Ny: Assange still vulnerable if he enters Sweden

Ny: Assange still vulnerable if he enters Sweden

Sweden's top prosecutor on Friday dropped an investigation into a rape claim against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after nearly seven years, saying that's because there's no possibility of arresting him "in the foreseeable future".

Assange has been denying the rape allegations and though the latest decision might bring some relief but he is still under pressure as if he leaves the embassy he could still be detained by United Kingdom police and face extradition to the US. He sought asylum there over fears the Swedish investigation would result in him being extradited to the U.S. over leaked military documents and diplomatic cables.

Sweden's director of public prosecutions, Marianne Ny, filed a request to the Stockholm District Court to revoke his arrest warrant, ending a seven-year stand-off.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo last month called WikiLeaks a "hostile intelligence service", and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, responding to a question about Assange, said the administration was stepping up its efforts against all leaks of sensitive information.

The Australian activist sought asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy while on bail in 2012, over fears the Swedish investigation would result in him being extradited to the U.S. over leaked military documents and diplomatic cables.

In a post on Twitter, WikiLeaks said that Britain had refused to confirm or deny whether it had received an extradition warrant for Mr. Assange.

"He's an innocent man and this case has been closed", he said, adding that Assange was "very unhappy" about the long inquiry.

The Swedish Prosecution Agency said in a statement that the director of public prosecutions, Marianne Ny, had chose to terminate the investigation that began in 2010. Juan Branco told The Associated Press in Paris that he wants Macron to help Assange leave the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. 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".

It's not known if US officials have asked British police to arrest Assange because of a possible sealed USA indictment against him. "Focus now moves to United Kingdom".

Scotland Yard said it was obliged to execute a warrant issued by Westminster Magistrates' Court for the arrest of Mr Assange following his failure to surrender to the court in June 2012, should he leave the embassy.

Assange has always denied the allegation.

"This is a total victory for Julian Assange".

Assange is wanted by British police for extradition to Sweden.

"We will seek to put some people in jail", Sessions said.

Prime Minister Theresa May earlier said any extradition case would be looked at on a "case-by-case basis".

She told a press conference in Stockholm that the investigation could be reopened if Mr Assange returns to Sweden before the allegation against him elapses under Swedish law in August 2020. WikiLeaks also had a provocative role in the 2016 US presidential campaign when it published emails written by Hillary Clinton's campaign officials.

Russia's role remains the subject of multiple investigations by congressional intelligence committees and the FBI, which has said it's looking into whether any associates of Trump had contact or colluded with Russian government operatives.

Three other cases of alleged sexual assault against Assange were dropped in 2014 due to a Swedish statute of limitations.

British police kept up a round-the-clock guard outside the embassy until December 2015, when the operation was scaled back partly because of the costs, which had exceeded 11 million pounds (over $17.5 million at the time).

The transgender former USA intelligence analyst left Fort Leavenworth on Wednesday, months after Barack Obama commuted her 35-year sentence as one of his final acts as President.

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