Rape inquiry dropped, WikiLeaks' Assange remains in embassy

Mr Assange believes he faces extradition to the United States for questioning over the activities of WikiLeaks if he leaves the embassy.

WikiLeaks also had a provocative role in the 2016 US presidential campaign when it published emails written by Hillary Clinton campaign officials.

The announcement by prosecutor Marianne Ny means the outspoken WikiLeaks leader no longer faces sex crime allegations in Sweden, although British police say he is still wanted for jumping bail in Britain in 2012.

Julian Assange has signalled he will remain inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London despite the Swedish authorities suddenly dropping a seven-year investigation against him.

Assange, 45, has been holed up in Ecuador's London embassy since 2012, trying to avoid extradition to Sweden.

However, according to the women, the sex started consensually but turned forceful, particularly when Assange allegedly tore or removed a condom without informing the women and continued penetration.

Assange had always denied the rape allegation against him, and his accuser said in a statement that she was "shocked" the investigation had ended - describing it as a "scandal".

Assange told reporters Friday he would be happy to discuss his case with the U.S. Department of Justice.

Sweden's top prosecutor, Marianne Ny, says she has withdrawn a European arrest warrant for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after concluding that it won't be possible to bring him to Sweden. She says: "We don't make any statement of guilty or not". "He is now free to leave the embassy when he wants".

British police said they would arrest Assange if he leaves the embassy on the relatively minor charge of jumping bail, but the more severe threat is a possible sealed USA indictment against him. "Focus now moves to United Kingdom". Julian Assange's case in Sweden began in August 2010, a month after he leaked more than 90,000 documents, when two former WikiLeaks volunteers said they had been assaulted by Assange during sexual encounters. Swedish prosecutors dropped cases of alleged sexual misconduct when the statute of limitations ran out in 2015, leaving only the rape allegation.

Assange's Swedish lawyer last month filed a new motion demanding that the arrest warrant be lifted after US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in April that arresting Assange would be "a priority". According to the women's' allegations, after they compared stories, found similarities and began police initiations, the news was leaked to the press and Julian began claiming it was an attempt by the USA government to smear his character.

Ny told a news conference in Stockholm: "He has tried to dodge all attempts to avoid Swedish and British legal authorities".

She said the case could be reopened if Assange returns to Sweden before the statute of limitations expires in 2020. Despite now being able to leave the embassy, his legal advisors say he won't be heading out anytime soon.

The 45-year-old could face trial in the U.S. over the leaking hundreds of thousands of secret USA military and diplomatic documents.

The MPS added "the situation has changed" but MPS stated that Assange is still wanted "for a much less serious offence".

Army Pvt. Chelsea Manning served seven years in prison for giving classified material to WikiLeaks.

British police kept up a round-the-clock guard outside the embassy until December 2015, when the operation was scaled back partly because of the costs, which had exceeded 11 million pounds (over $17.5 million at the time).

"The important distinction is that her sentence was commuted by then president Barack Obama".

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