A Swedish prosecutor announced Friday that she has dropped the investigation into rape allegations against Julian Assange.
According to a statement AP report, Sweden is no longer pursuing charges of rape against the founder of WikiLeaks. Prosecutor Marianne Ny said they had no way to take the case any further. Julian’s accuser says she is “shocked” by the decision and stands by her accusation.
Assange has been holed-up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for more than five years to avoid extradition to Sweden on the charges. Assange has said that the rape allegations were false, but had been concerned that if he were arrested in Sweden, authorities would honor a U.S. extradition request.
Sweden has rescinded the European arrest warrant.
Is Assange Free to go now? Not so fast.
He still has warrants in Britain for jumping bail and possibly the U.S. for the theft and publication of intelligence documents.
London’s Metro Police says they are “obliged to execute that warrant should he leave the embassy.” The maximum sentence for skipping bail is a year in prison.
U.S. implications are less clear. While it has been reported that a sealed indictment exists, the government has never confirmed its existence.
A lawyer representing Assange announced that “He [Assange] will now try to leave and to claim asylum in France,” but did not reveal how that would happen without Julian getting arrested the moment he steps foot outside the embassy.
France does have an extradition treaty with the United States except where French citizens are concerned. Julian does not hold French citizenship so it is unclear why the French would protect him.
After the charges were dropped, a crowd of mostly journalists formed outside the embassy hoping for a statement from Assange.
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— James Glenday (@jamesglenday) May 19, 2017