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Sweden drops sexual assault probe against WikiLeaks founder, but his legal troubles aren’t over

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Criminal Justice

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Prosecutors in Sweden on Friday dropped a sexual assault investigation of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, but he still faces a warrant for his arrest in London and the possibility of an indictment in the United States.

Sweden’s director of public prosecutions, Marianne Ny, said charges were dropped because authorities need to formally notify Assange of the suspicions against him, the Guardian reports. “We cannot expect to receive assistance from Ecuador regarding this,” Ny said. “Therefore the investigation is discontinued.” The New York Times, the Washington Post and Bloomberg News also have stories.

Assange has been living in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since 2012. He took refuge there after a failed bid to avoid extradition to Sweden.

He also fears being extradited to the United States, where he is under investigation for leaking classified U.S. documents. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said arresting Assange is a priority, though he has not yet been charged.

President Donald Trump had proclaimed during the presidential campaign that he loved WikiLeaks for releasing Democratic National Committee emails. But when The Associated Press asked Trump in April whether he supported Assange, Trump answered that he doesn’t “support or unsupport.” Trump said he is not involved in any Justice Department decision on whether to arrest Assange, but “if Jeff Sessions wants to do it, it’s OK with me.”

Assange also faces a warrant for his arrest in London for breaking conditions of bail by failing to appear in court.


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