Julian Assange: Sweden drops rape investigation


The focus will now be on whether Mr Assange can leave the Ecuadoran embassy in LondonImage copyright
AFP

Image caption

The focus will now be on whether Mr Assange can leave the Ecuadoran embassy in London

Sweden’s director of public prosecutions has decided to drop the rape investigation into Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

Marianne Ny filed a request to the Stockholm District Court to revoke his arrest warrant, apparently ending a seven-year stand-off.

Mr Assange, 45, has lived in the Ecuadoran embassy in London since 2012, trying to avoid extradition.

He feared being extradited to the US if sent to Sweden.

He could face trial in the US over the leaking hundreds of thousands of secret US military and diplomatic documents.

A brief statement ahead of a press conference by the prosecutor later on Friday said: “Director of Public Prosecution, Ms Marianne Ny, has today decided to discontinue the investigation regarding suspected rape (lesser degree) by Julian Assange.”

Mr Assange has always denied the rape allegations against him and was interviewed in the embassy in London six months ago in the presence of Swedish officials.

But if he leaves the embassy he could be detained by UK police and face extradition to the US.

After the news was announced on Friday, Wikileaks tweeted that the “focus now moves to the UK”, saying the UK had “refused to confirm or deny whether it has already received a US extradition warrant for Julian Assange”.


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