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19 May, 2017 13:16

‘I do not forgive or forget’: Assange responds after Swedish prosecutors drop rape case

‘I do not forgive or forget’: Assange responds after Swedish prosecutors drop rape case

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says he will not “forgive or forget” being “slandered” and “detained” for seven years without charge.

“Detained for 7 years without charge while my children grew up and my name was slandered. I do not forgive or forget,” Assange tweeted.

Assange is due to give a public statement shortly after rape allegations against him were dropped by Swedish prosecutors on Friday.

Swedish prosecutors said as “all options of moving the investigation forward are now exhausted” and “in light of the views expressed by the [Swedish] Supreme Court on the proportionality of remanding someone in absentia” it was no longer “proportional” to maintain Assange’s arrest warrant.

Sweden’s director of public prosecution, Marianne Ny, said: “I don’t want to assign blame and responsibility to any particular person for this. I must note however that the reason for this [investigation ending] is that Julian Assange has kept himself away from us for so long.”

Assange’s lawyer Per Samuelsson said his client was now considering suing Sweden.

“It’s not about money but redress,” Samuelson told news agency TT.

He added that Assange would eventually try to move to Ecuador.
Assange sought political asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in 2012 and has been living there since, fearing the Swedish investigation would result in him being extradited to the US over leaked military documents and diplomatic cables.

Assange, 45, has always denied the rape allegations made against him.

It remains unclear how Friday’s development will affect Assange’s risk of being extradited to the US if he leaves the embassy and is arrested. The Metropolitan Police in London say they will still arrest Assange over a lesser charge of skipping bail in 2012 when he sought asylum.

Prime Minister Theresa May said any decision about Assange’s arrest or otherwise is an “operational matter” for police.