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Sweden drops investigation into Julian Assange rape allegations

22 May 2017

It does not clear Assange's name, however, and some experts say it puts him into an even more precarious legal situation if the US has - as some suspect - a sealed indictment for his arrest.

Sweden asked Britain to extradite Assange for questioning, and in June 2012 he sought refuge in Ecuador's London embassy to avoid arrest. His site in 2010 leaked hundreds of thousands of secret United States military and diplomatic documents.

But Swedish officials said the decision only drops the case and is not a ruling on Assange's guilt or innocence.

Mr Assange has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012, after allegations of rape were brought against him.

Representing Assange, lawyer Per E. Samuelson proclaimed it a "day of victory" for the WikiLeaks founder.

One of Assange's lawyers, Melinda Taylor, indicated earlier on Friday that the preliminary investigation into him being closed or the lifting of the European arrest warrant would not necessarily mean the Australian would make a hasty exit for Ecuador.

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Swedish prosecutors have dropped the investigation into the rape charge of Julian Assange according to Reuters.

They said he had breached the terms of his bail by refusing to turn himself in when an arrest warrant was issued in 2012.

The U.S. Department of Justice declined to comment on Friday's developments.

"But let us understand, while today was an important victory, and important vindication, the road is far from over".

November 2 - Britain's High Court rules Assange should be extradited to Sweden. "That is not something I can forgive", the 45-year-old said, calling what he suffered "terrible injustice". The South American country has granted him asylum.

Sweden's Director of Public Prosecutions Marianne Ny said on Friday she had chose to "discontinue" the investigation into an alleged sex offence. He strenuously denied those allegations, casting them as part of a politically motivated plot to stifle his work by distorting the circumstances of what he called consensual sex.

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"The UK said it would arrest me regardless", he stated.

Head of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, received the news on Friday that the Swedish Government dropped its case against him and his arrest warrant was revoked.

Elisabeth Massi Fritz, the attorney for Assange's accuser, said, "My client is shocked, and no closure decision can get her to change that Assange has exposed her to a rape".

However, British police said Assange was still wanted in the United Kingdom for jumping bail - so he could still face arrest if he leaves the Ecuadorean Embassy.

The Metropolitan Police says there's a British warrant for Assange's arrest after he jumped bail.

"The priority for the MPS must continue to be arresting those who are now wanted in the Capital in connection with serious violent or sexual offences for the protection of Londoners", it added.

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Sweden drops investigation into Julian Assange rape allegations