Monday, 29 May, 2017

Sweden dropping probe against WikiLeaks founder

NewsPoliticsVictory for Whistleblowers as Assange and Manning set to walk free Jack Peat NewsPoliticsVictory for Whistleblowers as Assange and Manning set to walk free Jack Peat
Kenny Thornton | 20 May, 2017, 01:35

The decision comes after Assange's Swedish lawyer filed a motion which demanded that the arrest warrant be lifted, after US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in April that arresting the WikiLeaks co-founder would be a "priority".

Assange has been holed up at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012, seeking to avoid an arrest warrant on the allegations in Sweden.

"Chief Prosecutor Marianne Ny has today made a decision to discontinue the preliminary investigation regarding suspected rape concerning Julian Assange", the prosecutor's office said in a statement.

"UK refuses to confirm or deny whether it has already received a U.S. extradition warrant for Julian Assange".

However if Assange were to return to Sweden before the statute of limitations for the suspected offenses expires in August 2020, the investigation could be reopened, she said.

Moon warns 'high possibility' of conflict with North
In March, South Korean officials voiced concerns that Beijing was limiting tourism to their country as an unofficial sanction. The Thaad deployment has already had an impact, after its TPY-2 radar component detected Sunday's missile launch.

Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, is thought to have cost the United Kingdom taxpayer in excess of £10 million during his time in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

Today will be declared as a historic victory for whistleblowers as Julian Assange paved the path to his freedom two days after Chelsea Manning was released from prison.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said that any action concerning Assange were he to leave the embassy would be an operational matter for the British police.

"As long as we fear that this is a case of political persecution.as long as we fear for Mr. Assange's integrity and human rights, we will continue with our policy of offering him asylum", Long said in a telephone interview. "He has been critical that it has lasted that long", Per E Samuelsson, his lawyer in Sweden, told Swedish Radio.

Police kept up round-the-clock guard outside the embassy until December 2015, when the operation was scaled back, in part because of the cost, which had exceeded 11 million pounds (over $17.5 million at the time).

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