Julian Assange: The real questions now fall on Ecuador, says lawyer

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange speaks from the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on 2016. He has sought asylum there since 2012 when Sweden filed an extradition request on the allegation of rape — an allegation Swedish prosecutors said Frid

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange speaks from the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on 2016. He has sought asylum there since 2012 when Sweden filed an extradition request on the allegation of rape — an allegation Swedish prosecutors said Frid

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. The Metropolitan Police force says that there is a British warrant for Assange's arrest after he juimped bail in 2012, and it "is obliged to execute that warrant should he leave the embassy".

"As a result of the decision to discontinue the investigation, the prosecutor has reversed the decision to detain him in his absence and withdrawn the EAW (European Arrest Warrant)".

Assange tweeted on Friday that he would not forgive those behind the investigation: "Detained for 7 years without charge while my children grew up and my name was slandered".

Assange also said he would be "happy" to discuss the case with the U.S. Department of Justice despite U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions saying that Assange's arrest was a priority.

Elisabeth Massi Fritz says her client is shocked by the Swedish decision but added that "she can't change her view that Assange has exposed her to a rape".

Carl Gardner made the comments after Sweden's director of public prosecutions said there were no further avenues to explore in the country's investigation into Assange.

Assange's lawyer, Per Samuelson, called the development "a total victory".

Army Pvt. Chelsea Manning served seven years in prison for giving classified material to WikiLeaks. Juan Branco told The Associated Press in Paris that he wants Macron to help Assange leave the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.

As NPR's Frank Langfitt reports, Assange has remained at the Ecuadorean Embassy for years out of fear that an extradition to Sweden would spell another extradition, in turn, to the USA, "where he could face trial for leaking hundreds of thousands of secret diplomatic and military documents".

Swedish prosecutor told reporters that the case was dropped because there's no possibility of arresting Assange in "foreseeable future", not because Assange was found innocent.

"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". However, London police issued a statement after the Swedish announcement making clear Assange was still wanted by them.

Even in the case of Sweden, Ny clarified that "if he, at a later date, makes himself available, I will be able to decide to resume the investigation immediately".

Prosecutors have been accused of vacillating, first dropping the preliminary investigation and then re-opening it and of dragging their heels over questioning Assange.

But the United Kingdom authorities indicated Friday that Assange still faces arrest there were he to leave the embassy.

"Consequently, there is no basis upon which to continue the investigation". "Focus now moves to United Kingdom", the group tweeted.

Police kept up round-the-clock guard outside the embassy until a year ago, when the operation was scaled back.

The Australian national has previously expressed concern that he could end up being extradited and facing the death penalty in the United States over allegations of revealing government secrets through his site, WikiLeaks. She said the WikiLeaks founder had "tried to dodge all attempts at arrest" by British and Swedish authorities.

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