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Swedish prosecutor drops investigation into Julian Assange for suspected rape

Swedish prosecutor drops investigation into Julian Assange for suspected rape

"The decision by the Swedish prosecutor only highlights the fact Mr. Assange has been unlawfully detained for years", Pollack said.

The populist politician's visit was rumored, though never confirmed, to have been a part of back-channel communications between the WikiLeaks editor and President Donald Trump, with whom Farage is well acquainted.

"That is not something I can forgive, or forget", he said, claiming he had suffered a "terrible injustice" while living under house arrest or hidden away inside the embassy without ever being charged with a crime.

British Police issued a statement today that Assange was still wanted in Britain on less serious charges.

As NPR's Frank Langfitt reports, Assange has remained at the Ecuadorean Embassy for years out of fear that an extradition to Sweden would spell another extradition, in turn, to the USA, "where he could face trial for leaking hundreds of thousands of secret diplomatic and military documents".

Assange and WikiLeaks have repeatedly infuriated US officials with the widespread release of sensitive secret documents related to military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq and diplomatic relations around the world. WikiLeaks also had a provocative role in the 2016 USA presidential campaign when it published emails written by Hillary Clinton's campaign officials.

The 45-year-old Australian has always denied the allegations, which he feared would see him extradited to the United States and put on trial over the leaking of hundreds of thousands of secret USA military and diplomatic documents.

Assange requests, and is later granted political asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Ecuador granted him full asylum in August that year.

March: Swedish prosecutors ask to question Assange at the Ecuadorean embassy.

It's not known if USA officials are seeking Assange's arrest because of a possible sealed indictment.

Assange has been denying the rape allegations and though the latest decision might bring some relief but he is still under pressure as if he leaves the embassy he could still be detained by United Kingdom police and face extradition to the US.

Last month, United States president Donald Trump said he would support any decision by the justice department to charge Mr Assange.

The dropping of Sweden's charges come just days after whistleblower Chelsea Manning was released from prison, where she had been serving a 35-year sentence for leaking over 725,000 secret government and military documents to WikiLeaks.

He said American officials made up the case in an attempt to have him extradited.

In February past year, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention said Assange was in effect being arbitrarily detained against worldwide law.

It is not yet freedom for WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange. "Focus now moves to UK", WikiLeaks said in a tweet after the announcement in Sweden.

"It is a scandal that a suspected rapist can escape justice and thereby avoid the courts", the lawyer, Elisabeth Fritz, told AFP in an email.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange raises his fist before addressing reporters from the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on Friday.

She accused him of having sex with her - as she slept - without using a condom despite repeatedly having denied him unprotected sex.

Samuelson tells The Associated Press that "this was consensual sex between two adults and nothing else", adding Assange was now "a free man".

The MPS issued a statement saying that its actions had been based on a response to a "European Arrest Warrant for an extremely serious offence".

While the building is no longer subject to 24/7 police surveillance - forces were withdrawn in 2015, after controversy over the escalating cost of the exercise, believed to run to tens of millions of pounds - the super-recognizable Assange likely wouldn't get far in the streets of Knightsbridge before being collared.


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