Sweden drops investigation into Julian Assange rape allegations

A lawyer for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange welcomed the decision of Swedish prosecutors today to drop a seven-year rape investigation against him, saying it was the "end of his nightmare".

Sweden asked Britain to extradite Assange for questioning, and in June 2012 he sought refuge in Ecuador's London embassy to avoid arrest. That is not something I can forgive.

It may not be over - Marianne Ny, the director of public prosecution in Sweden, has reserved the right to reopen the investigation against Assange.

A United Nations panel has said that Assange had been "arbitrarily detained" and should be able to claim compensation from Britain and Sweden.

But the United Kingdom authorities indicated Friday that Assange still faces arrest there were he to leave the embassy.

His website Wikileaks announced the news on Twitter on Friday.

Lawyer David Allen Green, who has followed the case, tweeted: "Once outside embassy, Assange more at risk from any USA extradition attempt than if he had gone to Sweden". "The UK refuses to confirm or deny at this stage whether a U.S. extradition warrant is in the UK territory". He said the day marked an "important victory", but noted that he still could be prosecuted by the United States.

Witnesses said the two women told friends privately about the encounter, including Assange's refusal to wear a condom and forceful behavior.

U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded Russian Federation was behind the hacking in an effort to interfere with the American political process, damage Mrs Clinton's campaign and help Republican Donald Trump win the White House.

During last year's US presidential election campaign, WikiLeaks published emails from Hillary Clinton's staff and the Democratic National Committee which some believe helped to lose her the election to Trump.

Assange believes the United States wants him extradited and arrested in connection with WikiLeaks' publication of classified USA documents. Swedish prosecutors dropped their investigation into Assange earlier on Friday.

"The decision by the Swedish prosecutor only highlights the fact Mr. Assange has been unlawfully detained for years", Pollack said.

Since Swedish authorities have dropped its European Arrest Warrant (EAW), the MPS said it will "provide a level of resourcing which is proportionate to that offence".

Police kept up round-the-clock guard outside the embassy until a year ago, when the operation was scaled back. He strenuously denied those allegations, casting them as part of a politically motivated plot to stifle his work by distorting the circumstances of what he called consensual sex.

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".

Manning, a transgender woman and USA soldier, was convicted of espionage in 2013 and sentenced to 35 years in an all-male prison.

From outside the embassy, Sky's Ashish Joshi said: "Assange sounded angry, he sounded triumphant and he sounded defiant".

  • Leroy Wright