Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
USA | By Kelli Rowe

UK police say Assange still faces arrest

UK police say Assange still faces arrest

After the Swedish prosecutor's office announced its decision, a statement put out by the Metropolitan Police in London said that in light of the U.K.'s outstanding warrant for the arrest of Assange "following him failing to surrender to the court" on June 29, 2012, it was still "obliged to execute that warrant should he leave the Embassy". Assange believed the US was using the allegations to try and have him sent to Sweden and then to the United States, where officials could punish him for revealing government secrets.

The Swedish Prosecution Authority is withdrawing the European arrest warrant claiming it is unlikely Assange can be brought back to Sweden "There are now no further measures remaining which are possible to take in order to advance the investigation", said Prosecutor Marianne Ny through a translator.

August 13: Swedish prosecutors drop investigations into some allegations against Assange because of the statute of limitations; investigation into a rape allegation remains active. British police say they still intend to arrest him if he leaves the Ecuadorean Embassy.

Nevertheless, the United Kingdom government and United Kingdom police said they still plan on arresting Assange if he chooses to leave the embassy.

The U.S. authorities, however, have prepared charges to seek his arrest, officials familiar with the matter told CNN last month.

The drop of the investigation comes two days after Chelsea Manning was released from military prison in Kansas after serving seven years of a 35-year sentence for leaking thousands of documents including battlefield reports on Iraq and Afghanistan and State Department cables to WikiLeaks.

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"The priority for the MPS must continue to be arresting those who are now wanted in the capital in connection with serious violent or sexual offenses for the protection of Londoners", the police said in an emailed statement.

Assange posted a picture of himself smiling broadly to his Twitter account soon after the Swedish authorities' announcement Friday.

"The road is far from over". Asked if she would support Britain extraditing him to the USA, the prime minister replied: "We look at extradition requests when we receive them on a case by case basis".

"It is a scandal that a suspected rapist can avoid the judicial system and thus avoid a trial in court", a lawyer for the woman who claimed Assange raped her responded.

A lawyer for the woman who accused Assange of rape slammed the decision to drop the investigation.

In view of the fact that all prospects of pursuing the investigation are now exhausted, it appears that, in light of the views expressed by the Supreme Court in its assessment of the proportionality in this case, it could be argued that it becomes less proportionate to maintain the arrest of Julian Assange in his absence via a European Arrest Warrant.

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Though this is a much lesser offense, it remains a possibility that if Assange were to leave the premises of that embassy, he might yet be arrested by British police. "So we don't make any statements on the issue of guilt", she said via a translator.

Earlier this month, Assange " s lawyer Samuelson filed a request to lift the 2010 arrest warrant, citing as grounds public statements by U.S. officials saying the United States wanted him arrested. US intelligence agencies have concluded Russian Federation was behind the hacking in an effort to interfere with the USA political process, damage Clinton's campaign and ultimately help Republican Donald Trump win the White House.

WikiLeaks played a central role in the 2016 presidential race when it published emails stolen through hacking the Democratic National Committee and later from John Podesta, chairman of Hillary Clinton's campaign.

Swedish prosecutors dropped their investigation on May 19, 2017.

Ecuador's government welcomed the decision by Sweden, but said it was long overdue.

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