Wikileaks founder and international political activist Julian Assange has seen rape charges against him dropped by police in Sweden.
The announcement ends a nearly seven-year ordeal that forced Assange to flee possible arrest and seek refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. He has been there ever since, coordinating Wikileaks’ efforts. Shortly after the announcement, Assange tweeted out the photo above, showing him smiling.
Though the Julian Assange rape charges have been dropped, his troubles are not fully resolved, however. Britain still wants him arrested for jumping bail, and the United States may still extradite him for leaking classified information that revealed U.S. clandestine efforts and exposed American undercover agents to foreign powers and terrorists.
President Trump has said that he will support and efforts by the Justice Department to have Assange extradited to face charges here.
Sweden’s top prosecutor said Friday she would drop the investigation into a rape claim against Julian Assange after almost seven years — but the controversial WikiLeaks founder isn’t a free man just yet.
Assange took refuge in Ecuador’s Embassy in London in 2012 to escape extradition to Sweden to answer questions about sex-crime accusations from two women. He has been there ever since, claiming officials could ultimately extradite him to the United States.
Friday’s announcement meant Assange no longer was under any investigation in Sweden. However, British police said Assange was still wanted in the U.K. for jumping bail — so he could still face arrest if he leaves the Ecuadorean Embassy.
“It is a scandal that a suspected rapist can avoid the judicial system and thus avoid a trial in court,” a lawyer for the woman who claimed Assange raped her responded. Elisabeth Massi Fritz said her client was shocked but “she can’t change her view that Assange has exposed her to a rape.”
Moments after the announcement, Assange’s Twitter account posted a photo of him smiling.
Sweden’s top prosecutor said “costs were not a reason for putting down the investigation.” Marianne Ny told a news conference: “When we investigate serious crimes, we do not consider the costs.”
Media reports in the U.S. said prosecutors were preparing or considering charges against the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, and Assange, for revealing sensitive government secrets.
The Washington Post reported last month that prosecutors were weighing charges against the organization’s members after the Obama-era Justice Department declined to do so.
Less than an hour ago, Assange tweeted the following statement: “Detained for 7 years without charge by while my children grew up and my name was slandered. I do not forgive or forget.”