International: Sweden drops rape investigation against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange

Prosecutors in Sweden said on Friday that they would drop their rape investigation into Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder who sought refuge in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London five years ago.

The announcement represents a victory for Mr. Assange, 45, an Australian, who became a persistent problem for the Obama administration after he released classified and embarrassing documents from the United States and other countries.

But the prosecutors’ decision does not mean that Mr. Assange is in the clear.

In Britain, he still faces a warrant for failing to appear in court, and the Metropolitan Police in London said on Friday that they would arrest Mr. Assange, who has maintained his innocence, if he were to try to leave the embassy.

Moreover, the Justice Department in Washington was reconsidering last month whether to charge Mr. Assange for his role in the disclosure of highly classified information.

A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment on whether it planned to take any action regarding Mr. Assange, and the British government declined to say whether it had received an extradition request from the United States.

SOURCE: https://www.nytimes.com

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