Swedish prosecutor drops rape probe against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange

NewsPoliticsVictory for Whistleblowers as Assange and Manning set to walk free Jack Peat

NewsPoliticsVictory for Whistleblowers as Assange and Manning set to walk free Jack Peat

He has been living at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012, where he sought refuge as he feared he would be arrested in Sweden on the rape charge and extradited to the U.S. as he is wanted for revealing secret government documents.

Assange has been seeking refuge at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012, CNN reported. He has been there ever since, fearing that if he is in custody he might ultimately be extradited to the United States.

WikiLeaks tweeted after the Swedish announcement: "UK refuses to confirm or deny whether it has already received a USA extradition warrant for Julian Assange".

"The road is far from over".

Assange is a cyber hero to some for exposing government abuses of power and championing free speech, but to others he is a criminal who has undermined the security of the West.

In a statement, the office said Chief Prosecutor Marianne Ny had chose to shut down the investigation and that details would be made available later at a press conference, Efe news reported. Breaching bail is punishable by up to one year in prison.

Friday was the deadline for the Swedish prosecution to send a request to Stockholm District Court in the Assange case.

The Swedish prosecutor's office announced on Friday that an investigation against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange for alleged rape has been closed.

Meanwhile, Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Guillaume Long urged Britain to "grant safe passage" out of the country to Assange. Foreign Minister Guillaume Long said Assange was welcome to stay in the embassy if this was not granted.

Last month, President Donald Trump said he would support any decision by the Justice Department to charge Assange.

"Whenever a case can be made, we will seek to put some people in jail", Sessions said.

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

Assange is still inside the Ecuadorean Embassy in London where he has lived for almost five years. They were not allowed to question him directly but only through an Ecuadorean prosecutor.

"Now that the situation has changed and the Swedish authorities have discontinued their investigation into that matter, Mr Assange remains wanted for a much less serious offence", it wrote in a statement.

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