Sweden drops rape probe against Julian Assange

Sweden's top prosecutor has dropped the rape investigation against Wiki Leaks founder Julian Assange

Assange meanwhile guest-starred as himself in an episode of "The Simpsons", recording his lines over the phone from the Ecuadoran embassy.

Swedish prosecutors have dropped a rape investigation into Julian Assange , the founder of anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, bringing to an end a seven-year legal stand-off.

Sweden's top prosecutor, Marianne Ny, on Friday released a statement announcing that the rape charges against Mr. Assange had been dropped.

October 12: Metropolitan Police end their 24-hour guard outside the Ecuadorean embassy but say they will use overt and covert means to track and arrest Assange if he leaves. Prosecutors said that simply, "there is no reason to believe that the [extradition] to Sweden can be executed in the foreseeable future".

The 45-year-old took refuge in Ecuador's embassy in London in 2012 to escape extradition to Sweden to answer questions about sex-crime allegations from two women.

Assange insisted the claims were politically motivated, and feared that going to Sweden would result in his extradition to the United States over WikiLeaks' publication of classified USA military and diplomatic documents.

Sweden's director of public prosecutions has made a decision to drop the rape investigation into Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

The accusation against Assange relates to an encounter between him and a woman he met at a WIkileaks conference in Stockholm in August 2010.

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

Shortly after the Swedish prosecutor's announcement, Assange, who still resides in the embassy, posted the following picture on his personal Twitter account.

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Swedish prosecutors received a translation of the interrogation four months later, but "all materials were translated into Spanish then into English then back into Spanish then into Swedish", Ny said, making it hard for the investigation to move forward.

The Justice Department investigation of Assange and WikiLeaks dates to at least 2010, when the site first gained wide attention for posting thousands of files stolen by Manning.

Though this is a much lesser offense, it remains a possibility that if Assange were to leave the premises of that embassy, he might yet be arrested by British police.

In May, Assange's lawyers asked the Stockholm District Court to review the detention order and arrest warrant against him.

Ny said it was "not possible to take any further steps that would move the investigation forward".

"Julian Assange has been a victim of a huge abuse of procedure".

Melinda Taylor, a member of Assange's legal team, called attention to the US, telling NBC News that "as long as the national security prosecution continues there continues to be a risk to him". Last month, the United States attorney general, Jeff Sessions, said the arrest of Assange was a "priority" after the CIA director, Mike Pompeo, described WikiLeaks as a "hostile intelligence service" and a threat to U.S. national security. He has also refused to leave the embassy, fearing extradition to the United States. However, Scotland Yard quickly responded to the news by warning Assange that he would be arrested if he attempted to leave the embassy. The news service reports he also called on the U.K.to allow Assange safe passage back to Ecuador.

WikiLeaks says the ball is now in Britain's court after Sweden's decision to drop its rape investigation of Julian Assange.

The announcement means the outspoken WikiLeaks leader no longer faces sex crime allegations in Sweden, although British police say he is still wanted for jumping bail in Britain in 2012.

In a tweet, Wikileaks said the "focus now moves to the UK".