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emfizz.com May 29, 2017


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

19 May 2017, 10:08 | Gladys Abbott

"So we won't make any statements on the issue of guilt", the Swedish prosecution claims.

Scotland Yard said: "Westminster Magistrates' Court issued a warrant for the arrest of Julian Assange following him failing to surrender to the court on June 29 2012". "That is not something I can forgive, or forget", he said, maintaining that he had been the victim of a "terrible injustice".

He says says his battle is not over, and "the proper war is just commencing". He has been there ever since, fearing that if he is arrested he might ultimately be extradited to the United States.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo last month called WikiLeaks a "hostile intelligence service", and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, responding to a question about Assange, said the administration was stepping up its efforts against all leaks of sensitive information. The South American country has granted him asylum.

While Assange may still not be able to leave Ecuador's embassy in the swanky Knightsbridge area of London, the prosecutor's decision to stop the investigation into allegations of rape brings to an end a 7-year stand-off with Sweden.

"He's an innocent man and this case has been closed", he said, adding that Assange was "very unhappy" about the long inquiry.

Samuelson said Sweden's judicial system "spoiled and wasted five, six years of his life. but he is happy today".

Julian Assange's lawyer is asking French president Emmanuel Macron to intervene in support of the WikiLeaks founder.

Assange's taking refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy provoked a stalemate, with diplomatic rules preventing British police from entering the building and Assange unable to leave without facing arrest.

Swedish prosecutors received a translation of the interrogation four months later, but "all materials were translated into Spanish then into English then back into Spanish then into Swedish", Ny said, making it hard for the investigation to move forward. At the point when a prosecutor has exhausted the possibilities to continue the investigation, the prosecutor is obliged to discontinue the investigation.

Ny told reporters that prosecutors had been unable to make a full assessment of the case and were not making a finding on whether Assange was guilty or innocent of the allegations.

The Swedish Prosecution Authority said Friday that chief Marianne Ny "has made a decision to discontinue the investigation" and Ny said she will call back the European arrest warrant on Assange.

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Ny told a news conference in Stockholm: "He has tried to dodge all attempts to avoid Swedish and British legal authorities. My assessment is that the surrender can not be executed in the foreseeable future".

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. That came about after terse negotiations between Ecuador, Sweden and Assange, following pressure inside and outside the nation.

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 USA as he is wanted for revealing secret government documents.

Possible US charges aside, Assange is still subject to an arrest warrant in the United Kingdom after he failed to surrender to Westminster Magistrates' Court in June 2012, London's Metropolitan Police Service said Friday.

"The MPS will provide a level of resourcing which is proportionate to that offence", it added.

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).

Assange's Swedish lawyer declared the decision of the Swedish prosecutors to drop the rape charges as a "victory" for his client.

Assange is wanted by British police for extradition to Sweden.

After the Swedish announcement.

Britain's Crown Prosecution Service said that breach of bail is punishable by up to a year in prison or a fine. It is not clear if that may change now that the investigation has been dropped.

The 45-year-old Australian computer hacker was wanted in Sweden for questioning over a rape allegation stemming from a 2010 visit. He spoke of Friday's announcement as a "vindication" and an "important victory", thanking the Ecuadorean people but also warning that "the proper war is just commencing".



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