Sweden drops Assange investigation, but United Kingdom police say he still faces arrest
19 Mai, 2017, 23:03 | Author: Claudine Rigal
Swedish prosecutors have announced they are dropping the country's rape investigation of Julian Assange.
In a court document seen by Reuters, she said there were no further avenues to pursue to take the investigation forward. "To conduct a preliminary investigation for so many years and today make a decision to close the investigation is something I am very critical of", she said.
Assange could fight any USA extradition request in the British courts, a process that could take years. His children had grown up without him, he said. "That is not something I can forgive, or forget", he said, maintaining that he had been the victim of a "terrible injustice".
He has always denied the claims, which he feared would see him extradited to the United States and tried over the leaking of hundreds of thousands of secret U.S. military and diplomatic documents. More serious are the possible charges he faces in the United States for WikiLeaks' aggressive publication of thousands of pages of classified government documents.
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August 25, 2011 - WikiLeaks releases thousands of previously unpublished US diplomatic cables from its cache of more than 250,000 State Department reports.
CIA director Mike Pompeo has described Wikileaks as a "hostile intelligence service", fuelling fears by Mr Assange's supporters that America will push hard to extradite him.
At a press conference in Quito, Long called on Britain allow Assange safe passage so he could take up his asylum in Ecuador. It has been an expensive standoff: Assange's first three-year stay in the Ecuadorean embassy alone cost the British taxpayers £11.1 million ($14.4 million).
The investigation had suffered from multiple procedural complications since it began.
U.S. President Donald Trump said last month he would support any decision by the Justice Department to charge Assange.
American authorities have prepared charges to seek Arrange's arrest, CNN reported, citing USA officials familiar with the matter.
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British officials said they do not comment on individual extradition cases.
Samuelsson also said that the decision meant Assange "is free to leave the embassy whenever he wants", though he later told the TT news agency that he did not know when Assange might leave.
A spokesperson for WikiLeaks claimed the British government "refuses to confirm or deny" whether it has received a United States extradition request, adding: "Focus now moves to United Kingdom". "Focus now moves to United Kingdom".
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".
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".
There were initially two separate allegations being investigated, but one was dropped in 2015 because the statute of limitations ran out.
She accused him of having sex with her as she slept without using a condom despite repeatedly having denied him unprotected sex.
Assange has said that all the sex was consensual. 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.
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Despite the welcome news from Sweden, police in London said Friday that Assange is still wanted there for jumping bail in 2012. Without the threat of extradition, it would appear now, more than ever that Assange may finally be free to leave the embassy.
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