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WikiLeaks co-founder Assange ‘happy to engage with US Justice Department’ (VIDEO)

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has given a public statement after rape allegations made against him were dropped by Swedish prosecutors on Friday.

Assange sought political asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in 2012 and has been living there since, fearing subsequent extradition to America.

“Today is an important victory for me, and for the UN human rights system. But it by no means erases seven years of detention without charge – in prison, under house arrest, and almost five years here in this embassy without sunlight," he told press outside the embassy. 

“Seven years without charge, while my children grew up without me. That is not something that I can forgive, it is not something that I can forget.

“The inevitable inquiry into what has occurred in this moment of terrible injustice is something that I hope will be more than just about me, and this situation, because the reality is, detention and extradition without charge has become a feature of the EU.

“A feature which has been exploited, yes, in my case, for political reasons, but for other cases have subjected many people to terrible injustices.”

Assange says that while “today was an important victory, an important vindication,” the “war is far from over.”

He says that while the UK has said it will arrest him, and the US has said he and other WikiLeaks staff have no rights and that his arrest is a priority, “WikiLeaks will continue publication.”

Assange added that he is happy to engage with the US Justice Department.

“While US has made extremely threatening remarks, always happy to engage in dialogue over what has occurred.”

He added: “My staff, my legal staff, have contacted the UK authorities and we hope to engage in a dialogue about what is the best way forward.”

“To some extent the UK has been exploited by the process it entered into with the EU, where it agreed to extradite people without charge.

“That is to an extend a forced position the UK has been put into. And, the first part of that is over. The UK refuses to confirm or deny at this stage whether a US extradition warrant is in the UK territory.”

Assange thanked “Ecuador, its people and its asylum system. They have stood by my asylum in the face of intense pressure.”

Assange also addressed the release of Channing Manning.

“We have had an even more important victory this week [and] that is the release of Chelsea Manning after seven years in military prison.”