Swedish prosecutor drops rape investigation of Assange

Nick Mcbride
May 20, 2017

Assange, 45, who has been in Ecuador's London embassy since 2012, where he was granted political asylum, tweeted a smiling image of himself after the news broke.

"Today is an important victory for me", he said.

But the United Kingdom authorities indicated Friday that Assange still faces arrest there were he to leave the embassy.

If arrested by the United Kingdom, could Assange be extradited to the U.S.?

"The road is far from over".

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

He promised that WikiLeaks would continue its "fight" for government transparency and digital rights.

August 31: Swedish police question Assange, who denies the allegations. He said Assange had convinced Swedish prosecutors during a November meeting past year that he was not guilty of any sex offenses. "It is not something I can forget", he said.

Marianne Ny, Sweden's director of public prosecutions, said she had chose to discontinue the inquiry into the allegation dating from 2010, when the country issued a European arrest warrant for him.

Sweden's top prosecutor says she is dropping an investigation into a rape claim against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after nearly seven years.

His accuser said via her lawyer that she was "shocked" the investigation had ended and called it a "scandal".

Ecuadorian prosecutors interviewed Assange in November 2016 and Swedish investigators interviewed Assange in March of 2017, both in London.

The director of public prosecutions in Sweden has made a decision to drop the rape investigation into allegations against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Prosecutors were trying to determine, among other things, if Assange had sex with the woman while she was asleep and without using a condom. Assange has always said he believes he faces extradition to the USA because WikiLeaks published classified information.

Friday was the deadline for the Swedish prosecution to send a request to Stockholm District Court in the Assange case.

May 19: Prosecutor Marianne Ny announces that investigation has been suspended and the European arrest warrant has been withdrawn because she sees no realistic possibility of bringing Assange to Sweden.

She told a news conference in Stockholm that the investigation could be reopened if Assange returns to Sweden before the statute of limitations lapses in 2020.

"Julian Assange has been a victim of a huge abuse of procedure. We are very pleased and very moved, as this marks the end of his nightmare".

Mr Assange's lawyer, Per E. Samuelson, told Swedish media that Mr Assange could leave the embassy. On 16 December 2010, the City of Westminster Magistrates' Court chose to release Julian Assange on bail.

Having been placed under effective house arrest over four allegations of rape and sexual assault, and staying at the Norfolk estate of journalist and former British Army officer Vaughan Smith, Assange jumped bail to enter the embassy.

But over time, it has increasingly set its sights on the USA, and even come under suspicion that it might be working with Russian Federation, claims that Assange has denied. "He has been critical that it has lasted that long".

Assange criticised the EU during his speech, and said: "The reality is detention and extradition without charge has become a feature of the European Union".

The investigation has suffered from multiple procedural complications. "At this point, it is more apparent than ever that the United Kingdom should provide Mr. Assange safe passage to Ecuador".

Moreover, the Justice Department in Washington was reconsidering last month whether to charge Mr. Assange for his role in the disclosure of highly classified information.

Other reports by VgToday

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