Swedish prosecutor drops Julian Assange rape investigation

Wikileak

Julian Assange

Sweden's top prosecutor said Friday she's dropping an investigation into a rape claim against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after nearly seven years because there's no possibility of arresting him "in the foreseeable future".

Wikileaks tweeted on Friday morning: "UK refuses to confirm or deny whether it has already received a U.S. extradition warrant for Julian Assange".

"He has tried to dodge all attempts to avoid Swedish and British legal authorities". The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) is obliged to execute that warrant should he leave the Embassy. 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. The US government has said the documents were stolen by Russian hackers, and deliberately released to undermine faith in the election and destabilise Clinton.

Prosecutors were trying to determine, among other things, if Assange had sex with the woman while she was asleep and without using a condom.

The Australian national has previously expressed concern that he could end up being extradited and facing the death penalty in the United States over allegations of revealing government secrets through his site, WikiLeaks.

"The priority for the [metropolitan police] 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", the police said in an e-mailed statement.

June 19, 2012- Assange takes refuge in Ecuador's embassy in London and asks for political asylum to avoid extradition to Sweden.

Although Sweden has withdrawn its request for a European arrest warrant, The Guardian reports that Ny maintained the probe could be reopened if he returns to Sweden before 2020, a date set by statute of limitations.

"Julian Assange has been a victim of a huge abuse of procedure. Focus now moves to United Kingdom".

Ny said that the decision to discontinue the investigation did not relate to the question of whether Assange was guilty or not, but rather because it was impossible to proceed with the investigation: "We don't make any statements on the issue of guilt".

The Washington Post reported that in response to the news, Per E Samuelsson, Assange's Swedish lawyer, told a local radio station that this is a "total victory for Julian Assange".

However, he's not a free man just yet.

Assange's Swedish lawyer last month filed a new motion demanding that the arrest warrant be lifted after US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in April that arresting Assange would be "a priority".

At a press conference Friday in Stockholm, Ny, chief of the Swedish Prosecution Authority, said she "has chose to discontinue the investigation" and call back the European arrest warrant for Assange.

He could face trial in the U.S. over leaking hundreds of thousands of secret United States military and diplomatic documents.

During last year's USA 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.

Army Pvt. Chelsea Manning served seven years in prison for giving classified material to WikiLeaks. She was freed Wednesday, having had her sentence commuted by outgoing President Barack Obama before he left office.

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