Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
U.S. | By Eddie Scott

Sweden drops case but WikiLeaks' Assange is not in the clear

Sweden drops case but WikiLeaks' Assange is not in the clear

Although Sweden has dropped its investigation of rape allegations against Assange, British police say they still intend to arrest him on a charge of jumping bail if he leaves the Ecuadorean Embassy.

Director of Public Prosecution Marianne Ny announced in a statement that she "has made a decision to discontinue the investigation".

The Metropolitan Police said officers are still "obliged to execute" an outstanding arrest warrant despite Swedish prosecutors announcing they were repealing another arrest warrant for Assange.

The Metropolitan police (MPS) statement came as it emerged that Sweden's director of public prosecutions, Marianne Ny, had chose to drop the rape investigation into the Wikileaks founder. Assange was last questioned by Swedish officials at the embassy six months ago in relation to the case.

Assange is still accused of breaching his bail conditions in the United Kingdom for fleeing to Ecuador's Embassy.

"This has gone on long enough", Long said. As I once again stated in a letter to the Swedish state on May 8, Ecuador has regularly criticised the conduct of the Swedish Prosecutor in this case as wholly unacceptable and which has led to unnecessary delays in progressing this case.

However, Assange's lawyers have repeatedly said he will not do so without assurances that he willnot face extradition to the U.S. over possible espionage charges linked to WikiLeaks' publishing activities - the basis on which Ecuador granted him asylum.

"This is a total victory for us", Assange's lawyer Per Samuelson said.

Assange has been seeking refuge at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012, CNN reported.

It was in August 2010 that Assange was detained in his absence during a visit to Sweden, where two women accused him of sexual assault, including rape.

The Swedish Prosecution Authority said in a statement Friday that Marianne Ny "has chose to discontinue the investigation".

"The priority for the MPS must continue to be arresting those who are now wanted in the Capital in connection with serious violent or sexual offences for the protection of Londoners", it added.

"The priority for the MPS must continue to be arresting those who are now wanted in the capital in connection with serious violent or sexual offences for the protection of Londoners".

British police kept up a round-the-clock guard outside the embassy until December 2015, when the operation was scaled back partly because of the costs, which had exceeded 11 million pounds (over $17.5 million at the time).

Ecuador's Foreign Minister Guillaume Long celebrated the decision but expressed outrage over the lengthy delays by the Swedish prosecutors in resolving the case.

The letter raised questions about developments in the USA since the election of Donald Trump as president, including a speech by the CIA director, Mike Pompeo, describing WikiLeaks as a "hostile intelligence service" and a threat to United States national security.

Assange has said that all the sex was consensual. But I regret that Julian Assange was not brought to the Swedish court of law to answer the allegations against him.

The Australian, who has lived inside the embassy for nearly five years, said the "road is far from over", adding it was "extremely regretful" he was still being threatened with arrest if he leaves the embassy. She said prosecutors had been unable to make a full assessment of the case and were not making a finding on whether Assange was guilty of the allegations.

On Friday, Assange's accuser called the prosecutor's decision a "scandal", her lawyer said Friday. Therefore the investigation is discontinued.

Ny stressed that Assange's innocence has not been proven but that the investigation is being terminated because it is no longer possible to pursue it.

Like this: