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

UK police say Assange still faces arrest

UK police say Assange still faces arrest

The decision to drop the investigation into an allegation of rape against Assange marks an end to a seven-year stand-off.

However, the United Kingdom police said Assange would still be arrested if he leaves the Ecuadorean Embassy.

Britain and the U.S. have an extradition treaty, so if Assange leaves the Ecuadorian Embassy where he's claimed asylum, the British could arrest him and send him to the US.

However, Assange has thus far been cautious about taking advantage of the development.

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.

"We have been waiting a long time for this decision", Mr Christophe Marchand, a member of Assange's Brussels-based legal team, said. Ny said she will call back the European arrest warrant on Assange.

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Meanwhile, Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Guillaume Long urged Britain to "grant safe passage" out of the country to Assange.

WikiLeaks said on Twitter that the ball was now in the UK's court.

"Whenever a case can be made, we will seek to put some people in jail", Sessions said. US intelligence agencies have concluded the Russian government hacked the emails as part of an effort by Moscow to tilt the election in Trump's favour.

"The decision to discontinue the preliminary investigation is not because we've been able to make a full assessment of the evidence in this case, but because we didn't see any possibilities to advance the investigation forward".

Prosecutors first interviewed Assange in November a year ago in the Ecuadorean embassy. They were not allowed to question him directly but only through an Ecuadorean prosecutor.

Samuelsson, the lawyer in Sweden, told Swedish Radio he had been in touch with Assange via text message and the Australian had written, "Serious, Oh My God".

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