Assange Will Not 'Forgive Or Forget' Rape Probe

In 2015, when the sexual assault charges were dropped, Assange suggested that even if the rape investigation were to end, it was unlikely he would leave the Ecuadorian embassy because he feared the United Kingdom would extradite him to the United States, where he could be tried for WikiLeaks' public dispersion of top-secret documents; the U.K.is legally obligated to extradite Assange to the US if given the opportunity.

The Swedish prosecutor in charge of the investigation, Marianne Ny, did not disclose her intentions in advance, but she was due to address a news conference at 12:00 (11:00am CET) on Friday.

Ecuador's foreign minister Guillaume Long said, "Given that the European Arrest Warrant no longer holds, 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".

London police said after the Swedish announcement that Assange would still be arrested if he left the embassy compound for failing to surrender to the court while out on bail. "It is reminded that a European arrest warrant has been issued against him in the context of the rape case investigation, which he has refused". Swedish prosecutors dropped their investigation into Assange earlier on Friday. He was granted asylum there in August 2012 over fears that if he was detained by British police they would extradite him to Sweden, which would then send him onward to the United States for prosecution over WikiLeaks' publication of secret documents, including thousands of USA diplomatic cables.

He feared Sweden would hand him over to the United States to face prosecution over WikiLeaks' publication of swathes of classified military and diplomatic documents in one of the largest information leaks in USA history. "U.K. refuses to confirm or deny whether it has already received a USA extradition warrant for Julian Assange", the anti-secrecy website tweeted.

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Appearing on the balcony of the central London embassy where he has spent five years, Assange criticised Western governments but said he was prepared to enter into dialogue with London and Washington. "It is a scandal that a suspected rapist can escape justice and thereby avoid the courts.my client is shocked and no decision can make her change that Assange exposed her to rape", the plaintiff's lawyer Elisabeth Fritz said in a statement on Friday.

The Australian has always denied the allegation, but has lived in the Ecuadorean embassy in London since 2012 to avoid arrest. He has been there ever since, claiming officials could ultimately extradite him to the United States.

Representing Assange, lawyer Per E. Samuelson proclaimed it a "day of victory" for the WikiLeaks founder. She said the case could be reopened if he returns to Sweden before the statute of limitations expires in 2020. "The MPS will provide a level of resourcing which is proportionate to that offense".

The Australian, who has lived inside the embassy for nearly five years, said that a "legal conflict" with the United States and the UK continues.

The MPS said it would "not comment further on the operational plan". Attorney General Jeff Sessions said last month that arresting Assange would be "a priority".

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