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Swedish Prosecutor: Rape investigation into WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange dropped

19 May 2017

First Amendment rights, that my arrest and the arrest (of) my other staff is a priority.

A British judge rules that Assange can be extradited to Sweden.

A photographer stands outside of the Ecuadorian embassy in London, Friday May 19, 2017.

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

Mr Assange - whose organisation has published confidential documents relating to the USA intelligence services - is the subject of a "very serious criminal investigation" in the U.S., officials have previously admitted. It does not clear Assange's name, however, and some experts say it puts him into an even more precarious legal situation if the US has - as some suspect - a sealed indictment for his arrest.

Ecuador demands that Britain allows Assange to fly to Quito. Long added: "This has gone on long enough".

A lawyer for one of the Swedish women who accused Assange of sexual assault said the prosecution decision to drop the investigation was a "scandal".

Samuelson tells The Associated Press that "this was consensual sex between two adults and nothing else", adding Assange was now "a free man".

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Politically, he was a member of the Socialist Party for three years, before becoming an independent politician in 2009. But he is nevertheless optimistic: "Macron struck the other candidates such a blow that it is not impossible".

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

Fritz said the process had dragged on for too long and that her client was "shocked" by the decision to drop it now.

Branco says: "We need a political intervention to make this situation end". In a separate statement, the prosecutor noted that in Sweden a criminal investigation has to be conducted as quickly as possible. At the point when a prosecutor has exhausted the possibilities to continue the investigation, the prosecutor is obliged to discontinue the investigation.

"The decision to discontinue the preliminary investigation is not because we've been able to make a full assessment of the evidence in this case, but because we didn't see any possibilities to advance the investigation forward".

She said the case could be reopened if Assange returns to Sweden before the statute of limitations expires in 2020. She says: "We don't make any statement of guilty or not".

July: Assange loses bid to have an arrest warrant issued in Sweden against him canceled.

Ny told reporters that the WikiLeaks founder had "tried to dodge all attempts at arrest" by British and Swedish authorities. "My assessment is the transfer can not be carried out in a foreseeable future".

A Swedish court upholds the European arrest warrant against Assange. However, British police say Assange still faces arrest for jumping bail if he leaves the Ecuadorean embassy in London.

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It had been believed that he would be arrested by British police and sent to Sweden if he leaves the embassy. The Metropolitan Police Service is obliged to execute that warrant should he leave the Embassy.

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).

February 24: District court in Britain rules Assange should be extradited to Sweden.

It added: "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".

After the Swedish announcement. WikiLeaks tweeted: "UK refuses to confirm or deny whether it has already received a U.S. extradition warrant for Julian Assange". It is not clear if that may change now that the investigation has been dropped.

Swedish authorities on Friday dropped their seven-year rape probe into WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange - but British authorities said they still want to arrest him. Assange is still inside the Ecuadorean Embassy in London where he has lived for almost five years.

The Wikileaks founder's legal representatives have said that Assange will not leave the Ecuadorian embassy until he receives assurances that he will not be extradited to the US.

Ecuador's foreign minister, Guillaume Long, tweeted Friday that Britain "must now grant safe passage" to Assange.

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