Swedish prosecutors said on Friday they would drop a preliminary investigation into an allegation of rape against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Friday, bringing to an end a 7-year legal stand-off.
The Swedish Prosecution Authority said in a statement Friday 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 United States.
With a legal cloud hanging over him, Mr. Assange, 45, an Australian, had refused to go to Sweden for fear of being extradited to the United States.
The decision does not mean that Mr. Assange is in the clear. The Justice Department in Washington was reconsidering last month whether to charge Mr. Assange for his role in the disclosure of highly classified information.
Assange seemed to reply to the news just after it broke, tweeting out a picture of himself smiling.
People's opinions though, varied
The Metropolitan Police in London said, however, that it was “obliged” to execute a European arrest warrant for an extremely serious offense for failing to surrender to a British court as demanded in June 2012.
“Now that the situation has changed and the Swedish authorities have discontinued their investigation into that matter, Mr. Assange remains wanted for a much less serious offense,” the police said in a statement.
WikiLeaks has generated global controversy by publishing confidential and damaging information from the United States and other countries.