USA

Swedish prosecutor drops rape probe into WikiLeaks' Assange

Swedish prosecutor drops rape probe into WikiLeaks' Assange

A lawyer for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Friday welcomed the decision of Swedish prosecutors to drop a seven-year rape investigation against him, saying it was the "end of his nightmare".

A statement released online declared Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny's intention to "discontinue the investigation regarding suspected rape (lesser degree) by Julian Assange".

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 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.

The Ecuadorian embassy is now guarded around the clock by London's Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to prevent Assange from escaping.

Assange, an Australian national, has considered the whole Swedish process as a "violation", the attorney added. "The MPS will provide a level of resourcing which is proportionate to that offence", it said.

The letter raised questions about developments in the U.S. since the election of Donald Trump as president, including a speech by the CIA director, Mike Pompeo, describing WikiLeaks as a "hostile intelligence service" and a threat to U.S. national security.

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

Mr Assange was questioned six months ago in the presence of Swedish officials, who faced criticism for the length of time it has taken to make a decision.

She accused him of having sex with her as she slept without using a condom despite repeatedly having denied him unprotected sex.

Chibok schoolgirls undergoing medical screening: minister
Twenty-one of their classmates were freed in October previous year ; three had previously been found or escaped. But Grace and the other members of the family are not over the moon yet because of the news.

Prosecutors in Sweden have chose to terminate the rape investigation against Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, which has dragged on for the past seven years.

Assange has been granted asylum by Ecuador and has been able to evade justice because he is on Ecuador's sovereign territory by being in the embassy.

Ms Ny said the motive for her decision was that there is no reason to believe the decision to surrender Mr Assange to Sweden can be executed in the foreseeable future.

On Friday, Assange's accuser called the prosecutor's decision a "scandal", her lawyer said Friday.

However, Assange's lawyers have repeatedly said he will not do so without assurances that he willnot face extradition to the U.S. over possible espionage charges linked to WikiLeaks' publishing activities - the basis on which Ecuador granted him asylum.

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

Sweden's top prosecutor says she is dropping an investigation into a rape claim against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after nearly seven years.

"Focus now moves to United Kingdom", a Wikileaks spokesperson said.

Following Sweden's decision to drop the investigation, WikiLeaks said its "Justice for Assange" campaign would now focus on the United Kingdom, because British authorities have refused to confirm or deny whether an extradition warrant had been issued by the US that could still lead to Assange being extradited there.

Friday's announcement means Assange is no longer under any investigation in Sweden.


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