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WikiLeaks awaits UK decision on Assange's status

19 May 2017

Swedish prosecutors on Friday dropped a rape investigation into WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after seven years, NBC News reported.

The Swedish prosecutor in charge of the investigation, Marianne Ny, did not disclose her intentions in advance, but she was due to address a news conference at 12:00 (1000 GMT) on Friday.

Assange, it may be recalled, had sought asylum in Ecuador's embassy in london [united kingdom]n 2012 after losing court battles to avoid extradition to Sweden over the claims, which he denies.

But the official Wikileaks account indicated in a tweet that the organisation is still concerned about a potential extradition to the US.

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He could face trial in the United States over the leaking hundreds of thousands of secret USA military and diplomatic documents.

A statement from the prosecutor said: "Director of Public Prosecution, Ms Marianne Ny, has today made a decision to discontinue the investigation regarding suspected rape (lesser degree) by Julian Assange".

This decision was announced following Assange's questioning held in November a year ago on the territory of the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

But if he leaves the embassy he could be detained by United Kingdom police and face extradition to the US. She said prosecutors had been unable to make a full assessment of the case and were not making a finding on whether Assange was guilty of the allegations. The US Justice Department still mulling charges against Assange, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said that prosecution of organizations like Wikileaks is a "priority".

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"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 offense", the Metropolitan Police Service said in a statement.

Samuelsson, the lawyer in Sweden, told Swedish Radio he had been in touch with Assange via text message and the Australian had written, "Serious, Oh My God". But it's not yet clear if Assange will leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London anytime soon.

However, British police said Assange is still wanted in Britain for jumping bail in 2012 and still faces arrest if he leaves Ecuador's London embassy. "The MPS will provide a level of resourcing which is proportionate to that offence".

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WikiLeaks awaits UK decision on Assange's status