Julian Assange hails "victory" as Sweden drops rape probe, still facing arrest

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/5/20 7:51:26

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange speaks to a crowd of reporters and supporters from the balcony of the Ecuadorean embassy in London, Britain, on May 19, 2017. Julian Assange said on Friday that Sweden's decision to drop a rape investigation against him is a "victory" and he is looking for dialogue with British and U.S. authorities over his future. (Xinhua/Han Yan)


 
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange said on Friday that Sweden's decision to drop a rape investigation against him is a "victory" and he is looking for dialogue with British and US authorities over his future.

Speaking to a crowd of reporters and supporters from the balcony of the Ecuadorean embassy in London, Assange said "today is an important victory" for him and for the UN human rights system, while noting that his battle is "far form over."

Sweden began a rape probe on Assange since 2010. He then chose to remain in the London embassy as he fears extradition to Sweden would lead to extradition to the United States, where he is wanted over the leaking of hundreds of thousands of secret military and diplomatic documents.

He said Friday that he will not forgive and forget the seven-year detention without charge and the five years in the embassy without sunlight.

"Seven years without charge while my children grew up without me. That is not something I can forgive," the 45-year-old said, calling what he suffered "terrible injustice."

He made a short appearance and did not take any questions.

Sweden's top prosecutor Marianne Ny said in a statement earlier Friday that she has decided to discontinue the investigation about sex-crime allegations against Assange from two women. Despite that, London police said they are still obliged to arrest Assange if he left the embassy, because he breached bail conditions by failing to hand himself in for extradition to Sweden.

Assange told his supporters his legal staff have contacted the British authorities, hoping for a dialogue over his future, and he would also be "happy to engage" in talks with the United States.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange speaks to a crowd of reporters and supporters from the balcony of the Ecuadorean embassy in London, Britain, on May 19, 2017. Julian Assange said on Friday that Sweden's decision to drop a rape investigation against him is a "victory" and he is looking for dialogue with British and U.S. authorities over his future. (Xinhua/Han Yan)


 

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange gestures on the balcony of the Ecuadorean embassy in London, Britain, on May 19, 2017. Julian Assange said on Friday that Sweden's decision to drop a rape investigation against him is a "victory" and he is looking for dialogue with British and U.S. authorities over his future. (Xinhua/Han Yan)


 

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