WikiLeaks awaits UK decision on Assange's status

WikiLeaks awaits UK decision on Assange's status

It does not clear Assange's name, however, and some experts say it puts him into an even more precarious legal situation if the US has - as some suspect - a sealed indictment for his arrest.

The 45-year-old sought refuge at the Ecuadorian embassy in London in June 2012, after exhausting options in United Kingdom courts to avoid extradition over the allegations stemming from a 2010 trip to Sweden. In October, WikiLeaks releases another 400,000 classified military files chronicling the war in Iraq from 2004 to 2009, the largest leak of its kind in USA military history.

Assange was granted asylum by Ecuador and has been able to evade justice because he is on Ecuador's sovereign territory by being in the embassy.

While it was known that a grand jury had been established in Virginia in relation to Assange and the Manning cables under the Obama administration, Assange's fears were validated last month when it was revealed United States authorities meant to charge Assange despite the clear violation of the First Amendment such a prosecution of a publisher would constitute.

Although he is no longer facing action from Swedish prosecutors, Assange is still at risk of arrest if he tries to leave the Ecuadorian embassy.

But it adds that Assange is now wanted for a "much less serious offence" than the original sex crimes claims, and police "will provide a level of resourcing which is proportionate to that offence".

The police ended their round-the-clock guard outside the embassy in October 2015, amid public criticism of the cost.

It appears that should Assange be extradited to the U.S., he has a potentially strong counter case. "So we don't make any statements on the issue of guilt", she said via a translator.

Ecuador granted him asylum in August 2012, but as soon as he sets foot outside the building Britain will arrest him for breaching his bail conditions.

A statement released online declared Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny's intention to "discontinue the investigation regarding suspected rape (lesser degree) by Julian Assange". British authorities have said they do not comment in such cases on whether there may be a sealed indictment in the case.

Has Assange been questioned by Swedish prosecutors? . He could have left the country then and there but stayed for a while, in case the authorities chose to question him again.

The Swedish Prosecution Authority said in a statement that top prosecutor Marianne Ny "has made a decision to discontinue the investigation". It was alleged that Assange had raped two women, and sexually assaulted another. Prosecutor Eva Finne says there appears to be insufficient evidence for allegation of rape.

Assange has always denied the allegations against him. United Kingdom government offices referred comment on Mr Assange's case to the police.

Assange stays right where he is, in the red-brick flat at 3 Hans Crescent, continuing his work with WikiLeaks.

The preliminary investigation on Assange, 44, was opened in 2010.

In a letter sent to the Swedish government on May 8, Ecuador condemned "the obvious lack of progress" in the investigation despite Assange's questioning in the presence of the Swedish prosecutor at the embassy in November 2016.

"We have achieved the goal we set and Assange is happy and very glad", Samuelsson said, adding, however, that his client was quite critical over the fact that the juridical standoff with the Swedish authorities had lasted nearly seven years.

"In prison, under house arrest and nearly five years here in this embassy without sunlight!" he said.

"It's not about money but redress", Samuelsson said. WikiLeaks also had a provocative role in the 2016 US presidential campaign when it published emails written by Hillary Clinton's campaign officials.

The dropping of Sweden's charges come just days after whistleblower Chelsea Manning was released from prison, where she had been serving a 35-year sentence for leaking over 725,000 secret government and military documents to WikiLeaks.

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