Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks and a prominent anti-government-secrecy activist, won a partial victory in his ongoing legal drama Thursday when the statute of limitations on two allegations against him expired in Sweden. A third allegation will expire next week.
Assange, who is Australian, lived in the U.K. when two Stockholm women accused him of sexual assault and rape in August 2010. He fought his extradition in British courts until June 2012, when he fled to the Ecuadorean embassy in London after losing his final appeals. That’s where he still lives, meeting with visitors and communicating with the outside world through the Internet.
But Assange’s legal saga remains far from over: The most serious charge of rape does not expire until August 2020. And even if that allegation is dropped, British police could still arrest him for violating the terms of his bail agreement when he sought asylum at the embassy. The New York Times reported that between June 2012 and April 2015, the British government spent $14 million on a 24-hour police presence at the embassy in case Assange leaves.
Assange faced four allegations in Sweden in 2010, of which three had five-year statutes of limitations. According to The Guardian, one allegation of sexual molestation and an allegation of unlawful coercion expire Thursday; the other sexual molestation allegation expires August 18.