and the Australian had written, "Serious, Oh My God". Sweden's top prosecutor says she is dropping an investigation into a rape claim against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after.

Swedish Prosecutor: Rape investigation into WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange dropped
WikiLeaks tweeted: "UK refuses to confirm or deny whether it has already received a U.S. extradition warrant for Julian Assange ". However, British police say Assange still faces arrest for jumping bail if he leaves the Ecuadorean embassy in London.

WikiLeaks says the ball is now in Britain's court after Sweden's decision to drop its rape investigation of Julian 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.

"The priority for the MPS must continue to be arresting those who are now wanted in the Capital in connection with serious violent or sexual offences for the protection of Londoners", it added.

British police kept up round-the-clock guard outside the embassy until December 2015, when the operation was scaled back, in part because of the cost, which had exceeded $17.5 million at the time.

Both U.S. and British officials have declined to comment on whether there is a warrant for Assange's arrest.

During the most recent US presidential election campaign, WikiLeaks published emails from Hilary Clinton's staff and the Democratic National Committee which some believe helped to lose her the election.

Sweden's decision to drop the rape investigation against Assange comes against the backdrop of the release from prison of WikiLeaks' possibly most important whistleblower, Chelsea Manning, who leaked over 700,000 secret USA government documents back in 2010.

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Sweden Drops Rape Investigation of Julian Assange