Prosecutors in Sweden have dropped rape charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, citing procedural issues and a court-ordered deadline.
Assange was accused of sexual misconduct by two women, after a trip to Sweden in 2010.
He maintained his innocence throughout the investigation, and the charges are why he has spent the last several years trapped in the Ecuadorian embassy in the UK.
Sweden is dropping its investigation into WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on rape allegations, according to a prosecution statement released Friday.
Assange, who has always denied wrongdoing, has been holed up at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012, in an effort to avoid a Swedish arrest warrant.
The Australian national has previously expressed concern that he could end up being extradited and facing the death penalty in the United States over allegations of revealing government secrets through his site, WikiLeaks.
Assange commented on the latest events from a balcony at the embassy, warning that he is not yet in the clear.
“While today was an important victory and important vindication,” he said, “the road is far from over.”
Indeed, Metropolitan Police in London announced that they would arrest Assange anyway if he were to leave the grounds of the embassy, citing a still-active warrant for failing to appear in court.
Additionally, the U.S. Justice Department has been mulling charges against Assange for the release of highly classified materials through WikiLeaks.
Recently, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the arrest of Assange was “a priority” as the Trump administration set out to stop intelligence leaks.
But the most interesting part of this story is what Assange had to add.
Assange issued a warning to those who had forced him into exile at the embassy.
Detained for 7 years without charge by while my children grew up and my name was slandered. I do not forgive or forget.
— Julian Assange (@JulianAssange) May 19, 2017
“It by no means erases seven years of detention without charge under house arrest and almost five years here in this embassy without sunlight,” Assange said. “Seven years without charge while my children grow up without me. That is not something I can forgive. It is not something I can forget.”
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