Swedish prosecutors will drop rape charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, but still has an outstanding warrant in the UK against him and may have to fend off U.S. charges that he released classified information.
Assange stepped out onto the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, his refuge from prosecution for the last five years, to tell reporters, “While today was an important victory and important vindication, the road is far from over,” the New York Times reported. “The war, the proper war, is just commencing.”
Swedish officials said the decision to ditch the investigation for the time being does not exonerate Assange.
“I can conclude, based on the evidence, that probable cause for this crime still exists,” Sweden's chief prosecutor, Marianne Nye, said at a press conference. Nye said prosecutors were unable to serve charges on Assange or compel him to appear in court as Swedish law commands in part because Ecuador would not cooperate.
If Assange's circumstances change, Sweden could reopen the investigation.
The WikiLeaks founder has been at the center of a firestorm surrounding interference in the U.S. presidential election, after releasing a steady stream of emails allegedly pilfered by Russian operatives from Hillary Clinton, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and other Democrat-affiliated entities.