Sweden drops case but WikiLeaks' Assange is not in the clear

Sweden drops case but WikiLeaks' Assange is not in the clear

Sweden drops case but WikiLeaks' Assange is not in the clear

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said on Friday he would not forgive or forget those behind a long-running Swedish rape investigation that he said had prevented him seeing his children while they grew up.

Earlier, Assange had used social media to vent his anger hours after the Swedish prosecution made a decision to drop its rape investigation against him.

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.

Marianne Ny, the Swedish director of public prosecutions announced Friday that she was dropping the rape case because there is no prospect of bringing Assange to Sweden "in the foreseeable future" and it is "no longer proportionate" to maintain the European arrest warrant.

Assange, 45, took refuge in the embassy in June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden over the rape allegation, which he denies.

The 45-year-old could face trial in the United States over the leaking hundreds of thousands of secret USA military and diplomatic documents.

"Given that the European Arrest Warrant no longer holds, Ecuador will now be intensifying its diplomatic efforts with the United Kingdom so that Julian Assange can gain safe passage in order to enjoy his asylum in Ecuador".

Director of Public Prosecutions Marianne Ny said she had chose to "discontinue" the investigation into an alleged sex offence, although it is unlikely to lead to Mr Assange immediately leaving the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he has been living for nearly five years.

Assange has now been inside the embassy for four years and 334 days. In April 2017, officials told CNN the Department of Justice was preparing charges for Assange related to the document leaks.

Despite this decision, chief prosecutor Marianne Ny said the call was not made out of any belief that Assange is innocent, rather they felt that Ecuador would not cooperate, and there was nothing they could do to move the case forward. "Focus now moves to United Kingdom".

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"Whilst Mr Assange was wanted on a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) for an extremely serious offence, the MPS response reflected the serious nature of that crime". The South American country has granted him asylum, but it is not clear how Assange would travel there without the permission of British authorities.

"We will seek to put some people in jail", Sessions said. They could also potentially extradite him to the US, where Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said that he intends to arrest Assange if given the opportunity.

British officials said they do not comment on individual extradition cases.

"Julian Assange has been a victim of a huge abuse of procedure".

No. The investigation began after two women accused Assange of sexual offenses during a 2010 visit to Stockholm - allegations he denies. Swedish prosecutors dropped cases of alleged sexual misconduct when the statute of limitations ran out in 2015, leaving only the rape allegation.

Elisabeth Massi Fritz says her client is shocked by the Swedish decision but added that "she can't change her view that Assange has exposed her to a rape".

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

Ny told reporters that the WikiLeaks founder had "tried to dodge all attempts at arrest" by British and Swedish authorities.

Assange has said that all the sex was consensual. She was freed Wednesday, having had her sentence commuted by former President Barack Obama before he left office.

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