Sweden drops Julian Assange rape investigation

Elias Hubbard
May 20, 2017

After nearly seven years of investigation, Sweden's top prosecutor today said that the authority has chose to drop the inquiry into a rape charge against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

He has always denied the claims, which he feared would see him extradited to the United States and tried over the leaking of hundreds of thousands of secret USA military and diplomatic documents.

Marianne Ny said she has withdrawn a European arrest warrant for Assange after concluding that it won't be possible to bring him to Sweden.

Britain and the U.S. have an extradition treaty, so if Assange leaves the Ecuadorian Embassy where he's claimed asylum, the British could arrest him and send him to the US. British police said before the announcement that Assange is still wanted in Britain for jumping bail. Juan Branco told The Associated Press in Paris that he wants Macron to help Assange leave the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.

Swedish prosecutors have announced they are dropping the country's rape investigation of Julian Assange.

Sweden's top prosecutor dropped a long-running inquiry into a rape claim against Assange on Friday, saying there was no way to detain or charge him "in the foreseeable future" because of his protected status inside the embassy.

However, it noted that now the Swedish authorities had dropped their investigation, Assange was "wanted for a much less serious offence" than before and said the force would "provide a level of resourcing which is proportionate to that offence".

"That's because we finally were able to get the interview done (with the Swedish side) and he could describe what really happened and also because we could show that the United States is hunting him, which we could not do before", Samuelson said.

Assange is a cyber hero to some for exposing government abuses of power and championing free speech, but to others he is a criminal who has undermined the security of the West.

Assange is still inside the Ecuadorean Embassy in London where he has lived for almost five years.

Asked if Britain would now support a request to extradite Mr Assange to the United States, Prime Minister Theresa May said: "We look at extradition requests on a case-by-case basis".

Army Pvt. Chelsea Manning served seven years in prison for giving classified material to WikiLeaks.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says his legal team will contact United Kingdom officials to seek a way forward in resolving in resolving his status. "My client is shocked and no decision to (end the case) can make her change that Assange exposed her to rape".

Assange's law called it a day of victory.

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

The accusation against Assange dated from August 2010 when the alleged victim, who says she met him at a WikiLeaks conference in Stockholm a few days earlier, filed a complaint. At the point when a prosecutor has exhausted the possibilities to continue the investigation, the prosecutor is obliged to discontinue the investigation.

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). However the Wikileaks founder still faces a charge of jumping bail in the UK. "Focus now moves to U.K".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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