Swedish prosecutors have closed a seven-year investigation against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange over allegations of rape.
“Director of Public Prosecution Marianne Ny has today decided to discontinue the investigation regarding suspected rape by Julian Assange,” the prosecutor’s office said in a statement released on Friday.
It was not clear what had prompted the decision. Ny and Chief Prosecutor Ingrid Isgren are set to hold a press conference on the issue at 1000 GMT on Friday.
Meanwhile, the woman who had filed the original complaint against Assange for rape has slammed the prosecutor’s decision to end the investigation. “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.
Also, UK police said they would still arrest Assange if he came out of the Ecuadorian embassy because he had broken his conditions for bail by not surrendering himself to police.
“The Metropolitan Police Service is obliged to execute that warrant should he leave the embassy,” UK police said in a statement.
Assange might be extradited by UK police to the US over his involvement in the disclosure of vast numbers of secret wires related to Washington.
Juan Branco, a lawyer representing Assange, said his client would now seek political asylum in France. However, he failed to explain how Assange plans to get there without being arrested by UK police.
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
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.
The Ecuadorian government had criticized Sweden over the “serious lack of process” in dealing with the sexual assault allegations against the Australian journalist and publisher.