April 22, 2018

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

20 May 2017, 09:55 | Taylor George

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

Journalists gather outside the Ecuadorian embassy where Wiki Leaks founder Julian Assange is taking refuge in London Britain

November 2 - Britain's High Court rules Assange should be extradited to Sweden.

Although Sweden has dropped the probe, United Kingdom police said Assange would be arrested if he leaves the embassy, saying a warrant for the 45-year-old's arrest was issued when he failed to surrender to the court in 2012 and that the Metropolitan Police Service is obliged to execute that warrant.

That's unclear. Assange suspects there is a secret US indictment against him for WikiLeaks' publication of leaked classified American documents, which has infuriated USA officials.

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"Detained for seven years without charge by [sic] while my children grew up and my name was slandered. I do not forgive or forget", he tweeted after tweeting a smiling picture of himself.

According to the BBC News, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said last month in response to a question about Assange that the USA has "already begun to step up our efforts and whenever a case can be made, we will seek to put some people in jail".

Why has the case been dropped?

Assange has won his battle against extradition to Sweden, which wanted to question him about a rape allegation. "Therefore the investigation is discontinued".

Sweden did not expect Ecuador's co-operation in formally notifying Mr Assange of the allegations against him, a necessary step in proceeding with the case, she added. In a court document seen by Reuters, chief prosecutor Marianne Ny said there were no further avenues to pursue to take the investigation forward.

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At a news conference in Quito, Ecuador, the country's foreign minister, Guillaume Long, lambasted Swedish authorities for delays in resolving the probe, according to The Associated Press.

August 25, 2011 - WikiLeaks releases thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables from its cache of more than 250,000 State Department reports.

WikiLeaks says the ball is now in Britain's court after Sweden's decision to drop its rape investigation of Julian Assange. Recent comments by the United States attorney general and director of the Central Intelligence Agency demonstrate the obvious need of Mr. Assange for asylum.

His supporters believe the sex crime allegations that have bedeviled Assange for years were politically motivated. London police say he will still be arrested if he leaves the embassy building.

"This implies that we can now demonstrate that the USA has a will to take action. this is why we ask for the arrest warrant to be cancelled so that Julian Assange can fly to Ecuador and enjoy his political asylum", lawyer Per Samuelsson told AFP at the time.

U.S. prosecutors have been drafting a memo that looks at charges against Assange and WikiLeaks members that possibly include conspiracy, theft of government property and violations of the Espionage Act, according to The Washington Post.

Today was the deadline for the public prosecutor's office to either renew the pan-European arrest warrant or lift it. So for now, the director's dropped the investigation, and revoked the warrant for Assange.

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