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Sweden drops Julian Assange rape investigation

Won't leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London, says Assange

Jeremy Hodges & Niclas Rolander  |  London/Stockholm 

Julian Assange
Julian Assange

founder hailed a Swedish decision to drop a probe against him, but said he won't leave the in London where he has sought refuge for the past five years as long as he remains a target in the and UK.

Assange, appearing on a balcony at the embassy, said British police continued to seek his arrest for jumping bail in the Swedish probe, and American authorities are targeting him for extradition because of his organisation's leaks of classified documents.

"While today was an important victory and an important vindication, the war is far from over," Assange, 45, told the crowd. "The war, the proper war, is just beginning."

Assange and have become famous over the past decade for disclosing confidential documents about the government and Last year, injected itself into the middle of the presidential race by publishing hacked emails from Hillary Clinton's campaign.

Assange made the appearance Friday after Swedish prosecutors dropped the seven-year-old case, saying that his steps to evade questioning have made it impossible to pursue the probe.

"It is unfortunate that we haven't been able to conduct this investigation the way we would have wanted," Swedish Prosecutor Marianne Ny said at a press conference in Stockholm earlier Friday. "We have used the means at our disposal to advance the investigation with satisfactory quality and we have to face the fact that this is where we stand."

Assange sought refuge in the in June 2012, after exhausting options in UK courts to avoid extradition over the allegations stemming from a 2010 trip to Sweden. He has refused to return to the Scandinavian country, citing risks he will be extradited to the

"Detained for 7 years without charge while my children grew up and my name was slandered," Assange said on his Twitter account. "I do not forgive or forget."

London's Metropolitan Police said the prosecutor's decision left Assange wanted for a "much less serious offense" and the police "will provide a level of resourcing which is proportionate to that offense."


Where Assange will go if he leaves the embassy is another question. He will likely be arrested by London police for jumping bail, which carries a sentence of up to a year, but his lawyers around the globe are already planning his next step. Ecuador's foreign minister, Guillaume Long, said that the UK should grant "safe passage" to Assange. "We fear it's not just about the charges in Sweden, but something more, a case of political persecution," Long said.