assange

London, UK — (RT) Sweden has dropped its rape investigation against Julian Assange and will revoke its arrest warrant, the Swedish Prosecution Authority has announced on its website.

The decision was made by Sweden’s director of public prosecution, who confirmed that she decided to discontinue the investigation against the WikiLeaks co-founder.

“Director of Public Prosecution, Ms Marianne Ny, has today decided to discontinue the investigation regarding suspected rape (lesser degree) by Julian Assange,” the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

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Assange’s defense lawyer, Per Samuelson, has called the prosecution’s decision a “total victory.”

“The preliminary investigation has been dropped and the detention order has been withdrawn, and from Sweden’s point of view this is now over,” he told Reuters.

The decision marks an end to a seven-year stand-off.

Assange has lived in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012, in order to avoid extradition to Sweden over the allegation, which he denies.

The decision comes after Assange’s Swedish lawyer filed a motion which demanded that the arrest warrant be lifted, after US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in April that arresting the WikiLeaks co-founder would be a “priority.”

US authorities have been investigating Assange and WikiLeaks since at least 2010, when the site posted thousands of cables stolen by former US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning.

The publication of classified US military and diplomatic documents represents one of the biggest information leaks in American history.

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Just days ago, Ecuador voiced concern over the “serious lack of progress” by Sweden in dealing with Assange, citing a “serious failure” by the prosecution to complete the inquiry into the alleged sexual assault.

One of Assange’s lawyers said earlier on Friday that closing the investigation or lifting the European arrest warrant would not necessarily mean he could easily leave for Ecuador, which has granted him asylum.

“The first thing one likely needs to do is seek guarantees from the British authorities that he won’t be seized in some other way,” Melinda Taylor told TT news agency.

Meanwhile, London’s Metropolitan Police have announced that Assange will still be arrested if he leaves the embassy.

“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,” it wrote in a statement.

Assange is wanted by Britain for skipping bail when he fled to the Ecuadorian Embassy in 2012.

A UN panel stated in February 2016 that Assange had been arbitrarily detained, and that the UK and Sweden should take immediate steps to ensure his freedom of movement.

Assange declared the ruling a “victory that cannot be denied,” while both Britain and Sweden disagreed that he was being denied freedom, as he had entered the Ecuadorian embassy voluntarily.

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  • Damiana

    I thought he said he’d turn himself in if Chelsea Manning was released?

    • BrunoFehr

      He said that but the US announced his release in December but did not release him until last week. Also Trump vouched to reverse all of Obama’s 200 executive orders, so Assange would be an idiot to turn himself in when Manning can go back to jail.

      • Dan Quixoté

        Plus the Army has said Manning is being kept on active duty indefinitely, still under UCMJ law; a minor infraction can be used as pretext for throwing Manning right back into Leavenworth. It’s nice that Manning was out of formal incarceration, but unfortunately not legally free; basically ankle-monitor radius of base and local environs with permission required. Where Assange has some egg on face is in his January tweet he only said “clemency” for Manning but not what degree of clemency. It’s a broad legal term that can range from full pardon or permanent stay of execution, to as little as a single day shaved off a lengthy sentence. The commutation of the 35 years imprisonment to 7 does qualify as clemency. Assange backtracked after the clemency announcement, saying ‘I meant Manning needed to be pardoned’. He doesn’t misstep often, but this one was a doozie.

  • Steve

    Im guessing we will next hear of his body being found floating down some river.

  • Mr. Wrestling III

    They’ll never let him out of that embassy. He will die there.

  • Beauford T. Justice

    He is still better off where he is. Soon as he leaves he’ll be suicided.

  • Abcdef098

    With soviet style common purpose in charge of the U.K. I doubt it.

  • Mother Earth

    We are told from an early age to be honest and trustworthy and dob in bully’s but when the shoe is on the other foot it’s a completely different story and anyone who tells the truth is automatically deemed a traitor and should die for telling the truth.