WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has said that “the battle is over but the war has just begun” after Swedish prosecutors closed a seven-year investigation against him.
“While today was an important victory, an important vindication, the road is far from over,” Assange said standing on the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in London on Friday.
He made the remarks after Marianne Ny, the chief prosecutor in Sweden, announced that she “has decided to discontinue the investigation regarding suspected rape” by Assange.
Assange also lambasted the UK police who said they would still arrest him if he came out of the Ecuadorian embassy because he had broken his conditions for bail by not surrendering himself to the police.
Police officers stand outside the Embassy of Ecuador in London to arrest Julian Assange for breaching his bail if he leaves Ecuador, May 19, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
“The UK said it would arrest me regardless,” he stated.
“But it by no means erases the years of detention without charge in prison, under house arrest and almost five years here in this embassy without sunlight, seven years without charge while my children grew up without me. And that is not something I can forget, it is not something I can forgive,” he said.
Assange also vowed to continue publishing secret US
documents on WikiLeaks.
“Today we published material from the CIA,” he said.
He also thanked the government of Ecuador for granting him political asylum despite “intense pressure,” as well as his legal team and others who had supported him.
In his ten-minute speech, Assange also pointed to the release of theAmerican whistleblower and former US Army soldier Chelsea Manning (formerly Bradley Manning) who landed in prison after she leaked nearly 750,000 military files and cables to WikiLeaks.
“We managed to have him released 28 years early from his sentence,” Assange said, using the male pronoun for Manning. In one of his final acts before leaving office in January, then-US President Barack Obama commuted Manning’s 35-year prison sentence.
Fearing extradition from Sweden to the United States
over his leak of classified US data on WikiLeaks, Assange sought refuge at the Ecuadorian mission in June 2012 after Swedish prosecutors issued a warrant for his arrest over allegations of rape and sexual assault filed by two women in Sweden in 2010.
Ecuador granted Assange political asylum in 2012, but a constant police presence and the arrest order have prevented him from exiting the embassy in London ever since.