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Sweden drops rape probe against Assange, UK to arrest him if he exits embassy

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, holed up inside the Ecuadoran embassy in London since 2012, feared Sweden would extradite him to the US to face trial for leaking secret military and diplomatic documents.

world Updated: May 19, 2017 20:58 IST
Agencies
Agencies
Stockholm
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange,Chief prosecutor Marianne Ny,Sweden
File photo of Julian Assange on the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in London.(AFP)

Sweden’s top prosecutor said on Friday she is dropping an investigation into a rape claim against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after almost seven years.

The Swedish Prosecution Authority said in a statement that Marianne Ny “has decided to discontinue the investigation.”

Assange took refuge in Ecuador’s embassy in London in 2012 to escape extradition to Sweden to answer questions about sex-crime allegations from two women. He has been there ever since, fearing that if he is arrested he might ultimately be extradited to the US. Last month, President Donald Trump said he would support any decision by the justice department to charge Assange.

First Published: May 19, 2017 14:49 IST