Where now for Julian Assange?


Sweden's top prosecutor dropped a long-running inquiry into a rape claim against Assange on Friday, saying there was no way to detain or charge him "in the foreseeable future" because of his protected status inside the embassy.

Because of Wikileaks' election help, Trump has said that he liked the website, but others in his administration want to pursue Assange.

Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden, as he continued to deny sexual assault allegations made against him by two women in 2010.

Assange's lawyer, Per Samuelson, hailed Sweden's decision to drop the investigation as "a total victory for us".

"Today is an important victory for me", he said, giving a clenched fist salute as he emerged onto the balcony of the embassy where he has been holed up for almost five years to avoid extradition to Sweden.

"But it by no means erases the years of detention without charge in prison, under house arrest and nearly five years here in this embassy without sunlight, seven years without charge while my children grew up without me".

US and British officials Friday declined to say if the United States has requested Assange's extradition.

Nor does suspension of the investigation enable Assange to regain his freedom, since, if he walks out of the embassy, he will be arrested on a charge of failing to surrender his bail five years ago. Ny has already said that she will swiftly reinstate the case if Assange returns to Sweden.

"Recent declarations by high-level US officials. reflect the executive branch's intention to once again take up criminal action against the WikiLeaks organization and Julian Assange", said Long.

But London's Metropolitan Police added that Assange is now wanted for a "much less serious offense" than the original sex crimes claims, so police "will provide a level of resourcing which is proportionate to that offense".

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"The war, the proper war is just commencing", Assange said, noting his lawyers were in touch with British authorities and hoped to begin a dialogue about the "best way forward".

Assange criticised the EU during his speech, and said: "The reality is detention and extradition without charge has become a feature of the European Union". CIA Director Mike Pompeo has branded WikiLeaks a "hostile intelligence service", and Attorney General Jeff Sessions said last month that Assange's arrest is a priority. British Prime Minister Theresa May said Friday that "any decision that is taken about United Kingdom action in relation to him (Assange) would be an operational matter for the police".

Police officers stand outside the Embassy of Ecuador in London to arrest Julian Assange for breaching his bail if he leaves Ecuador, May 19, 2017.

Ny said the case could be reopened if Assange comes to Sweden before the statute of limitations expires in 2020.

"Julian Assange has been a victim of a huge abuse of procedure". In December, he spoke for the first time on the allegations, releasing a statement and documents as he claimed he was "entirely innocent".

He argues that the sex was consensual and has denounced the accusations as "politically motived".

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

Yeah, Chelsea Manning served 7 years in prison over that - but there's still talk Assange could be charged in the case.

"The important distinction is that her sentence was commuted by then president Barack Obama".