‘I do not forgive or forget’: Assange speaks after Swedish prosecutors drop rape case

LONDON – WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has said he will not “forgive or forget” being “slandered” and “detained” for seven years without charge.

The 45-year-old WikiLeaks founder appeared on the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he had sought asylum in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden, and said Friday’s decision was “an important victory”.

“Detained for 7 years without charge while my children grew up and my name was slandered. I do not forgive or forget,” Assange tweeted shortly after Swedish prosecutors dropped rape allegations against him.

Swedish prosecutors announced that they would drop their preliminary investigation into a rape case against Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks after a seven-year legal standoff.

It was decided after prosecutors concluded, “at this point, all possibilities to conduct the investigation are exhausted”, Sweden’s director of public prosecutions, Marianne Ny, said in a statement, adding, “We cannot expect to receive assistance from Ecuador regarding this. Therefore the investigation is discontinued.”

“If he, at a later date, makes himself available, I will be able to decide to resume the investigation immediately.”

The WikiLeaks founder described end of rape allegations inquiry as ‘important victory’, but would still face arrest in London if he leaves embassy.

Assange, 45, has been a refugee at the Ecuadorian embassy in London for five years to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he has been accused since 2010 of having unprotected sex with a young girl in his sleep. Assange denies the claims.

In 2015, the Swedish authorities had dropped another allegation of sexual attack, made by a second Swedish woman against Assange after the statute of limitations expired.