Swedish Prosecutors Drop Julian Assange Rape Investigation

Swedish Prosecutors Drop Julian Assange Rape Investigation

Sweden's top prosecutor on Friday dropped an investigation into a rape claim against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after nearly seven years, saying that's because there's no possibility of arresting him "in the foreseeable future". Although Sweden has withdrawn its request for a European arrest warrant, The Guardian reports that Ny maintained the probe could be reopened if he returns to Sweden before 2020, a date set by statute of limitations.

Mr Assange took refuge in Ecuador's embassy in London in 2012 to escape extradition to Sweden to answer questions about sex-crime allegations from two women. He sought asylum there over fears the Swedish investigation would result in him being extradited to the United States over leaked military documents and diplomatic cables.

In a statement, the office said Chief Prosecutor Marianne Ny had chose to shut down the investigation and that details would be made available later at a press conference, Efe news reported.

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.

A spokesperson for WikiLeaks claimed the British government "refuses to confirm or deny" whether it has received a U.S. extradition request, adding: "Focus now moves to United Kingdom".

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

"He is now free to leave the embassy when he wants".

American authorities have prepared charges to seek Arrange's arrest, CNN reported, citing US officials familiar with the matter.

"The first thing that needs to be done, presumably, is to secure guarantees from the British authorities that he will not be arrested on other grounds", Melinda Taylor, one of Mr. Assange's lawyers, told the Swedish news agency TT, the newspaper Dagens Nyheter reported.

However, it noted that now the Swedish authorities had dropped their investigation, Assange was "wanted for a much less serious offence" than before and said the force would "provide a level of resourcing which is proportionate to that offence".

"Now that the situation has changed and the Swedish authorities have discontinued their investigation into that matter, Mr Assange remains wanted for a much less serious offence".

India in appeal to United Nations court to halt execution of 'spy'
Kulbhushan Jadhav was previous year arrested by Pakistan and was awarded capital punishment without carrying out any "fair trial". India presented a powerful testimony ahead of the 11-judge bench at International Court of Justice (ICJ) in Hague, Netherlands.

The long-running case against Mr. Assange had suffered several setbacks.

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.

As reporters thronged outside the embassy Friday morning, officials there said that they had no comment and were awaiting instructions from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ecuador. "Focus now moves to the UK", WikiLeaks tweeted.

Assange has always denied the allegation.

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".

Assange and WikiLeaks have repeatedly infuriated USA officials with the widespread release of sensitive secret documents related to military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq and diplomatic relations around the world.

Recent public declarations such as this constitute an "obvious risk" for Mr Assange, said the letter.

British police kept up round-the-clock guard outside the embassy until December 2015, when the operation was scaled back, in part because of the cost, which had exceeded 11 million pounds (over $17.5 million at the time).

During the most recent USA presidential election campaign, WikiLeaks published emails from Hilary Clinton's staff and the Democratic National Committee which some believe helped to lose her the election.

The transgender former USA intelligence analyst left Fort Leavenworth on Wednesday, months after Barack Obama commuted her 35-year sentence as one of his final acts as President.

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