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Swedish prosecutors drop rape probe against Assange

20 May 2017

Sweden's top prosecutor dropped a long-running inquiry into a rape claim against Assange on Friday, saying there was no way to detain or charge him "in the foreseeable future" because of his protected status inside the embassy.

"Therefore the investigation is discontinued", they said in a statement on Friday evening (AEST).

"We are not making a statement about his guilt", Ny said, adding that the investigation could be reopened if Assange came to Sweden before the statute of limitations deadline for the rape allegation in 2020.

Though Assange's lawyer declared the dropped charges a "total victory" for his client, Assange remains unable to leave the embassy without the threat of arrest. 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.

While Sweden's investigation into Assange has been dropped, British police intend to arrest him when he leaves the embassy over a missed court appearance.

The transparency advocate left no question about his disgust with the governments working to jail him in a series of comments Friday. "The war, the proper war, is just commencing", a pale-looking Assange said told a crowd of reporters and a handful of supporters brandishing placards assembled under the balcony.

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According to a former senior Justice Department official, who requested anonymity to discuss the Assange case, American authorities are now presented with a "cat and mouse game".

He said Assange had convinced Swedish prosecutors during a November meeting past year that he was not guilty of any sex offences. CIA Director Mike Pompeo has branded WikiLeaks a "hostile intelligence service", and Attorney General Jeff Sessions said last month that Assange's arrest is a priority.

During last year's USA presidential election campaign, WikiLeaks published emails from Hillary Clinton's staff and the Democratic National Committee which some believe helped to lose her the election to Trump.

USA justice authorities have never confirmed that they have Assange under investigation or are seeking his extradition.

The 45-year-old Australian has always denied the 2010 rape allegations, which he feared would see him extradited to the United States and tried over the leaking of hundreds of thousands of secret U.S. military and diplomatic documents.

Although the 45-year-old is no longer facing action from Swedish prosecutors, he risks arrest by British police for breaching bail conditions if he tries to leave the embassy.

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

Ms Assange said her son has had "no sunshine, no fresh air and no exercise" for five years. The maximum sentence for that offense is a year in prison. In order to proceed with the case, Julian Assange would have to be formally notified of the criminal suspicions against him.

Assange has always claimed the charges against him were politically motivated.

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

Assange has said the sex was consensual. The rape allegation, the more serious claim, remained under investigation.

In January, Assange said he stood by an offer to go to the United States providing his rights were upheld and if former military intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, who was responsible for a 2010 leak of classified materials to Assange's anti-secrecy group, was freed.

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Swedish prosecutors drop rape probe against Assange