Assange claims victory after Sweden drops rape probe
LONDON: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange gave a clenched fist salute on Friday after Swedish prosecutors dropped a sevenyear rape allegation, but he insisted the “proper war” over his future was just beginning.
Assange stepped into the balcony of Ecuador’s embassy here, where he has been holed up since 2012, to celebrate, but said the road was “far from over”.
The 45-year-old Australian’s accuser was angered by the decision and Assange declined to say whether he would leave the embassy. British police could arrest him immediately for breaching earlier bail conditions if he left the building, while US authorities had warned they regarded WikiLeaks as a “hostile intelligence service”.
“Today is an important victory,” Assange, in a black shirt and jacket, told reporters and a small band of supporters crowded around the tiny balcony.
“But it by no means erases seven years of detention without charge. In prison, under house arrest and almost five years here in this embassy without sunlight.
“That is not something that I can forgive. It is not something that I can forget.” AFP