Sweden drops rape charge against Wikileaks founder

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"With the consideration that all options of moving the investigation forward are now exhausted it appears that - in light of the views expressed by the Supreme Court (Högsta domstolen) on the proportionality of remanding someone in absentia - it is no longer proportional to maintain the decision to remand Julian Assange in his absence and maintain the European arrest warrant", Ny wrote in her notification to Stockholm District Court.

Assange, 45, has been holed up in the embassy since 2012 after skipping bail to avoid extradition to Sweden over the allegation of rape, which he denies. The UK Home Office said the decision to drop the rape investigation was a matter for the Swedish authorities, and not one in which the British government had any involvement.

"Julian Assange has been a victim of a huge abuse of procedure".

Ms Ny said the motive for her decision was that there is no reason to believe the decision to surrender Mr Assange to Sweden can be executed in the foreseeable future.

(AP Photo/Frank Augstein). The Ecuadorian national flag flies outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, Friday May 19, 2017. The government of Ecuador also called Sweden's prosecution of Assange a "serious failure".

Swedish prosecutors have dropped their preliminary investigation into an allegation of rape against the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, bringing an end to a seven-year legal standoff.

A lawyer on Assange's legal team, Per Samuelsson, told Swedish radio the decision was "a total victory", saying that Assange was "of course happy and relieved".

Ny also said the Assange case is unique since the suspect took refuge in an embassy in a foreign country.

But the picture is more complicated than that.

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"Whilst Mr Assange was wanted on a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) for an extremely serious offence, the MPS response reflected the serious nature of that crime".

After that, the investigation stalled.

She told a news conference in Stockholm that the investigation could be reopened if Assange returns to Sweden before the statute of limitations lapses in 2020. "So we don't make any statements on the issue of guilt", she said via a translator. British police arrested him in London months later.

But the British police have said they will arrest Assange as soon as he walks out of the embassy because he broke his conditions for bail - a relatively minor offence under British law - by failing to surrender on June 29, 2012 for extradition to Sweden. The maximum sentence for that offense is a year in prison.

"My legal staff have contacted the United Kingdom authorities and we hope to engage in a dialogue about what is the best way forward". Assange believes the United States wants him extradited and arrested in connection with WikiLeaks' publication of classified USA documents.

The US attorney general, Jeff Sessions, said last month that arresting Assange was a priority.

It's not known if USA officials are seeking Assange's arrest because of a possible sealed indictment. A U.S. Department of Justice spokesman on Friday declined to comment on the case. He fled there after he lost a legal battle in Britain against extradition to Sweden, fearing he would be handed over to United States authorities due to the publication of top secret diplomatic cables. That is no longer the case.

Assange could fight any US extradition request in the British courts, a process that could take years.

Sweden's top prosecutor says she is dropping an investigation into a rape claim against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after nearly seven years.