WikiLeaks awaits UK decision on Assange's status

WikiLeaks awaits UK decision on Assange's status

A statement from the prosecutor said: "Director of Public Prosecution, Ms Marianne Ny, has today made a decision to discontinue the investigation regarding suspected rape (lesser degree) by Julian Assange". It is being dropped because the investigators can not proceed, rather than because the prosecutors reached any decision on whether or not Assange is guilty.

Since the news was confirmed, a visibly happy Assange sent this photo via Twitter.

Swedish prosecutors Friday dropped a seven-year rape investigation into Julian Assange, a legal victory for the WikiLeaks founder who has been holed up in the Ecuadoran embassy in London since 2012. In 2012, he sought sanctuary in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and has lived in the tiny building ever since.

This decision was announced following Assange's questioning held in November previous year on the territory of the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Swedish judges have refused to take into account the opinion of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, which in February 2016 said Assange was effectively "arbitrarily detained" by Sweden and Britain and called for the arrest warrant to be annulled.

WikiLeaks tweeted: "UK refuses to confirm or deny whether it has already received a USA extradition warrant for Julian Assange. Focus now moves to United Kingdom".

Scotland Yard said: "Westminster Magistrates' Court issued a warrant for the arrest of Julian Assange following him failing to surrender to the court on June 29 2012".

Before the Metropolitan Police in London said Assange could be arrested if he leaves the Ecuador embassy, Melinda Taylor, one of Assange's lawyers, told the Swedish news agency TT: "The first thing that needs to be done, presumably, is to secure guarantees from the British authorities that he will not be arrested on other grounds".

Ny says she has withdrawn a European arrest warrant.

According to the statement, Assange remains "wanted for a much less serious offence". "The MPS will provide a level of resourcing which is proportionate to that offense".

"If Julian Assange were to return to Sweden before the statue of limitation for the crime elapses in August 2020 the preliminary investigation could however be reopened", Chief Prosecutor Marianne Ny said at a press conference on Friday. Last month President Donald Trump said he would support any decision by the Justice Department to charge Assange. But he also believes the United States wants to extradite him to face charges related to WikiLeaks' publication of classified American documents.