Sweden’s top prosecutor has dropped the charges faced by Julian Assange, ending the seven-year legal stand-off.
Mr Assange has sought refuge at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, since 2012.
Under EU law, Britain would have to surrender him back to Sweden to face the charges, however at the Ecuadorian embassy, he is protected from that.
Swedish Director of Prosecution Marianne Ny said in a statement there is no foreseeable way Assange will be surrendered to Sweden, so she has no choice but to drop the charges.
“According to Swedish legislation, a criminal investigation is to be conducted as quickly as possible,” she said.
“At the point when a prosecutor has exhausted the possibilities to continue the investigation, the prosecutor is obliged to discontinue the investigation.
“In order to proceed with the case, Julian Assange would have to be formally notified of the criminal suspicions against him.
“We cannot expect to receive assistance from Ecuador regarding this. Therefore the investigation is discontinued.”
Mr Assange was charged with two cases of suspected rape, after visiting Stockholm in 2010.
He allegedly had consensual sex with two women, which became non-consensual when he refused to wear a condom.
Mr Assange has always maintained he is “entirely innocent” throughout this case.
Despite these charges being dropped, he is not yet free to leave the embassy, as he is still wanted in Britain for skipping bail in 2012.
“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,” said the Metropolitan Police in a statement.
“The Metropolitan Police Service is obliged to execute that warrant should he leave the Embassy.
“Whilst Mr Assange was wanted on a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) for an extremely serious offence, the MPS response reflected the serious nature of that crime.
“Now that the situation has changed and the Swedish authorities have discontinued their investigation into that matter, Mr Assange remains wanted for a much less serious offence.”