Sweden drops criminal proceedings against Assange

Remigio Civitarese
Мая 20, 2017

August 13 - Swedish prosecutors drop investigations into the allegations of sexual assault against Assange because they had run out of time to bring charges but continue with investigations over the rape allegation.

"The investigation against Julian Assange is discontinued", read a statement put out by Director of Public Prosecution Ms. Marianne Ny.

It's not known if US officials have asked British police to arrest Assange because of a possible sealed USA indictment against him.

The U.S. has not dropped its interest in Assange, and London Metropolitan Police were quick to say they will continue to enforce an outstanding arrest warrant for him.

The decision marks an end to a seven-year stand-off. His children had grown up without him, he said.

Scotland Yard said it was obliged to execute a warrant issued by Westminster Magistrates' Court for the arrest of Mr Assange following his failure to surrender to the court in June 2012 should he leave the embassy. In October, WikiLeaks releases another 400,000 classified military files chronicling the war in Iraq from 2004 to 2009, the largest leak of its kind in USA military history. WikiLeaks also had a provocative role in the 2016 USA presidential campaign when it published emails written by Hillary Clinton's campaign officials.

Assange has said the charges were orchestrated to ultimately extradite him to the United States where he is wanted for questioning about the release of thousands of classified cables in 2010.

At a press conference in Quito, Long called on Britain allow Assange safe passage so he could take up his asylum in Ecuador.

"This unnecessary delay was despite the repeated insistence from the Ecuadorian government - ever since the granting of asylum in 2012 - that this interview was not only possible but that Ecuador would facilitate its carrying out in our Embassy".

The 45-year-old Australian national elaborated later in the day, speaking to reporters from the balcony of the embassy. But some experts said the development would put him in an even more precarious legal situation, if the US has a sealed indictment for his arrest. The US Justice Department still mulling charges against Assange, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said that prosecution of organizations like Wikileaks is a "priority".

In April, outlets reported USA federal prosecutors are considering criminal charges against Assange for leaking diplomatic cables and military documents.

"We will seek to put some people in jail", Sessions said.

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 former President Barack Obama before he left office.

British officials said they do not comment on individual extradition cases. British Prime Minister Theresa May said Friday that "any decision that is taken about United Kingdom action in relation to him (Assange) would be an operational matter for the police".

WikiLeaks complained about the lack of clarity in Assange's legal situation.

"UK refuses to confirm or deny whether it has already received a United States extradition warrant for Julian Assange".

His supporters believe the sex crime allegations that have bedeviled Assange for years were politically motivated.

Sweden's top prosecutor says the investigation of alleged sexual offences could reopened if Julian Assange returns to Sweden before the statute of limitations lapses in 2020.

"It is a scandal that a suspected rapist is able to evade the judicial system and thus avoid trial", Fritz said.

May 19 - Swedish prosecutors say they are dropping their investigation into Assange over the rape allegation, saying there were no further avenues to pursue to take the investigation forward. It is not clear if that may change now that the investigation has been dropped.

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