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Julian Assange is still a wanted man although Swedish prosecutors dropped rape probe

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UPDATE 6:44 A.M.: Assange posted this picture on Twitter shortly after the announcement.

Not long after Sweden’s top prosecutor said Friday she is dropping an investigation into a rape claim against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after almost seven years, UK authorities said it's keeping its warrant for Assange.

The Swedish Prosecution Authority said in a statement that Marianne Ny "has decided to discontinue the investigation." The 45-year-old Australian computer hacker was wanted in Sweden for questioning over a rape allegation stemming from a 2010 visit.

WikiLeaks tweeted after the Swedish announcement: "Focus now moves to UK."

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said Friday that despite Sweden's European arrest warrant for the WikiLeaks founder being lifted, he was under a separate warrant for skipping bail.

"Westminster Magistrates' Court issued a warrant for the arrest of Julian Assange following him failing to surrender to the court on the 29 June 2012," a statement said.

So, the UK could arrest Assange regardless.

"UK states it will arrest Assange regardless," wikileaks tweeted Friday morning.

BACKGROUND

Assange took refuge in Ecuador’s embassy in London in 2012 to escape extradition to Sweden to answer questions about sex-crime allegations from two women.

He has been there ever since, fearing that if he is arrested he might ultimately be extradited to the United States. Last month, President Donald Trump said he would support any decision by the Justice Department to charge Assange.

Friday’s announcement means Assange is no longer under any investigation in Sweden.


--The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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