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WikiLeaks awaits UK decision on Assange's status

20 May 2017

Swedish Chief Prosecutor Marianne Ny said Friday the investigation into the rape allegations would not proceed because "there's no possibility of arresting Assange in the foreseeable future".

In a statement, the office said Chief Prosecutor Marianne Ny had chose to shut down the investigation and that details would be made available later at a press conference, Efe news reported.

"This is a total victory for Julian Assange".

Friday was the deadline for prosecutors to renew or lift the warrant for Assange's arrest.

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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.

American authorities have prepared charges to seek Arrange's arrest, CNN reported, citing USA officials familiar with the matter.

But London's Metropolitan Police in a statement said it would have to arrest Assange if he leaves the embassy because he failed to surrender to the Westminster Magistrates' Court in June 2012.

After the news was announced, WikiLeaks tweeted that the "focus now moves to the UK", saying the country had "refused to confirm or deny whether it has already received a US extradition warrant for Julian Assange".

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Last month, President Donald Trump said he would support any decision by the Justice Department to charge Assange. Lawyer David Allen Green, who has followed the case, tweeted: "Once outside embassy, Assange more at risk from any United States extradition attempt than if he had gone to Sweden".

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

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 11 million pounds (over $17.5 million at the time).

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WikiLeaks awaits UK decision on Assange's status