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

19 May 2017, 10:12 | Darin Griffith

Friday was the deadline for the Swedish public prosecutor's office to either renew the pan-European arrest warrant or lift it.

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Sweden's top prosecutor said Friday she's dropping an investigation into a rape claim against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after nearly seven years because there's no possibility of arresting him "in the foreseeable future".

Assange, Ny said in a statement, "has escaped all attempts by the Swedish and British authorities to execute the decision to surrender him to Sweden in accordance with the EU rules concerning the European Arrest Warrant".

Sweden's director of public prosecution, Marianne Ny, filed a request to the Stockholm District Court to revoke Assange's arrest warrant that was issued seven years ago.

Following this, Assange tweeted an image of himself smiling, but refrained from making any further comments.

Regardless of the "victory" for Assange, as his Swedish lawyer called it, the Australian national seems to be unable to leave Ecuador's Embassy immediately for fear of arrest.

Though this is a much lesser offense, it remains a possibility that if Assange were to leave the premises of that embassy, he might yet be arrested by British police. "That is not something I can forgive, or forget", he said, maintaining that he had been the victim of a "terrible injustice". "He has been critical that it has lasted that long". "We are very pleased and very moved, as this marks the end of his nightmare".

"Over the last seven years, WikiLeaks has published The Iraq War Logs, The Afghan War Diaries, Collateral Murder, Cablegate and numerous other government documents that have shed light on the true nature of the wars that we fight", Griffin says.

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

Assange, an Australian national, has previously said that he feared that if he left the embassy he could end up being extradited and face the death penalty in the United States over allegations of revealing hundreds of thousands o secret us military and diplomatic documents through WikiLeaks, CNN reported.

In November, Swedish prosecutor Ingrid Isgren was present during Assange's questioning at the Ecuadorian embassy as she posed questions through an Ecuadorian prosecutor. The prosecutor said she dropped the investigation because, per Associated Press, they could not arrest him "in the foreseeable future". We have won the Assange case.

The investigation had suffered from multiple procedural complications since it began. There were initially two separate allegations being investigated, but one was dropped in 2015 because the statute of limitations ran out. British Prime Minister Theresa May said Friday that "any decision that is taken about United Kingdom action in relation to him (Assange) would be an operational matter for the police".

Asked if she would support Britain extraditing Assange to the United States, May replied: "We look at extradition requests when we receive them on a case by case basis".

Prosecutors first interviewed Assange in November previous year in the Ecuadorian embassy.

However, British police said he is still a wanted man for failing to surrender in the country in 2012.

The Crown Prosecution Service said that breach of bail is punishable by up to a year in prison or a fine.



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