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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says "the war is just commencing" after Swedish prosecutors drop rape case

Mirror logo Mirror 19/05/2017 Patrick Lion
Credits: PA © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: PA

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has claimed an "important victory" as he spoke outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London hours after Sweden dropped the rape case against him.

Raising a clenched fist to supporters outside his makeshift home for the past five years, the Australian claimed the "war is just commencing".

"Today is an important victory for me and for the UN human rights system but it by no means erases... seven years without charge while my children grew up without me.

"That is not something I can forgive. It is not something I can forget."

His comments this afternoon come after he today posted a picture of himself on social media with a beaming smile after Swedish prosecutors dropped the rape case against him.

The decision by Sweden's Director of Public Prosecution brings to an end a seven-year legal stand-off which saw Assange holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy.

Assange, 45, took refuge there in mid 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden over the allegation - which he always denied.

Credits: AFP © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: AFP In a statement released today prosecutors said: "Chief Prosecutor Marianne Ny has today decided to discontinue the preliminary investigation regarding suspected rape concerning Julian Assange."

The Australian has refused to travel to Sweden, saying he fears further extradition to the US over WikiLeaks' release of 500,000 secret military files on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Credits: Twitter / Julian Assange © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Twitter / Julian Assange

The move comes ahead of a Stockholm court examining a demand from Assange's lawyers that they drop his European arrest warrant.

Shortly after the announcement, Assange posted a pictures of himself smiling to his Twitter account.

His lawyer revealed he will seek asylum in France.

Met Police then released a statement saying that Assange is still wanted for the lesser charge of failing to turn in court.

However this is not thought to mean police will be waiting for Assange should he leave the embassy.

The Met said: "Mr Assange remains wanted for a much less serious offence. The MPS will provide a level of resourcing which is proportionate to that offence."

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange pictured smiling as he's set to be a 'free man' after prosecutors drop rape probe


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