Sweden drops 7-year-old rape investigation against Assange

Sweden drops 7-year-old rape investigation against Assange
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange
Author

20 May, 2017

The UK government declined to comment Friday on whether the US has asked for Assange's extradition, but last month US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Assange's arrest was a "priority".

The letter raised developments in the United States since the election of Donald Trump as president, including a speech by CIA director Mike Pompeo describing WikiLeaks as a "hostile intelligence service".

Scotland Yard said: "Westminster Magistrates' Court issued a warrant for the arrest of Julian Assange following him failing to surrender to the court on June 29 2012".

He says says his battle is not over, and "the proper war is just commencing". The South American country has granted him asylum, but it is not clear how Assange would travel there without the permission of British authorities.

Ecuador's foreign minister Guillaume Long said: "Ecuador regrets that the Swedish Prosecutor delayed more than four years in carrying out this interview".

The director of public prosecutions in Sweden has chose to drop the rape investigation into allegations against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

Samuelson tells The Associated Press that "this was consensual sex between two adults and nothing else", adding Assange was now "a free man". "Finally we got there".

A lawyer for the woman who alleged she was raped by Assange said "it's a scandal that a suspected rapist can avoid the judicial system and thus avoid a trial in court".

According to reports, in a brief statement by the prosecutor, in this case, said: "Director of Public Prosecution, Marianne Ny, has today chose to discontinue the investigation regarding suspected rape by Julian Assange".

Julian Assange's lawyer is asking French president Emmanuel Macron to intervene in support of the WikiLeaks founder. Juan Branco told The Associated Press in Paris that he wants Macron to help Assange leave the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.

In a written statement, officials said: "According to Swedish legislation, a criminal investigation is to be conducted as quickly as possible".

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. "So we don't make any statements on the issue of guilt", she said via a translator.

The move comes ahead of a Stockholm court's examination of a demand by Assange's lawyers that Sweden drop his European arrest warrant, the BBC reported. "My assessment is the transfer can not be carried out in a foreseeable future".

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.

The 45-year-old has been living in the Ecuadoran embassy in London since 2012, after seeking asylum to avoid extradition to Sweden to face allegations of rape dating back to 2010. The Metropolitan Police says there's a British warrant for Assange's arrest after he jumped bail. The MPS will provide a level of resourcing which is proportionate to that offence.

Police kept up round-the-clock guard outside the embassy until previous year, when the operation was scaled back.

October 24 - Assange says WikiLeaks will have to stop publishing secret cables and devote itself to fund-raising.

According to reports, soon after the news of the Swedish decision broke, Wikileaks tweeted that the focus now moves to the United Kingdom, as it has still not confirmed or denied whether it has received a USA extradition warrant for the websites founder.

British police said before the announcement that Assange is still wanted in Britain for jumping bail. There were initially two separate allegations being investigated, but one was dropped in 2015 because the statute of limitations ran out.

"But it by no means erases seven years of detention without charge under house arrest and nearly five years here in this embassy without sunlight", Assange said.

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

Sweden's top prosecutor dropped a long-running inquiry into a rape claim against Assange on Friday, saying there was no way to detain or charge him "in the foreseeable future" because of his protected status inside the embassy.


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