UK police say Assange still faces arrest

Claudine Rigal
Mai 20, 2017

Now, the Swedish director of public prosecutions, Marianne Ny, has decided that the Swedish court will be dropping their preliminary investigation into a charge of rape against the WikiLeaks founder.

The U.K. still has a warrant out for Assange's arrest should he leave the embassy for failing to appear in court.

Assange 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.

He says says his battle is not over, and "the proper war is just commencing". Assange is facing possible charges for using Wikileaks to publish classified documents.

The WikiLeaks founder made a rare appearance on the balcony of the central London building to hail the decision by Sweden's Director of Public Prosecutions as an "important victory". However, British police say Assange still faces arrest for jumping bail if he leaves the Ecuadorean embassy in London. The arrangement was necessary, he had said, to keep Swedish authorities from turning him over to the United States for his role at the helm of WikiLeaks, which has enraged governments around the world by publishing tens of thousands of leaked classified US documents.

Assange said Friday that "my legal staff have contacted the United Kingdom authorities and we hope to engage in a dialogue about what is the best way forward".

"Now that the situation has changed and the Swedish authorities have discontinued their investigation into that matter, Mr Assange remains wanted for a much less serious offence".

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has suggested that the arrest of Assange could be an American priority, saying last month the USA was "stepping up our efforts on all leaks".

U.S. President Donald Trump said last month he would support any decision by the Justice Department to charge Assange. A U.S. Department of Justice spokesman on Friday declined to comment on the case.

A second allegation of sexual assault against Julian Assange, made by a different woman, was dropped in 2015 as the statute of limitations had expired. "Focus now moves to United Kingdom", the group tweeted.

Mr Assange thanked the government of Ecuador for granting him political asylum despite "intense pressure", as well as his legal team and others who had stood by him.

Sweden's top prosecutor says she is dropping an investigation into a rape claim against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after nearly seven years.

No. The investigation began after two women accused Assange of sexual offenses during a 2010 visit to Stockholm - allegations he denies. The rape allegation, the more serious claim, remained under investigation.

A lawyer for the woman who alleges she was raped by Julian Assange says "it is a scandal that a suspected rapist can avoid the judicial system and thus avoid a trial in court".

Assange has said the sex was consensual. "My assessment is that the surrender can not be executed in the foreseeable future".

Ny told a news conference in Stockholm: "He has tried to dodge all attempts to avoid Swedish and British legal authorities".

Additionally, Swedish officials would have the option of reopening their rape investigation and arresting Assange, should he return to Sweden before the statute of limitations runs out in August 2020.

Per E. Samuelson, Assange's lawyer in Sweden, told The Associated Press that it was a "day of victory" for the WikiLeaks founder.

Ecuador's foreign minister Guillaume Long said: "Ecuador regrets that the Swedish Prosecutor delayed more than four years in carrying out this interview".

He feared being extradited to the USA if sent to Sweden as he could face trial there over the leaking of hundreds of thousands of secret US military and diplomatic documents.

During the most recent U.S. presidential election campaign, WikiLeaks published emails from Hilary Clinton's staff and the Democratic National Committee which some believe helped to lose her the election.

"The important distinction is that her sentence was commuted by then president Barack Obama".

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