Text of Swedish prosecutor's decision to drop Assange probe

20 May, 2017, 06:44 | Author: Benny Bass
  • Assange: Dropped Charges An Important Victory

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says he can not "forgive or forget" what Sweden has put him through, following an announcement by Swedish prosecutors that they have dropped their rape case against him.

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.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange no longer is the subject of an active rape investigation in Sweden, but he remains holed up in Ecuador's embassy in London facing an unclear future because of uncertainty over whether American authorities will try to get him handed over next.

Assange, 45, was accused of sexual assault in Sweden in 2010 and was granted political asylum inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2012, where he has been living ever since.

He said Assange had convinced Swedish prosecutors during a November meeting previous year that he was not guilty of any sex offenses.

Assange hailed Sweden's decision as an "important victory" even as he attacked the country's authorities for detaining him for seven years without charge.

He nonetheless called Sweden's decision to drop the rape investigation "an important victory for me and for the United Nations human rights system".

In view of the fact that all prospects of pursuing the investigation are now exhausted, it appears that, in light of the views expressed by the Supreme Court in its assessment of the proportionality in this case, it could be argued that it becomes less proportionate to maintain the arrest of Julian Assange in his absence via a European Arrest Warrant.

Assange leaves the embassy and is arrested, but moves quickly through the British courts process, before being given a minor fine.

USA prosecutors have been drafting a memo that looks at charges against Assange and WikiLeaks members that possibly include conspiracy, theft of government property and violations of the Espionage Act, according to The Washington Post.

"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".

Prior to his speech, Ecuador's foreign minister Guillaume Long had said: "Given that the European Arrest Warrant no longer holds, Ecuador will now be intensifying its diplomatic efforts with the United Kingdom so that Julian Assange can gain safe passage in order to enjoy his asylum in Ecuador".

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. 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".

He argues that the sex was consensual and has denounced the accusations as "politically motived". Prosecutors were trying to determine, among other things, if Assange had sex with the woman while she was asleep and without using a condom. On 16 December 2010, the City of Westminster Magistrates' Court made a decision to release Julian Assange on bail.

"We are not making a statement about his guilt", Ny said, adding that the investigation could be reopened if Assange came to Sweden before the statute of limitations deadline for the rape allegation in 2020.

FILE: Chelsea Manning, the transgender US Army soldier responsible for a massive leak of classified material, poses in a photo of herself for the first time since she was released from prison and post to social media on May 18, 2017.

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


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