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Sweden drops rape charges against Wikileaks founder

Head of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, received the news on Friday that the Swedish Government dropped its case against him and his arrest warrant was revoked.

He addressed a crowd of more than 100 journalists and curious bystanders from the balcony of the Embassy of Ecuador in London on Friday.

The news came down this morning about the Swedish Government dropping the rape investigation against Assange.

He's been at the Ecuadorian embassy since June of 2012.

The investigation began after two women came out accusing Assange of rape, however he stated that there had been mutual consent.

But the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) in the U.K. said Assange will still be arrested on a minor offence if he leaves the embassy.

<who> Photo Credit: J.Assange Twitter.

The MPS stated its position Friday morning:

"Westminster Magistrates' Court issued a warrant for the arrest of Julian Assange following him failing to surrender to the court on the 29 June 2012."

Since Swedish authorities have dropped its European Arrest Warrant (EAW), the MPS said it will "provide a level of resourcing which is proportionate to that offence."

The MPS stated it wouldn't comment any further on operational plans.

<who> Photo Credit: MPS Image Gallery

"The priority for the MPS must continue to be arresting those who are currently wanted in the Capital in connection with serious violent or sexual offences for the protection of Londoners."

From the embassy balcony, Assange talked about his two victories - his own charges dropped, and Chelsea Manning's early prison release date.

He declined to answer any questions about what's next for him, however he did say that Wikileaks will continue.

After staying at the embassy since 2012, Assange lamented about missing his children growing up.

Wikileaks staff are working to get the U.S. Government to drop charges against Assange.

Wikileaks was established in 2006, but didn't get significant public attention until Chelsea Manning turned to Wikileaks to release hundreds of thousands of classified and unclassified military documents.

Manning, a transgender woman and U.S. soldier, was convicted of espionage in 2013 and sentenced to 35 years in an all-male prison.

<who> Photo Credit: Tim Travers Hawkins </who> Chelsea Manning.

On May 9th, 2017, she was released from prison.


 
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