Assange hails Swedish move to drop investigation

Lauren Perry
May 20, 2017

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has called the Swedish prosecutor's decision to drop its investigation into an allegation of rape against him as an "important victory and vindication". He was granted asylum there in August 2012 over fears that if he was detained by British police they would extradite him to Sweden, which would then send him onward to the United States for prosecution over WikiLeaks' publication of secret documents, including thousands of USA diplomatic cables.

But she said: "If he were to return to Sweden before the statute of limitation on this case expires in August 2020, the preliminary investigation could be resumed".

British police said despite Sweden's decision to drop the rape investigation, Assange still faces arrest if he leaves Ecuador's embassy in London.

The statement, however, noted that 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".

Manning was released on Wednesday after spending seven years in a US military prison for passing the documents to WikiLeaks. She told police she had wanted to end the encounter "but that it was too late to stop Assange as she had gone along with it so far".

After receiving the news from the Swedish court, the Australian journalist posted on his Twitter account a photo of him in which he appears relaxed, dressed in sports clothes and with a big smile.

"The governments of the United Kingdom and the United States have plotted against Mr. Assange for the past seven years, trying to silence him for his exposure of their crimes".

A lawyer for the woman who alleged she was raped by Assange said "it's a scandal that a suspected rapist can avoid the judicial system and thus avoid a trial in court".

Assange has spent almost five years inside the Latin American country's London embassy, but he seemed robust and defiant in his brief balcony appearance.

"Whenever a case can be made, we will seek to put some people in jail", Sessions said.

"Through an extensive fight, we and others managed to have him released early", he said, using the ex-soldier's former pronouns. At the point when a prosecutor has exhausted the possibilities to continue the investigation, the prosecutor is obliged to discontinue the investigation.

"We don't make any statement of guilty or not", she said.

The CPS spokesman could not confirm whether Britain had received a USA extradition request.

In Sweden, Assange's accuser was left stunned by the prosecutors' decision.

"The decision by the Swedish prosecutor only highlights the fact Mr. Assange has been unlawfully detained for years", Pollack said.

"The Swedish government has taken itself out of the equation", he continued. "But I believe that if Mr. Assange were to leave the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, he would still be arrested on trumped up national security charges and extradited to the United States, where he would find it utterly impossible to receive a fair hearing".

Mr Assange pledged WikiLeaks will continue distributing material about the activities of the Central Intelligence Agency in the United States, and will "accelerate" its publications.

During last year's US presidential election campaign, WikiLeaks published emails from Hillary Clinton's staff and the Democratic National Committee which some believe helped to lose her the election to Trump.

Other reports by VgToday

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