WikiLeaks awaits UK decision on Assange's status

Angie Massey
May 20, 2017

The Swedish investigation into alleged rape allegations against Assange were dropped days after Chelsea Manning, who provided Wikileaks with classified intelligence on Iraq and Afghanistan that shocked the world, was freed from prison in the US.

The move 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.

Assange, who denied the allegation, has been holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since June 2012.

Ecuador also urged Britain on Friday to let Assange leave.

Speaking on the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy, Mr Assange continued by saying "the war is just commencing".

He is wanted by British police for breaching bail conditions - and WikiLeaks is concerned this could result in him being extradited to the USA, where he would face prosecution for publishing swathes of classified military and diplomatic documents.

Asked about Assange's case during an election campaign event, British Prime Minister Theresa May said any decision to detain him would be "an operational matter for the police", adding that her government examines any extradition request "on a case-by-case basis".

October 12: Metropolitan Police end their 24-hour guard outside the Ecuadorean embassy but say they will use overt and covert means to track and arrest Assange if he leaves.

Sweden dropped a long-standing rape investigation against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. "But it is unlikely to change his inability to leave the embassy any time soon".

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

"Seven years of detention without charge - imprisoned under house arrest and nearly five years in this embassy without sunlight", he said.

"The decision to discontinue the preliminary investigation is not because we've been able to make a full assessment of the evidence in this case, but because we didn't see any possibilities to advance the investigation forward".

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British officials said they do not comment on individual extradition cases. But some experts said the development would put him in an even more precarious legal situation, if the USA has a sealed indictment for his arrest.

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

This means he could STILL face arrest if he bounces from the Ecuadorean Embassy.

The source added: "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".

April 6: Ecuador's president-elect, Lenin Moreno, warns Assange that as a condition of asylum granted in 2012, he is not allowed to meddle in politics.

In a brief statement, the Swedish Prosecution Authority said its director of public prosecution, Ms Marianne Ny, today made a decision to, for now, halt the investigation regarding suspected lesser-degree rape by Julian Assange.

Assange still could face charges of leaking classified material, should he ever decide to take on step off the Ecuadorean embassy's grounds.

The Australian has always denied the accusation that he had sex with a sleeping woman without a condom, despite her protests against having unprotected sex.

In August 2015, the Swedish High Prosecutor's Office said three charges against Assange had been dropped due to the expiry of the statute of limitations, and that Assange would still be held suspect on the allegation of lesser degree rape until August 17, 2020. The US CIA Director (Mike) Pompeo and the US attorney general have said that I and other WikiLeaks staff have no. Its No.1 enemy...

Through this action, Julian Assange has evaded every attempt to execute the decision to surrender him to Sweden. "That is not something I can forgive or forget", he told journalists from a balcony at the embassy. "And he's a free man", Samuelson said.

Media reports in the USA said prosecutors were preparing or considering charges against the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, and Assange, for revealing sensitive government secrets.

Other reports by GizPress

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