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Sweden Drops Julian Assange Investigation But Still May Face Arrest In The UK

Sweden Drops Julian Assange Investigation But Still May Face Arrest In The UK

Sweden Drops Julian Assange Investigation But Still May Face Arrest In The UK

Swedish prosecutors dropped an investigation of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange over a rape allegation but British police said he could still be arrested if he left the Ecuadorean embassy in London where he has been holed up for five years. 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.

He feared Sweden would hand him over to the United States to face prosecution over WikiLeaks’ publication of swathes of classified military and diplomatic documents in one of the largest information leaks in U.S. history. Assange tweeted that he would not forgive those behind the investigation: “Detained for 7 years without charge while my children grew up and my name was slandered. I do not forgive or forget.”

Earlier Swedish Chief Prosecutor Marianne Ny said the rape investigation could not proceed because of 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. While Assange may still not be able to leave Ecuador’s 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.

However, police in London said they were still obliged to arrest Assange if he left the embassy for skipping bail. They said this was a much less serious offense than rape, but he could still face up to a year in jail if convicted. 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.” Assange is a cyber hero to some for exposing government abuses of power and championing free speech, but to others he is a criminal who has undermined the security of the West. The former computer hacker enraged Washington by publishing hundreds of thousands of secret U.S. diplomatic cables that laid bare often highly critical U.S. appraisals of world leaders from Russian President Vladimir Putin to the Saudi royal family. He always denied the rape allegations in Sweden and said they were a ploy to get him whisked off to the United States. In January, Assange said he stood by an offer to go to the United States providing his rights were upheld and if former military intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, who was responsible for a 2010 leak of classified materials to Assange’s anti-secrecy group, were freed. Manning was released on Wednesday after spending seven years in a U.S. military prison for passing the documents to WikiLeaks. During last year’s U.S. presidential election campaign, WikiLeaks published emails from Hillary Clinton’s staff and the Democratic National Committee which some believe helped to lose her the election. The mails were allegedly stolen by Russian hackers.

Will Julian Assange Ever Be Totally Free?

Susan Z’s Conclusion:

No, not until he does some jail time or makes an under the table deal with the U.S. This will not go away for him unless he comes up with something he can bargain with.

Ten of Cups: This card is emotional dreams coming true. I feel that Assange got exactly what he wanted…an exposure of questionable activity within the government. But as they say, “be careful what you ask for” as he made much bigger enemies than he counted on and also was under the naïve assumption he would not be caught.

Seven of Swords: Inverted (Upside Down)
This card is avoiding an issue and running away from a responsibility. Since the card was drawn inverted, I believe in the very near future, Assange’s limited freedom may also somehow disappear.

Five of Pentacles:
This card is of low self-esteem, poverty mentality and sometimes health issues. Even though Assange took the attitude of exposing wrongs, he now feels humiliated being held in a prison of his own making.


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