Prosecutor saw no chance of extraditing Assange

Assange lawyer says dropped case is'end of nightmare

That means Assange, who has been seeking refuge in Ecuador's embassy in London since 2012, is no longer facing charges in Sweden.

But British police said they would still arrest Assange if he tried to leave the embassy, saying he had breached the terms of his bail by refusing to turn himself in when an arrest warrant was issued in 2012.

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.

In a statement issued here, the Swedish Prosecution Authority said that Marianne Ny "has discontinue the investigation" against the Australian computer programmer.

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

Speaking from the balcony of Ecuador's London embassy, the WikiLeaks founder says his seven-year legal ordeal - which he calls unjust detention - "is not something that I can forgive".

The Swedish prosecutor's office said in a statement it had made a decision to end its investigation.

"UK refuses to confirm or deny whether it has already received a USA extradition warrant for Julian Assange".

Manning was released on Wednesday after spending seven years in a us military prison for passing the documents to WikiLeaks. The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) is obliged to execute that warrant should he leave the Embassy.

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

The accusation against Assange dated from August 2010 when the alleged victim, who says she met him at a WikiLeaks conference in Stockholm a few days earlier, filed a complaint.

However, British police said he is still a wanted man for failing to surrender in the country in 2012.

"That's because we finally were able to get the interview done (with the Swedish side) and he could describe what really happened and also because we could show that the United States is hunting him, which we could not do before", Samuelson said.

Friday's announcement indicated that Assange is no longer under any investigation in Sweden.

Julian Assange's Swedish lawyer Per E. Samuelson says it is a "day of victory" for the WikiLeaks founder after Sweden's top prosecutor dropped an investigation into a rape claim against him. The arrangement was necessary, he had said, to keep Swedish authorities from turning him over to the United States for his role at the helm of WikiLeaks, which has enraged governments around the world by publishing tens of thousands of leaked classified US documents.

Samuelsson was not immediately available for further comment.

The development comes after Assange's lawyers demanded that Sweden drop his European arrest warrant. "Therefore the investigation is discontinued". "Focus now moves to U.K". But he also believes the United States wants to extradite him to face charges related to WikiLeaks' publication of classified American documents.

Police kept up round-the-clock guard outside the embassy until December 2015, when the operation was scaled back, in part because of the cost, which had exceeded 11 million pounds (over $17.5 million at the time).



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