SWEDEN WITHDRAWS ARREST WARRANT FOR JULIAN ASSANGE, BUT HE STILL FACES SERIOUS LEGAL JEOPARDY
Latest news from Julian Assange: Swedish prosecutors dropped an investigation of WikiLeaks founder on Friday over a rape allegation, but British police said he would still be arrested if he left the embassy of Ecuador in London where he has been holed up for five years.
According to Swedish Chief Prosecutor Marianne Ny, the rape investigation could not proceed due to legal obstacles.
“We are not making a statement about his guilt,” Ny said, adding that the investigation could be reopened if Assange came to Sweden before the statute of limitations deadline for the rape allegation in 2020.
Julian Assange already stated on his official twitter: “Detained for 7 years without charge by while my children grew up and my name was slandered. I do not forgive or forget”.
Julian Assange twitter:
Assange’s son, Daniel Assange, turned 28 this year.
FREE OF CHARGE, BUT NOT RELEASED
Assange, 45, took refuge in the embassy in June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden after two women made rape and sexual molestation allegations against him, which he denies.
“On 25 August, the Chief Prosecutor found that “The conduct alleged disclosed no crime at all and that file (K246314-10) would be closed“.A week later, I learned to my surprise that a different prosecutor by the name of “Marianne Ny” had reopened the preliminary investigation without any consultation or opportunity for me to be heard – after I had already been cleared and the case had been closed”- explained Julian Assange in his recently released statement “Why I won. My statement”
“Although the police initially opened an investigation into ‘rape’ in relation to woman AA, there was no allegation in her testimony that she had been raped. She expressed in her statement to the police that she consented to sex and subsequently tweeted on 22 April in 2013 “I have not been raped”. The press was immediately and unlawfully informed that there was a warrant for my arrest for what was reported asthe “rape of two” women. The prosecutor unlawfully, and without any subsequent explanation or remedy, immediately confirmed to the press that there was a live warrant for my arrest”,- so Assange.
Asked if she would support Britain extraditing Assange to the US, Ms May replied: “We look at extradition requests when we receive them on a case by case basis.
“And in relation to Julian Assange, any decision that is taken about UK action in relation to him were he to leave the Ecuadorian embassy would be an operational matter for the police.”
Metropolitan Police say the Westminster Magistrates’ Court issued a warrant for his arrest in 2012, and they’d be obliged to execute it if he leaves the embassy.
Appearing on the balcony of the embassy after the Swedish announcement, Julian Assange said he was ready to talk to Britain “about what is the best way forward” and with the U.S. Department of Justice, but also defended his right to stay put.
“The road is far from over. The war, the proper war is just commencing,” he told supporters and media after raising a clenched fist in a gesture of victory.
WANTED BY WASHINGTON
Manning was released on Wednesday after spending seven years in a U.S. military prison for passing the documents to WikiLeaks.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Friday it would be “an operational matter for the police” to decide whether to arrest Assange if he left the embassy.
Asked if she would support Britain extraditing Assange to the United States, she said: “We look at extradition requests when we receive them on a case-by-case basis.”
While Assange may still not be able to leave the embassy in the upmarket Knightsbridge area of London, the prosecutor’s decision to stop the investigation into allegations of rape brings to an end a seven-year stand-off with Sweden.
The Ecuadorean government welcomed the decision and in a statement called on Britain to grant Assange safe passage to Ecuador. Foreign Minister Guillaume Long said Assange was welcome to stay in the embassy if this was not granted.
“As long as we fear that this is a case of political persecution … as long as we fear for Mr. Assange’s integrity and human rights, we will continue with our policy of offering him asylum,” Long said in a telephone interview.
During last year’s U.S. presidential election campaign, WikiLeaks published emails of Hillary Clinton, her staff and the Democratic National Committee which some believe helped to lose her the election to Donald Trump. The Assange case has raised questions about the Swedish justice system, with a United Nations panel saying Assange had been subject to “arbitrary detention”.
“Shortly after prosecutor Marianne Ny had resurrected the “SW” allegation, the head of the Swedish military intelligence service (“MUST”) published an article ‘WikiLeaks is a threat to our soldiers‘. I became increasingly concerned about Sweden’s close relationship to the US government in military and intelligence matters. Through the diplomatic cables I also learned of secret, informal arrangements between Sweden and the United States. The US diplomatic cables revealed that the Swedish Justice Department had deliberately hidden particular intelligence information exchanges with the United States from the Parliament of Sweden because they believed the exchanges were likely unlawful”- comments Assange in his statement.
Prosecutors have been accused of vacillating, first dropping the preliminary investigation and then re-opening it and of dragging their heels over questioning Assange.
WHERE IS JULIAN ASSANGE NOW?
Julian Assange remains in the Ecuador embassy, London, waiting for further developments.
“You have subjected me to six years of unlawful, politicized detention without charge in prison, under house arrest and four and a half years at this embassy. You should have asked me this question six years ago. Your actions in refusing to take my statement for the last six years have been found to be unlawful by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and by the Swedish Court of Appeal. You have been found to have subjected me to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. You have denied me effective legal representation in this process. Despite this, I feel compelled to cooperate even though you are not safeguarding my rights. I refer you to my statement where all these questions were answered”,- Wikileaks founder stated.
Last Julian Assange Interview with his prosecutors happened in November last year in the Ecuadorean embassy. They were not allowed to question him directly but only through an Ecuadorean prosecutor.
Assange’s lawyer, Per Samuelson, hailed Sweden’s decision to drop the investigation as “a total victory for us”.