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Sweden drops rape investigation of WikiLeaks' Julian Assange

Early Friday, Sweden's director of public prosecutions, Marianne Ny, said she is dropping the rape investigation into Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder who has been holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012 to avoid extradition. "Chief Prosecutor Marianne Ny has today decided to shut down the preliminary investigation regarding suspected rape involving Julian Assange," her office said in a statement.

Scotland Yard said in a statement that Assange is still subject to a British warrant for failing to surrender in 2012, and "the Metropolitan Police Service is obliged to execute that warrant should he leave the embassy." But since Sweden has dropped its charges, the Metropolitan Police "will provide a level of resourcing which is proportionate" to the "much less serious offense" Assange is accused of. The U.S. Justice Department is also weighing pressing charges against Assange over the leaking of thousands of secret and classified military and diplomatic documents in 2010.

This is breaking news, and the article has been updated throughout.