Julian Assange: Sweden Drops Rape Investigation Into WikiLeaks Founder

Swedish prosecutors on Friday dropped a rape investigation into Wikileaks founder Julian Assange after a seven-year standoff.

Sweden asked Britain to extradite Assange for questioning, and in June 2012 he sought refuge in Ecuador's London embassy to avoid arrest.

However, British authorities announced that they would still arrest Assange if he were to leave the Ecuadorian embassy because he failed to surrender for extradition to Sweden in 2012.

Swedish prosecutors made clear that the charges were not dropped because of a lack of probably cause or evidence, but rather because extraditing Assange to Sweden was proving to be impossible, the New York Times reports.

Ny added the the investigation could be reopened if Assange comes to Sweden before 2020.

The Swedish investigation into alleged rape allegations against Assange were dropped days after Chelsea Manning, who provided Wikileaks with classified intelligence on Iraq and Afghanistan that shocked the world, was freed from prison in the US.

With the threat of extradition to Sweden removed, the decision potentially allows the Australian, 45, to leave the embassy. "The proper war is just commencing", said Assange while standing outside the Ecuadorian embassy.

He tweeted on Friday afternoon: "Detained for 7 years without charge by while my children grew up and my name was slandered".

Sky News quoted him as saying that 'I can not forgive awful injustice'.

He still faces charges in the United Kingdom for jumping bail back in 2012 and could face arrest for his role in leaking classified documents from the U.S. government. The Ecuadorean embassy, where Assange has resided since losing his appeal against extradition to Sweden in 2012, is surrounded by British police officers 24 hours a day.

Assange's Swedish lawyer Per E. Samuelson declared Friday that "this is a total victory for Julian Assange". His site in 2010 leaked hundreds of thousands of secret USA military and diplomatic documents. "Mr Assange remains wanted for a much less serious offence", it said. The MPS have stated they will provide a "level of resourcing which is proportionate to that offence". In a court document seen by Reuters, chief prosecutor Marianne Ny said there were no further avenues to pursue to take the investigation forward.

  • Leroy Wright