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Edited By: Musa Ahmed

Desk Editor (English)

Swedish prosecutor drops rape investigation against Julian Assange

19 May, 2017 18:16:00

"We have won the Assange case. He is definitely glad and relieved," said Assange's lawyer.

Swedish prosecutors on Friday said they had dropped rape charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, closing a nearly seven-year investigation. In a statement, Director of Public Prosecution, Marianne Ny, said she decided to discontinue the investigation regarding suspected rape by Julian Assange.

Back in 2012, the WikiLeaks founder took refuge in Ecuador’s embassy in London to possibly escape extradition to Sweden regarding questions he would have to reply about alleged sex-crime charges from two women. Fearing arrest and the fact that he might ultimately be extradited to the United States, Assange has been there ever since. US President Donald Trump last month said he would support any decision by the Justice Department to charge Assange.

WikiLeaks tweeted after the Swedish announcement: “UK refuses to confirm or deny whether it has already received a US extradition warrant for Julian Assange. Focus now moves to UK.”

As per today’s announcement, Assange is no longer under any investigation in Sweden. In the meantime, in Britain, police have said Assange is still wanted for jumping bail and will face arrest if he leaves Ecuadorean embassy in London.

Assange was wanted in Sweden over a rape allegation arising from a 2010 visit. Meanwhile, Assange’s lawyer in Sweden told Swedish Radio, as reported by AP, that the decision by Swedish prosecutors was a total victory for Assange and that he is now free to leave the embassy when he wants. “We have won the Assange case. He is of course happy and relieved. He has been critical that it has lasted that long,” Per E Samuelsson, was quoted as saying by AP.