Sweden drops Julian Assange rape investigation Julian Assange
20 May, 2017, 04:40
August 13 - Swedish prosecutors drop investigations into the allegations of sexual assault against Assange because they had run out of time to bring charges but continue with investigations over the rape allegation.
Despite Sweden's decision to drop a rape investigation, British police say that Julian Assange still faces arrest if he leaves Ecuador's London embassy.
"The preliminary investigation has been dropped and the detention order has been withdrawn, and from Sweden's point of view this is now over", he told Reuters.
Assange also lashed out at Sweden for taking seven years to investigate allegations he maintained were baseless.
Assange, 45, 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.
At a press conference in Quito, Long called on Britain allow Assange safe passage so he could take up his asylum in Ecuador.
Despite Friday's announcement by Swedish prosecutors, Assange, who is still the subject of a United Kingdom arrest warrant, acknowledged he is unlikely to walk out of the embassy any time soon.
He said that lawyers for the Australian, who are based around the world, were discussing the implications of the decision.
Dropping the investigation is not a result of deciding he is not guilty, Ny added - it's because there's no practical way to continue it.
It's not known if US officials have asked British police to arrest Assange because of a possible sealed USA indictment against him.
Assange, an Australian national, has previously said that he feared that if he left the embassy he could end up being extradited and face the death penalty in the United States over allegations of revealing hundreds of thousands o secret US military and diplomatic documents through WikiLeaks, CNN reported.
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"The decision to discontinue the preliminary investigation is not because we've been able to make a full assessment of the evidence in this case, but because we didn't see any possibilities to advance the investigation forward". They surfaced after the women accused Assange of sexual misconduct during a visit to Stockholm in 2010.
"This has gone on long enough", Long said.
"Westminster Magistrates' Court issued a warrant for the arrest of Julian Assange following him failing to surrender to the court on the 29 June 2012", the department said in a statement.
US and British officials Friday declined to say if the United States has requested Assange's extradition.
At a press conference Friday in Stockholm, Ny, chief of the Swedish Prosecution Authority, said she "has chose to discontinue the investigation" and call back the European arrest warrant for Assange.
According to reports, soon after the news of the Swedish decision broke, Wikileaks tweeted that the focus now moves to the United Kingdom, as it has still not confirmed or denied whether it has received a USA extradition warrant for the websites founder.
"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. Focus now moves to United Kingdom".
But it adds that Assange is now wanted for a "much less serious offence" than the original sex crimes claims, and police "will provide a level of resourcing which is proportionate to that offence".
"Director of Public Prosecution, Marianne Ny, has today made a decision to discontinue the investigation regarding suspected rape (lesser degree) by Julian Assange", Swedish prosecutors said in a statement.
British police kept up a round-the-clock guard outside the embassy until December 2015, when the operation was scaled back partly because of the costs, which had exceeded 11 million pounds (over $17.5 million at the time).
The day began with the dramatic announcement in Sweden that the rape investigation was being suspended.
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