Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Sweden dropping probe against WikiLeaks founder

Sweden dropping probe against WikiLeaks founder

Sweden has dropped its investigation against Europe" "Baba Jukwa' Julian Assange but the WikiLeaks founder could still be arrested by British police.

Julian Assange says Sweden's decision to drop a rape inveatigation against him is "an important victory for me and for the United Nations human rights system".

The 45-year-old sought refuge at the Ecuadorian embassy in London in June 2012, after exhausting options in United Kingdom courts to avoid extradition over the allegations stemming from a 2010 trip to Sweden. Assange believes the United States wants him extradited and arrested in connection with WikiLeaks' publication of classified US documents.

"If he, at a later date, makes himself available, I will be able to decide to resume the investigation immediately", she said.

Samuelson tells The Associated Press that "this was consensual sex between two adults and nothing else", adding Assange was now "a free man".

Julian Assange's lawyer is asking French president Emmanuel Macron to intervene in support of the WikiLeaks founder.

Four hours later, he tweeted: "Detained for 7 years without charge by while my children grew up and my name was slandered".

It's not known if US officials have asked British police to arrest Assange because of a possible sealed USA indictment against him. A U.S. Department of Justice spokesman on Friday declined to comment on the case.

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

"This has gone on long enough", Long said.

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He said American officials made up the case in an attempt to have him extradited.

At a press conference in Quito, Long called on Britain allow Assange safe passage so he could take up his asylum in Ecuador.

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.

The letter argued that recent public declarations constituted an "obvious risk" for Mr Assange, who originally faced three sexual assault charges that he denied. There were initially two separate allegations being investigated, but one was dropped in 2015 because the statute of limitations ran out. The rape allegation, the more serious claim, remained under investigation. Prosecutors were trying to determine, among other things, if Assange had sex with the woman while she was asleep and without using a condom.

The UN had called on Swedish and British authorities to free Mr Assange from "arbitrary detention" in a report released past year, with the United Kingdom failing to overturn the findings on appeal. Sweden's top prosecutor says she is dropping an investigation into a rape claim against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after nearly seven years. Samuelson later told the AP that Assange had texted "I won everything".

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, an Australian national, has considered the whole Swedish process as a "violation", the attorney added.

The Metropolitan Police in London said, however, that they still planned to carry out a warrant issued after Mr. Assange failed to surrender in June 2012, and that it was "obliged" to execute the warrant if he were to leave the Ecuadorean Embassy.

Despite the welcome news from Sweden, police in London said Friday that Assange is still wanted there for jumping bail in 2012.

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".

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