Sweden’s Director of Public Prosecution announced today they would drop the preliminary investigation into the allegation of rape – bringing an end to the seven-year standoff.
In a statement, the office said: “Chief Prosecutor Marianne Ny has today decided to discontinue the preliminary investigation regarding suspected rape concerning Julian Assange.”
The 45-year-old has been holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since 2012 after taking refuge there to avoid extradition to the US to face trial over the leaking of hundreds of thousands of secret US military and diplomatic documents.
The accusation dates back to August 2010, when the alleged victim, who says she met him at a WikiLeaks conference in Stockholm a few days earlier, filed a complaint.
She accuses him of having sex with her as she slept without using a condom despite repeatedly having denied him unprotected sex.
in a 19-page testimony released in December 2016, he said: “I am entirely innocent.”
And the Wikileaks boss argued the sex was consensual and that the accusations are “politically motived”.
Last month his lawyer Per Samuelsson filed a new motion demanding that the arrest warrant be lifted after US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that arresting Assange would be “a priority”.
The statement said: “This implies that we can now demonstrate that the US has a will to take action… this is why we ask for the arrest warrant to be cancelled so that Julian Assange can fly to Ecuador and enjoy his political asylum.”
Shortly after the announcement was made today, Mr Assange tweeted a picture of himself smiling from ear to ear with no caption.
The announcement comes just two days after the US released former soldier Chelsea Manning, seven years into her 35 year sentence for disclosing top secret military documents to Mr Assange.
The massive haul of intel, believed to be the biggest breach of classified information in US military history, included around 700,000 documents, diplomatic cables, videos and battlefield accounts.
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