Swedish prosecutor drops rape investigation of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

FILE - In this Feb. 5, 2016, file photo, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange stands on the balcony of the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. WikiLeaks’ global crusade to expose government secrets is causing collateral damage to the privacy of hundreds of innocent people, including survivors of sexual abuse, sick children and the mentally ill, The Associated Press has found. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Sweden’s top prosecutor says she is dropping an investigation into a rape claim against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after almost seven years.

The Swedish Prosecution Authority said in a statement Friday that Marianne Ny “has decided to discontinue the investigation.”

Assange took refuge in Ecuador’s embassy in London in 2012 to escape extradition to Sweden to answer questions about sex-crime allegations from two women. He has been there ever since, fearing that if he is arrested he might ultimately be extradited to the United States.

Friday’s announcement means Assange is no longer under any investigation in Sweden. British police said before the announcement that Assange is still wanted in Britain for jumping bail. It is not clear if that may change now that the investigation has been dropped.

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