In a statement on its website, the Swedish prosecution authority said that the “Director of Public Prosecution, Ms Marianne Ny, has today decided to discontinue the investigation regarding suspected rape (lesser degree) by Julian Assange”.
“With the consideration that all options of moving the investigation forward are now exhausted it appears that – in light of the views expressed by the Supreme Court (Högsta domstolen) on the proportionality of remanding someone in absentia – it is no longer proportional to maintain the decision to remand Julian Assange in his absence and maintain the European arrest warrant,” Ny wrote in her notification to Stockholm District Court.
“I have therefore today lifted the decision to remand Julian Assange in his absence,” she added.
Assange tweeted an image from his official Twitter account after the decision was announced:
The WikiLeaks founder’s lawyer filed a request at Stockholm District Court earlier in Mayasking for an end to the arrest warrant against his client, arguing it should be dropped now that the US has expressed a desire to charge the 45-year-old.
Assange had been remanded in custody by Sweden ‘in absentia’ over a 2010 rape allegation, and has been taking refuge inside Ecuador’s embassy in London since 2012 in order to escape the warrant, citing fears he may be extradited to the US to be tried over WikiLeaks’ publication of thousands of classified documents.
One of Assange’s lawyers, Melinda Taylor, indicated earlier on Friday that the preliminary investigation into him being closed or the lifting of the European arrest warrant would not necessarily mean the Australian would make a hasty exit for Ecuador.