Swedish prosecutor drops rape investigation of Assange

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Sweden is dropping its investigation into WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on rape allegations, according to a prosecution statement released Friday.

A brief statement appearing on the website of the Swedish prosecution authority, quoted the the country's director of public prosecutions, Marianne Ny, as saying that, "has today made a decision to discontinue the investigation regarding suspected rape (lesser degree) by Julian Assange". He could still face trial in the US over the leaking of hundreds of thousands of secret USA military and diplomatic documents.

Marianne Ny told a news conference: "When we investigate serious crimes, we do not consider the costs".

This post will be updated. But Swedish prosecutors said that if Assange visits Sweden before the statue of limitations expires in August of 2020, he could still be subject to arrest. But it's not yet clear if Assange will leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London anytime soon.

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

Assange has maintained that if he went to Sweden to answer questions about the allegations, he would then be extradited to the United States for his political activities with Wikileaks.

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"This implies that we can now demonstrate that the USA has a will to take action. this is why we ask for the arrest warrant to be cancelled so that Julian Assange can fly to Ecuador and enjoy his political asylum", lawyer Per Samuelsson told news outlets last month.

Assange has always denied the rape allegations against him and was interviewed in the embassy in London six months ago in the presence of Swedish officials, reports the BBC.

Assange has been sheltering in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012 to avoid extradition.

A warrant was issued in 2012 because he failed to surrender to a court (instead taking refuge in the embassy). "Focus now moves to United Kingdom". Ny said she will call back the European arrest warrant on Assange.

The panel found that Britain and Sweden had "arbitrarily detained" Mr Assange.

"The MPS will provide a level of resourcing which is proportionate to that offence", said a statement.

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