The Swedish prosecutor’s office said it has dropped the rape investigation against Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, because “we cannot expect cooperation from Ecuador” whose embassy in London Assange has lived in since 2012.
“We are not making any pronouncement about guilt,” Marianne Ny, the prosecutor said Friday in Stockholm, adding the arrest warrant against Assange, an Australian national, was being revoked.
“According to Swedish legislation, a criminal investigation is to be conducted as quickly as possible,” she said. “In order to proceed with the case, Julian Assange would have to be formally notified of the criminal suspicions against him. We cannot expect to receive assistance from Ecuador regarding this. Therefore the investigation is discontinued.” She said the investigation could be reopened if Assange traveled to Sweden before August 2020, when the statute of limitation on the case expires.
Assange’s attorney in Sweden, Per Samuelson, called the prosecutor’s decision a “total victory,” but it’s unclear if it’s a victory that will prompt Assange to leave the Ecuadorian Embassy, where he has lived for the past five years. London’s Metropolitan Police Service said it would be “obliged” to arrest him if he left the building because he had failed to surrender to a court in 2012. That failure carries a one-year prison term or a fine.