Most charges dropped against Julian Assange

Most charges dropped against Julian Assange

Swedish authorities have decided to drop the majority of allegations against WikiLeaks founder Julian AssangeJulian Paul AssangeGlenn Greenwald calls charges against Assange a threat to journalistic freedoms Hillicon Valley: Justice Department announces superseding indictment against WikiLeaks' Assange | Facebook ad boycott gains momentum | FBI sees spike in coronavirus-related cyber threats | Boston city government bans facial recognition technology Justice Department announces superseding indictment against Wikileaks' Assange MORE, though they will continue with a probe into 2010 rape claims.

Prosecutors are dropping the three other lines of inquiry — which relate to sexual molestation and unlawful coercion — after nearly five years of inactivity.


Still, Assange will remain in Ecuador’s embassy in London, where he has been sequestered for more than three years to avoid extradition.

“Julian Assange, on his own accord, has evaded prosecution by seeking refuge in the Embassy of Ecuador,” Marianne Ny, the Swedish director of public prosecution, said in a statement. “As the statute of limitation has run on some of the crimes, I am compelled to discontinue the investigation with respect to these crimes.”

The investigation into the suspected rape claims against Assange has five years left to run.

Assange has denied the charges, and claimed that if he were to leave the embassy grounds he would be immediately arrested and extradited to the U.S., to face charges over his massive leaks of secret documents.

“I am an innocent man,” Assange said in a statement.

The prosecutor’s behavior throughout the course of the years-long ordeal, he added, “is beyond incompetence."

Though Assange has been granted asylum by Ecuador, he has no physical way of getting to the South American country without risking arrest. As such, he has remained holed up in the London embassy — surrounded by British police who are constantly keeping watch for signs of escape — since June of 2012.

Originally, prosecutors demanded that Assange travel to Sweden for questioning in the probes, but have recently changed course and been willing to interview him in London.

A request to interview him on the grounds of the Ecuadorian embassy was submitted in June, the prosecutor said, but has yet to be granted.

“I still hope, however, that I will be able to arrange for an interview, as there are ongoing negotiations between Sweden and Ecuador,” said Ny.