Sweden drops rape investigation into Wikileaks' Assange

Conor Coyle Sharecast | 19 May, 2017 12:32 - Updated: 13:32 | | |

assange

Sweden has dropped rape charges against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, potentially paving the way for his exit from the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Assange has been living in the embassy of the South American country since 2012, fearing extradition charges which could lead to his arrest in the US for espionage.

Swedish director of public prosecutions Marianne Ny filed the motion to the Stockholm District Court on Friday, but Assange still faces arrest in the UK for failing to turn up to court.

Metropolitan police in London said that they remain ready to arrest Assange should he leave the embassy.

Metropolitan police in London said that they remain ready to arrest Assange

"Now that the situation has changed and the Swedish authorities have discontinued their investigation into that matter, Mr Assange remains wanted for a much less serious offence. The MPS will provide a level of resourcing which is proportionate to that offence," the Met said in a statement.

Assange has denied the allegations of rape against him, which were made by two women in Sweden.

The Wikileaks founder's legal representatives have said that Assange will not leave the Ecuadorian embassy until he receives assurances that he will not be extradited to the US.

Wikileaks gained notoriety in 2010 when it began to release vast amounts of secret information belonging to the US government, including classified records on the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.

More news

17:45 FX round-up: Sterling lower on the crosses as UK data weighs

Sterling ended Tuesday lower on most key pairs in a UK market sombre all day after the deadly Manchester suicide bomb attack last night.

17:43 Europe close: Stocks end higher as euro slips

European stocks ended the day on a high note on the heels of a slate of positive economic data out of the single currency bloc.

17:34 London close: FTSE 100 limps to mildly lower close after Manchester terror attack

London stocks limped to a mildly lower close as a sombre UK came to terms with the deadly suicide bomb attack in Manchester last night.

17:12 Wednesday preview: Retail display as Marks, Dixons, Kingfisher all report

Wednesday will see three big UK retail groups reports results: Marks & Spencer, Dixons Carphone and B&Q owner Kingfisher; while the focus Stateside will be on GDP and meeting minutes from the Federal Reserve.

16:12 Strong US services growth balances softer industrials, PMI surveys show

US services activity grew faster than expected in May, though manufacturing output slowed on the previous month, according to a purchasing managers' index survey published on Tuesday.

15:11 More patents and shelf space for Ventura Life breath care brand

International consumer self-care group Venture Life announced on Tuesday that it had been granted patents in Japan, Indonesia, Australia and Mexico for its UltraDEX Sensitive range.

15:06 ThinkSmart nabs Gerald Grimes from Hitachi Capital

Retail point-of-sale lease finance provider ThinkSmart announced the appointment of Gerald Grimes as chief executive officer on Monday.

15:01 Shanta makes good progress at New Luika and Bauhinia Creek

East Africa-focussed gold producer, developer and explorer Shanta Gold announced on Tuesday that first stope ore had been produced from the New Luika Gold Mine underground operation.

14:54 FTSE 100 movers: EasyJet flies higher on RBC upgrade; M&S drops before results

London's FTSE 100 was up 0.2% to 7,508.08 in afternoon trade.

14:31 Suicide bomb attack in Manchester pop concert leaves 22 dead

A suicide bomber killed 22 people, including many children, and injured more than 50 others at the Manchester Arena on Monday night after an Ariana Grande concert.