Swedish prosecutors drop rape probe against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

Julian Assange has said Sweden's decision to drop an investigation into allegations of rape against him is an "important victory".

Assange has been living in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012 fearing that his arrest might result in extradition to the U.S., and a USA trial over the leaks of hundreds of thousands of classified documents of the American government.

Samuelsson, the lawyer in Sweden, told Swedish Radio he had been in touch with Assange via text message and the Australian had written, "Serious, Oh My God".

Assange meanwhile guest-starred as himself in an episode of "The Simpsons", recording his lines over the phone from the Ecuadoran embassy. The South American country has granted him asylum, but it is not clear how Assange would travel there without the permission of British authorities.

Asked if she would support Britain extraditing Assange to the United States, she said: "We look at extradition requests when we receive them on a case-by-case basis".

Swedish prosecutors on Friday dropped their investigation, but Assange still faces the risk of arrest in Britain, and he fears he will be extradited to the United States and tried over the leaking of hundreds of thousands of secret U.S. military and diplomatic documents.

Assange and WikiLeaks have repeatedly infuriated USA officials with the widespread release of sensitive secret documents related to military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq and diplomatic relations around the world. Again, the group denied the accusation.

On August 11, the media said the National Public Prosecutor's Office of Ecuador had agreed to Assange's questioning by Swedish authorities.

No. The investigation began after two women accused Assange of sexual offenses during a 2010 visit to Stockholm - allegations he denies.

The statute of limitations on the rape allegation expires in August 2020.

Sweden's Director of Public Prosecutions Marianne Ny dropped on Friday the rape investigation into Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Julian Assange, that feral prophet of internet freedom, and Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning, can finally feel vindicated, and in Manning's case, celebrate her liberty at last, as they enjoy this moment of glory.

At a press conference Friday in Stockholm, Ny, chief of the Swedish Prosecution Authority, said she "has made a decision to discontinue the investigation" and call back the European arrest warrant for Assange.

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.

Assange told reporters Friday he would be happy to discuss his case with the U.S. Department of Justice.

"This is a total victory for Julian Assange". He is free to leave the embassy when he wants.

"This implies that we can now demonstrate that the U.S. has a will to take action... this is why we ask for the arrest warrant to be cancelled so that Julian Assange can fly to Ecuador and enjoy his political asylum", lawyer Per Samuelsson told AFP at the time.

"And in relation to Julian Assange, any decision that is taken about United Kingdom action in relation to him were he to leave the Ecuadorian embassy would be an operational matter for the police".

"The first thing one likely needs to do is seek guarantees from the British authorities that he won't be seized in some other way", she told news agency TT, as cited by The Local.

The Wikileaks founder has chosen to remain in the embassy as he fears extradition to Sweden would lead to extradition to the US.

But British police said they would still arrest Assange if he tried to leave the embassy, saying he had breached the terms of his bail by refusing to turn himself in when an arrest warrant was issued in 2012. "The Metropolitan Police Service is obliged to execute that warrant should he leave the Embassy".

It continued, "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. The MPS will provide a level of resourcing which is proportionate to that offence", it continues. "Focus now moves to United Kingdom".

WikiLeaks said that the focus would now shift to Britain.

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