The Latest: UK police say Assange still faces arrest

The Latest: UK police say Assange still faces arrest

May 19th, 2017 by Associated Press in National International

A photographer stands outside of the Ecuadorian embassy in London, Friday May 19, 2017. Sweden's top prosecutor says she is dropping an investigation into a rape claim against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after almost seven years. 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. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

Photo by The Associated Press /Times Free Press.

LONDON (AP) - The Latest on Swedish prosecutor ending investigation of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange (all times local):

10:45 a.m.

Despite Sweden's decision to drop a rape investigation, British police say that Julian Assange still faces arrest if he leaves Ecuador's London embassy.

The Metropolitan Police force says that there is a British warrant for Assange's arrest after he juimped bail in 2012, and it "is obliged to execute that warrant should he leave the embassy."

But it adds that Assange is now wanted for a "much less serious offense" than the original sex crimes claims, and police "will provide a level of resourcing which is proportionate to that offense."

Police kept up round-the-clock guard outside the embassy until last year, when the operation was scaled back.

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10:30 a.m.

WikiLeaks says the ball is now in Britain's court after Sweden's decision to drop its rape investigation of Julian Assange.

Assange is wanted by British police for extradition to Sweden. But he also believes the United States wants to extradite him 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.

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10:20 a.m.

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 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.

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