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    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange holds up his new kitten at the Ecuadorian Embassy in central London, Britain, in this undated photograph released to Reuters on May 9, 2016

    Sweden's Decision to Drop Assange Case to Have No Influence on UK Probe

    © REUTERS / Courtesy of WikiLeaks
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    The decision of the Swedish authorities to drop charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has nothing to do with UK probe, the UK Home Office said Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, Swedish prosecutors confirmed that rape charges against Assange had been dropped following a seven-year investigation, but the UK police said it would still have to arrest Assange if he stepped out of the embassy.

    "[The decision to drop the investigation is] a matter for the Swedish authorities and not one which the UK government has had any involvement in," the Home Office was quoted as saying by The Guardian newspaper.

    According to the Home Office, the United Kingdom was legally obliged to arrest Assange under the European Arrest Warrant (EAW), upheld by the UK courts.

    In 2010, Sweden began its investigation into rape allegedly committed by Assange. Since being granted political asylum by Ecuador in 2012, Assange has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

    Assange did not want to submit to questioning in Sweden for fear that he might be extradited to the United States over his whistleblowing organization's exposure of classified documents that shed light on activities of the US government.

    investigation, Ecuadorian Embassy, UK Home Office, Julian Assange, United Kingdom, Sweden
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