WikiLeaks awaits UK decision on Assange's status

Sweden drops Julian Assange rape investigation

Sweden drops Julian Assange rape investigation

Swedish officials have dropped their rape investigation into Julian Assange.

The country's chief prosecutor applied to cancel his arrest on Friday morning, seven years after it was first granted.

Assange 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.

Assange, an Australian national, has previously said that he feared that if he left the embassy he could end up being extradited and face the death penalty in the United States over allegations of revealing hundreds of thousands o secret US military and diplomatic documents through WikiLeaks, CNN reported.

He feared Sweden would hand him over to the United States to face prosecution over WikiLeaks' publication of swathes of classified military and diplomatic documents in one of the largest information leaks in US history.

WikiLeaks tweeted after the Swedish announcement: "UK refuses to confirm or deny whether it has already received a United States extradition warrant for Julian Assange".

"As long as we fear that this is a case of political persecution.as long as we fear for Mr. Assange's integrity and human rights, we will continue with our policy of offering him asylum", Long said in a telephone interview.

As per today's announcement, Assange is no longer under any investigation in Sweden.

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Assange is wanted by Britain for skipping bail when he fled to the Ecuadorian Embassy in 2012.

"Chief Prosecutor Marianne Ny has today chose to discontinue the preliminary investigation regarding suspected rape concerning Julian Assange", the prosecutors office said in a statement.

"This is a total victory for Julian Assange".

Samuelsson was not immediately available for further comment.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Friday it would be "an operational matter for the police" to decide whether to arrest Assange if he left the embassy.

Last month, President Donald Trump said he would support any decision by the Justice Department to charge Assange.

However, it noted that now the Swedish authorities had dropped their investigation, Assange was "wanted for a much less serious offence" than before and said the force would "provide a level of resourcing which is proportionate to that offence".

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