Prosecutor saw no chance of extraditing Assange
- Author: Leroy Wright May 20, 2017,
May 20, 2017, 0:10
Scotland Yard said it was obliged to execute a warrant issued by Westminster Magistrates' Court for the arrest of Mr Assange following his failure to surrender to the court in June 2012, should he leave the embassy.
Melinda Taylor, a member of Assange's legal team, called attention to the USA, telling NBC News that "as long as the national security prosecution continues there continues to be a risk to him".
He has always denied the claims, which he feared would see him extradited to the United States and tried over the leaking of hundreds of thousands of secret U.S. military and diplomatic documents.
Assange's lawyer, Per Samuelson, hailed Sweden's decision to drop the investigation as "a total victory for us".
The Australian national has previously expressed concern that he could end up being extradited and facing the death penalty in the United States over allegations of revealing government secrets through his site, WikiLeaks.
Assange has indicated concerns that he may face indictment in the United States for his role at the helm of the WikiLeaks. British police say they still intend to arrest him, if he leaves the Ecuadorean Embassy.
Police kept up round-the-clock guard outside the embassy until December 2015, when the operation was scaled back, in part because of the cost, which had exceeded 11 million pounds (over $17.5 million at the time).
"We have today won an important victory, but the road is far from over".
"Whenever a case can be made, we will seek to put some people in jail", Sessions said.
It's not known if US officials have asked British police to arrest Assange because of a possible sealed USA indictment against him. "Focus now moves to United Kingdom".
British officials said they do not comment on individual extradition cases.
Assange could fight any US extradition request in the British courts, a process that could take years.
At a press conference in Quito, Long called on Britain allow Assange safe passage so he could take up his asylum in Ecuador.
Marianne Ny, the Swedish director of public prosecutions announced Friday that she was dropping the rape case because there is no prospect of bringing Assange to Sweden "in the foreseeable future" and it is "no longer proportionate" to maintain the European arrest warrant.
The development comes after Assange's lawyers demanded that Sweden drop his European arrest warrant.
She accused him of having sex with her as she slept without using a condom despite repeatedly having denied him unprotected sex.
Assange has said that all the sex was consensual.
"He's an innocent man and the case has been closed". London's police service appeared to hint on Friday that arresting Assange on his remaining charge of bail jumping was not a top priority.
Assange tweeted on Friday that he would not forgive those behind the investigation: "Detained for 7 years without charge while my children grew up and my name was slandered".
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".
WikiLeaks has repeatedly infuriated US officials with the widespread release of sensitive secret documents related to military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq and diplomatic relations around the world.
WikiLeaks also had a role in the 2016 USA presidential campaign when it published emails written by Hillary Clinton's campaign officials.
Ecuador's foreign minister Guillaume Long said: "Ecuador regrets that the Swedish Prosecutor delayed more than four years in carrying out this interview".