Swedish prosecutor drops rape probe against Julian Assange

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 20, 2017

Despite Friday's announcement, he's unlikely to walk out of the embassy imminently.

Assange posted a picture on Twitter of himself smiling broadly, without comment.

"Detained for seven years without charge.while my children grew up and my name was slandered", the WikiLeaks founder said. "I do not forgive or forget".

He said that lawyers for the Australian, who are based around the world, were discussing the implications of the decision.

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

American authorities have prepared charges to seek Arrange's arrest, CNN reported, citing US officials familiar with the matter. Lawyer David Allen Green, who has followed the case, tweeted: "Once outside embassy, Assange more at risk from any United States extradition attempt than if he had gone to Sweden".

Britain and the USA have an extradition treaty, so if Assange leaves the Ecuadorian Embassy where he's claimed asylum, the British could arrest him and send him to the US.

"Chief Prosecutor Marianne Ny has today made a decision to discontinue the preliminary investigation regarding suspected rape concerning Julian Assange", the prosecutors office said in a statement.

The announcement means the outspoken WikiLeaks leader no longer faces sex crime allegations in Sweden, although British police say he is still wanted in Britain for jumping bail in 2012.

Dropping the investigation is not a result of deciding he is not guilty, Ny added - it's because there's no practical way to continue it.

Prosecutors said the preliminary rape and sexual assault probe has been discontinued and an arrest warrant issued for Mr Assange would be revoked, sparking speculation he would be leaving the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

Assange's lawyer, Per Samuelson, hailed Sweden's decision to drop the investigation as "a total victory for us".

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