WikiLeaks's Assange: Sweden drops rape probe

Virginia Carter
May 20, 2017

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange warned governments responsible for his seven year self-imprisonment at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to prepare for war as Sweden dropped the rape investigation against him Friday.

He has been living at the Ecuadoran embassy in London since 2012, and the British police have said they will arrest Assange as soon as he walks out of the embassy because he has broken his conditions for bail - a relatively minor offence under British law - by failing to surrender on June 29, 2012 for extradition to Sweden.

"In relation to Julian Assange, any decision that is taken about United Kingdom action in relation to him were he to leave the Ecuadorian Embassy would be an operational matter for the police". Fearing that he may be extradited from Sweden to face charges in the United States, Assange sought asylum in Ecuador's London embassy in 2012 and has been holed up for five years.

Assange's lawyer, Per Samuelson, hailed Sweden's decision to drop the investigation as "a total victory for us".

Prosecutor Marianne Ny said she could not judge whether the 45-year-old Australian native was guilty or innocent because the investigation had been thwarted.

No-one would willingly place himself in such a position, so it was understandable that Assange declined to fly to Sweden to answer the rape charge against him without a guarantee of non-extradition to the US.

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

Although he is no longer facing action from Swedish prosecutors, Assange is still at risk of arrest if he tries to leave the Ecuadorian embassy. Swedish prosecutors dropped cases of alleged sexual misconduct when the statute of limitations ran out in 2015, leaving only the rape allegation.

Mr Robertson said the U.S. was likely to indict Assange, and that the Trump administration could use his case as a diversion from the alleged ties to Russian Federation. According to The New York Times, it is "unlikely" that Assange would risk leaving the Ecuadorean Embassy because of the US government's desire to chase him.

United States prosecutors have been drafting a memo that looks at charges against Assange and WikiLeaks members that possibly include conspiracy, theft of government property and violations of the Espionage Act, according to The Washington Post.

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"The UK said it would arrest me regardless", he stated.

Assange criticised the EU during his speech, and said: "The reality is detention and extradition without charge has become a feature of the European Union".

Assange could fight any US extradition request in the British courts, a process that could take years.

On Friday, prosecutors in Sweden said that they were quitting their attempt to extradite Julian Assange.

The department said Friday it had no comment on Assange.

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

Assange stays right where he is, in the red-brick flat at 3 Hans Crescent, continuing his work with WikiLeaks.

In his ten-minute speech, Assange also pointed to the release of the American whistleblower and former US Army soldier Chelsea Manning (formerly Bradley Manning) who landed in prison after she leaked almost 750,000 military files and cables to WikiLeaks. They said this was a much less serious offense than rape, but he could still face up to a year in jail if convicted.

She accused him of having s. with her as she slept without using a c.m despite repeatedly having denied him unprotected interc.e.

Other reports by BadHub

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