Julian Assange case dropped

STOCKHOLM, May 19 – Sweden’s top prosecutor says she is dropping an investigation into rape claims against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, bringing to an end a seven-year legal stand-off.

The announcement means the WikiLeaks leader no longer faces sex crime allegations in Sweden, although British police say he is still wanted in Britain for jumping bail in 2012.

Assange, 45, took refuge in Ecuador’s embassy in London in 2012 to escape extradition to Sweden to answer questions about sex-crime allegations from two women.

But the Swedish Prosecutor has now dropped that investigation because all avenues to pursue it have been exhausted.

Chief prosecutor Marianne Ny said maintaining his European arrest warrant would have required Assange to attend court in Sweden, and extraditing him to the country seems impossible in the near future.

“This is a total victory for Julian Assange. He is now free to leave the embassy when he wants,” Per E Samuelsson, his lawyer in Sweden, told Swedish Radio.

“He is of course happy and relieved. He has been critical that it has lasted that long.”

Shortly after the announcement was made, Assange posted an old photo of himself smiling on Twitter and followed it up with a personal message.

“Detained for seven years without charge … while my children grew up and my name was slandered,” he wrote.

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