Sweden drops rape investigation into Wikileaks founder Julian Assange Friday May 19,2017
Sweden's director of public prosecutions has decided to drop the rape investigation into Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.
Marianne Ny said his arrest warrant was being revoked as it was impossible to serve him notice of his alleged crimes.
Mr Assange, 45, has lived in the Ecuadorean embassy in London since 2012, fearing extradition to Sweden would lead to extradition to the US.
Police in London said they would still be obliged to arrest him if he left.
The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) said Mr Assange still faced the lesser charge of failing to surrender to a court, an offence punishable by up to a year in prison or a fine.
But the UK has not commented on whether it has received an extradition request from the US, where Mr Assange could face trial over the leaking of hundreds of thousands of secret US military and diplomatic documents.
Julian ssange's Swedish lawyer, Per Samuelson, said the prosecutor's decision on Friday May 19,2017 represented "a total victory" for his client.
Julian Assange marks end of rape probe by giving world a human rights lecture
Julian Assange lectured Britain on human rights last night while showing no sign of leaving his embassy bolthole.
‘I do not forgive or forget,’ he said, blaming everyone but himself for his five years of self-imposed detention.
The 45-year-old WikiLeaks chief has been free to leave his Knightsbridge sanctuary at any time and yesterday Sweden withdrew a warrant for his arrest on a rape allegation.
Elisabeth Fritz, who represents Assange’s accuser, said the woman was shocked by the decision and stood by her claims. ‘It is a scandal that a suspected rapist can disregard the judiciary and thus avoid trial,’ she added.
The £13million farce is set to carry on because the US wants Assange for leaking secrets
In a display of astonishing arrogance, Assange emerged from the Ecuadorean embassy in London yesterday, posing on its balcony for photographs with his fist raised in a victory salute.
The pale-looking Australian computer hacker gravely claimed to be the victim of a ‘terrible injustice’.
He said the Swedish decision was a victory for human rights and attacked the British government for threatening to enforce the now withdrawn extradition request.
Why was Julian Assange wanted by Sweden?
Sweden issued an arrest warrant for Mr Assange over rape allegations relating to 2010.
The accusation against Assange dated from August of that year when the alleged victim, who says she met him at a WikiLeaks conference in Stockholm a few days earlier, filed a complaint.
She accused him of having sex with her as she slept without using a condom despite repeatedly having denied him unprotected sex. He has always denied the claims.
Why did he go to the Ecuadorian Embassy in London?
The 45-year-old has been living in the embassy in London since 2012, after seeking asylum to avoid extradition to Sweden to face the rape allegation.
He feared the claims would see him extradited to the United States and tried over the leaking of hundreds of thousands of secret US military and diplomatic documents.
Ecuador's Foreign Minster Ricardo Patino said Mr Assange's human rights would be at risk if he were extradited
Why has Sweden dropped the charges?
Swedish prosecutors dropped cases of alleged sexual misconduct when the statute of limitations ran out in 2015, leaving only the rape allegation.
Marianne Ny, the Swedish director of public prosecutions announced Friday that she was dropping the rape case because there is no prospect of bringing Assange to Sweden 'in the foreseeable future' and it is 'no longer proportionate' to maintain the European arrest warrant.
She told a news conference in Stockholm that the investigation could be reopened if Assange returns to Sweden before the statute of limitations lapses in 2020.
Ny said the case was not being dropped because Assange has been found innocent.
'We don't make any statement of guilty or not,' she said.
Are there other charges against Assange?
That's unclear. Assange suspects there is a secret U.S. indictment against him for WikiLeaks' publication of leaked classified American documents. CIA Director Mike Pompeo has branded WikiLeaks a 'hostile intelligence service,' and Attorney General Jeff Sessions said last month that Assange's arrest is a priority.
Both U.S. and British officials have declined to comment on whether there is a warrant for Assange's arrest.
Does Sweden's action make Assange safer?
Some legal experts say it makes his position less secure. Until Friday, Britain was bound to honour Sweden's extradition request before any warrant from the United States. That is no longer the case.
Lawyer David Allen Green, who has followed the case, tweeted: 'Once outside embassy, Assange more at risk from any U.S. extradition attempt than if he had gone to Sweden.'
Assange could fight any U.S. extradition request in the British courts, a process that could take years.