WikiLeaks founder no longer facing rape investigation

TOPSHOT - WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange addresses the media holding a printed report of the judgement of the UN's Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on his case from the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in central London on February 5, 2016. During a press conference on February 5 Julian Assange, speaking via video-link, called for Britain and Sweden to "implement" a UN panel finding saying that he should be able to walk free from Ecuador's embassy, where he has lived in self-imposed confinement since 2012. / AFP / NIKLAS HALLE'N (Photo credit should read NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP/Getty Images)

Sweden’s top prosecutor says she is dropping an investigation into a rape claim against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after almost seven years.

The Swedish Prosecution Authority said in a statement Friday that Marianne Ny “has decided to discontinue the investigation.”

Assange took refuge in Ecuador’s embassy in London in 2012 to escape extradition to Sweden, where prosecutors wanted him to answer questions about sex-crime allegations from two women. He has been in the Ecuadorian embassy ever since, fearing that if he is arrested he might ultimately be extradited to the United States to face charges related to WikiLeaks’ publication of classified American documents.

After the Swedish announcement, WikiLeaks tweeted: “UK refuses to confirm or deny whether it has already received a US extradition warrant for Julian Assange. Focus now moves to UK.”

British police said before the announcement that Assange is still wanted in Britain for jumping bail. It is not clear if that may change now that the investigation has been dropped.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.