Sweden drops Julian Assange rape investigation

Remigio Civitarese
Мая 19, 2017

"We've already begun to step up our efforts and whenever a case can be made, we will seek to put some people in jail", Sessions said.

Per E. Samuelson, Assange's lawyer in Sweden, told The Associated Press that it was a "day of victory" for the WikiLeaks founder.

A photographer stands outside of the Ecuadorian embassy in London, Friday May 19, 2017.

"The proper war is just commencing", he told the crowd of reporters and onlookers gathered outside the embassy.

Assange's lawyer filed a request in Stockholm this month asking for the arrest warrant to be dropped because the USA has expressed its intention to charge his client for the publication of thousands of classified documents, The Local of Sweden reported.

Ecuador's Foreign Minister Guillaume Long celebrated the decision but expressed outrage over the lengthy delays by the Swedish prosecutors in resolving the case.

October 12: Metropolitan Police end their 24-hour guard outside the Ecuadorean embassy but say they will use overt and covert means to track and arrest Assange if he leaves.

April 6: Ecuador's president-elect, Lenin Moreno, warns Assange that as a condition of asylum granted in 2012, he is not allowed to meddle in politics. Long added: "This has gone on long enough".

"The truth is, he gave a very good explanation: this was consensual sex between two adults and nothing else". Elisabeth Massi Fritz says her client is shocked but adds that "she can't change her view that Assange has exposed her to a rape". He is now free to leave the embassy when he wants.

Branco says: "We need a political intervention to make this situation end". Once the prosecutor has exhausted the avenues to continue the investigation, they are obliged to discontinue the investigation.

"The decision to discontinue the preliminary investigation is not because we've been able to make a full assessment of the evidence in this case, but because we didn't see any possibilities to advance the investigation forward".

Sweden's top prosecutor says the investigation of alleged sexual offenses could reopened if Julian Assange returns to Sweden before the statute of limitations lapses in 2020. "So we don't make any statements on the issue of guilt", she said via a translator.

July: Assange loses bid to have an arrest warrant issued in Sweden against him canceled. "My assessment is the transfer can not be carried out in a foreseeable future".

Ny says she has withdrawn a European arrest warrant. However, British police say Assange still faces arrest for jumping bail if he leaves the Ecuadorean embassy in London.

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

But it adds that Assange is now wanted for a "much less serious offense" than the original sex crimes claims, and police "will provide a level of resourcing which is proportionate to that offense". It ends a three-year police operation which is estimated to have cost more than 12 million pounds ($17 million).

According to a brief statement by the Metropolitan Police in London, the United Kingdom still has a warrant for the arrest of Assange following his failure to surrender to the court in 2012.

After the Swedish announcement.

Despite Friday's announcement by Swedish prosecutors, Assange, who is still the subject of a United Kingdom arrest warrant, acknowledged he is unlikely to walk out of the embassy any time soon. It is not clear if that may change now that the investigation has been dropped.

Sweden is dropping its investigation into WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on rape allegations, according to a prosecution statement released Friday.

The country's director of public prosecutions, Marianne Ny, said at a press conference that the investigation had been discontinued because "there was no reason to believe that the decision to surrender him to Sweden can be executed in the foreseeable future".

Assange remains inside the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, where he has lived for nearly five years after jumping bail in 2012.

The Wikileaks founder's legal representatives have said that Assange will not leave the Ecuadorian embassy until he receives assurances that he will not be extradited to the US.

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