Swedish prosecutors investigating rape accusations against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange have dropped a Europe-wide arrest warrant against him.
Assange, 45, has been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012, after taking refuge there to avoid extradition to Sweden.
He fears Sweden would in turn hand him over to the US to face prosecution over the publication of thousands of classified military and diplomatic documents by WikiLeaks, in one of the largest information leaks in US history.
Assange's Swedish lawyer last month filed a new motion demanding that the arrest warrant be lifted after US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in April that arresting Assange would be "a priority".
The accusation against Assange dates from August 2010 when the alleged victim, who says she met him at a WikiLeaks conference in Stockholm a few days earlier, filed a complaint.
"I am entirely innocent," Assange wrote in a 19-page testimony released in December 2016. He argues that the sex was consensual and that the accusations are "politically motived".
In a letter sent to the Swedish government on May 8, Ecuador condemned "the obvious lack of progress" in the investigation despite Swedish officials questioning Assange at the embassy in November 2016.
"It is extremely worrying that six months after the hearing at the Embassy of Ecuador in the United Kingdom, the Swedish prosecutor's office has not yet decided on the judicial situation of Julian Assange," the Ecuadoran Foreign Ministry said in the letter.
Sources : aljazeera
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