Swedish prosecutor drops rape investigation of Assange

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The director of public prosecutions in Sweden has made a decision to drop the rape investigation into allegations against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. We have won the Assange case.

"What I do know is that Sweden does not stop him from doing it. Sweden is out of the game", he said.

Assange contends the United States should recognize his First Amendment rights as a journalist.

Assange has spent almost five years inside the Latin American country's London embassy, but he seemed robust and defiant in his brief balcony appearance.

Mr Assange believes he faces extradition to the United States for questioning over the activities of WikiLeaks if he leaves the embassy.

March: Swedish prosecutors ask to question Assange at the Ecuadorean embassy. Long added: "This has gone on long enough".

"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 sun-starved WikiLeaks provocateur, looking healthy if pale, emerged Friday afternoon to address the media in the open air of the embassy's balcony. "Finally we got there".

Julian Assange's lawyer is asking French president Emmanuel Macron to intervene in support of the WikiLeaks founder.

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Swedish prosecutors say they have closed their seven-year rape investigation.

"At this point, all possibilities to conduct the investigation are exhausted".

However, Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny confirmed that if Assange were to return to Sweden before the statute of limitations runs out in August 2020, the preliminary case against him could be reopened. She says: "We don't make any statement of guilty or not".

In a court document seen by Reuters, she said there were no further avenues to pursue to take the investigation forward.

The press conference in the Swedish capital appeared to represent the final chapter in a long-standing probe into allegations that Assange initiated sex with a woman while she was asleep in 2010. "My assessment is the transfer can not be carried out in a foreseeable future", Ms Ny told reporters.

Ny says she has withdrawn a European arrest warrant.

A photographer stands outside of the Ecuadorian embassy in London, Friday May 19, 2017.

Assange, 45, has been holed up in the embassy since 2012 after skipping bail to avoid extradition to Sweden over the allegation of rape, which he denies.

However, it noted that now that the Swedish authorities had dropped their investigation, Assange was "wanted for a much less serious offence" than before and said the force would "provide a level of resourcing which is proportionate to that offence".

Sweden drops Assange investigation, but United Kingdom police say he still faces arrest
The European arrest warrant was issued in 2010 after two women came forward saying they had been sexually assaulted by Assange. However, British police say Assange still faces arrest for jumping bail if he leaves the Ecuadorean embassy in London.

British 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).

WikiLeaks says the ball is now in Britain's court after Sweden's decision to drop its rape investigation of Julian Assange.

November 2 - Britain's High Court rules Assange should be extradited to Sweden. The Wikileaks account have also raised their concerns about the potential of extradition.

Wikileaks tweeted on Friday morning: "UK refuses to confirm or deny whether it has already received a USA extradition warrant for Julian Assange. Focus now moves to United Kingdom".

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.

The Crown Prosecution Service said that breach of bail is punishable by up to a year in prison or a fine.

According to reports, in a brief statement by the prosecutor, in this case, said: "Director of Public Prosecution, Marianne Ny, has today chose to discontinue the investigation regarding suspected rape by Julian Assange".

USA and British officials Friday declined to say if the United States has requested Assange's extradition.

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