Rape inquiry dropped, WikiLeaks' Assange remains in embassy

Ausiliatrice Cristiano
Mag 20, 2017

But British police said they would still arrest Assange if he tried to leave the embassy, saying he had breached the terms of his bail by refusing to turn himself in when an arrest warrant was issued in 2012.

Ecuador Foreign Minister Guillaume Long said the United Kingdom should now grant Assange safe passage, as the European arrest warrant against him "no longer holds". "It is not something I can forget", he said.

Ny's play-acting in Stockholm shows that she is less concerned with the woman's right to her day in court than with continuing a low-intensity propaganda war against Assange.

Marianne Ny, the Swedish director of public prosecutions announced Friday that she was dropping the rape case because there is no prospect of bringing Assange to Sweden "in the foreseeable future" and it is "no longer proportionate" to maintain the European arrest warrant.

"The claim that the United Kingdom has the right to arrest me for seeking asylum in a case where there have been no charges is simply untenable".

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 USA military and diplomatic documents.

Although he is no longer facing action from Swedish prosecutors, Assange is still at risk of arrest if he tries to leave the Ecuadorian embassy.

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".

"My client is shocked and no decision to (end the case) can make her change (her mind) that Assange exposed her to rape", she said.

Assange has always denied the allegations against him, claiming the sex was consensual and that the case was politically motivated to get him extradited to the USA as it followed massive Wikileaks dumps of secret USA military reports that year.

The statute of limitations on the rape allegation expires in August 2020.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

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

British police kept up a round-the-clock guard outside the embassy until December 2015, when the operation was scaled back partly because of the costs, which had exceeded 11 million pounds (over $17.5 million at the time).

On Friday, Assange's accuser called the prosecutor's decision a "scandal", her lawyer said Friday.

Assange's Swedish lawyer Per E. Samuelson declared Friday that "this is a total victory for Julian Assange".

"The truth is, he gave a very good explanation: this was consensual sex between two adults and nothing else". They said this was a much less serious offense than rape, but he could still face up to a year in jail if convicted.

Assange and WikiLeaks have repeatedly infuriated USA officials with the widespread release of sensitive secret documents related to military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq and diplomatic relations around the world.

In his ten-minute speech, Assange also pointed to the release of the American whistleblower and former US Army soldier Chelsea Manning (formerly Bradley Manning) who landed in prison after she leaked almost 750,000 military files and cables to WikiLeaks.

WikiLeaks raised a storm in July 2016 by releasing emails showing US Democratic Party officials favouring Hillary Clinton over left-winger Bernie Sanders in the presidential primary elections, forcing high-ranking party members to resign.

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