May 19 2017 by Larry Hoffman
Assange is still accused of breaching his bail conditions in the United Kingdom for fleeing to Ecuador's Embassy.
Swedish prosecutors today dropped a seven-year rape investigation into Julian Assange, a legal victory for the WikiLeaks founder who has been holed up in the Ecuadoran embassy in London since 2012. We have won the Assange case.
Earlier this month, Assange, via his lawyer, demanded that the arrest warrant against him be suspended since the United States had declared that they meant to imprison him.
"What I do know is that Sweden does not stop him from doing it. Sweden is out of the game", he said.
He says says his battle is not over, and "the proper war is just commencing".
He feared Sweden would hand him over to the United States to face prosecution over WikiLeaks' publication of thousands of classified military and diplomatic documents in one of the largest information leaks in US history.
Ecuador's Foreign Minister Guillaume Long celebrated the decision but expressed outrage over the lengthy delays by the Swedish prosecutors in resolving the case. CIA Director Mike Pompeo has branded WikiLeaks a "hostile intelligence service", and Attorney General Jeff Sessions said last month that Assange's arrest is a priority. The South American country has granted him asylum. Long added: "This has gone on long enough".
It added: "Whilst Mr Assange was wanted on a European arrest warrant (EAW) for an extremely serious offence, the MPS response reflected the serious nature of that crime".
Samuelson said Sweden's judicial system "spoiled and wasted five, six years of his life. but he is happy today".
A lawyer for the woman who accused Assange of rape said her client was shocked by the decision, Agence France-Presse news agency reported.
Julian Assange's lawyer is asking French president Emmanuel Macron to intervene in support of the WikiLeaks founder.
It's not known if USA officials have asked British police to arrest Assange because of a possible sealed US indictment against him.
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She claimed the WikiLeaks founder had "evaded all attempts" to transfer him to the Scandinavian country and there was now no reasonable prospect of him attending any future trial in Sweden.
Swedish Chief Prosecutor Marianne Ny said the investigation had not been able to proceed because of legal obstacles. Therefore the investigation is discontinued.
"At this point, all possibilities to conduct the investigation are exhausted".
She told a news conference in Stockholm that the investigation could be reopened if Assange returns to Sweden before the statute of limitations lapses in 2020. Sweden's top prosecutor says she is dropping an investigation into a rape claim against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after nearly seven years. A. "So we don't make any statements on the issue of guilt", she said via a translator.
A statement released online declared Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny's intention to "discontinue the investigation regarding suspected rape (lesser degree) by Julian Assange". She said the WikiLeaks founder had "tried to dodge all attempts at arrest" by British and Swedish authorities. "My assessment is that the surrender can not be executed in the foreseeable future".
Scotland Yard reportedly ran up costs of over 12 million pounds with 24/7 police security presence outside the Ecuadorian Embassy building, which was scaled back in 2015. The Metropolitan Police says there is a British warrant for Assange's arrest after he jumped bail in 2012, and the force "is obliged to execute that warrant should he leave the embassy".
Sweden has revoked a European Arrest Warrant for Assange, so British police are no longer seeking him for extradition.
After the Swedish announcement.
Asked if she would support the United Kingdom extraditing Assange to the US, May said: "We look at extradition requests when we receive them on a case-by-case basis".
The Crown Prosecution Service said that breach of bail is punishable by up to a year in prison or a fine. It is not clear if that may change now that the investigation has been dropped. It does not clear Assange's name, however, and some experts say it puts him into an even more precarious legal situation if the USA has - as some suspect - a sealed indictment for his arrest.
Sweden asked Britain to extradite Assange for questioning, and in June 2012 he sought refuge in Ecuador's London embassy to avoid arrest.
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