Julian Assange: Sweden drops rape investigation

Julian Assange: Sweden drops rape investigation

Sweden’s director of public prosecutions has decided to drop the rape investigation into Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

Marianne Ny said his arrest warrant was being revoked as it was impossible to serve him notice of his alleged crimes.

Mr Assange, 45, has lived in the Ecuadorean embassy in London since 2012, fearing extradition to Sweden would lead to extradition to the US.

Police in London said they would still be obliged to arrest him if he left.

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) said Mr Assange still faced the lesser charge of failing to surrender to a court, an offence punishable by up to a year in prison or a fine.

But the UK has not commented on whether it has received an extradition request from the US, where Mr Assange could face trial over the leaking of hundreds of thousands of secret US military and diplomatic documents.

Mr Assange’s Swedish lawyer, Per Samuelson, said the prosecutor’s decision on Friday represented “a total victory” for his client.

The plaintiff in the rape case was “shocked” by the decision, her lawyer said, and maintained her accusations against Mr Assange, Agence France-Presse reported.

‘Focus on UK’

At a press briefing on Friday, Ms Ny said that by remaining in the embassy in London Mr Assange had evaded the exercise of the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) that would have seen him extradited to Sweden.

She said: “According to Swedish legislation, a criminal investigation is to be conducted as quickly as possible. In order to proceed with the case, Julian Assange would have to be formally notified of the criminal suspicions against him.

“We cannot expect to receive assistance from Ecuador regarding this. Therefore the investigation is discontinued.”