Sweden's top prosecutor says she is dropping an investigation into a rape claim against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after almost seven years. Neither party has printed more than a passing reference to Assange since 2012.
It added Assange was "in fact, voluntarily avoiding lawful arrest by choosing to remain in the Ecuadorean Embassy".
"The impression I have, and this may well be dispelled if and when Mr Assange finally appears in court, is that he is a man who wants to impose his terms on the course of justice, whether the course of justice is in this jurisdiction or in Sweden".
Assange was also criticized for being a drain on police resources during his self-imposed exile in the embassy.
Emily Butlin, 47, said the judge "spoke as a representative of the U.K. government, assisting government in their work instead of representing justice". He said that the charges were politically motivated, that he would not get a fair trial there, and that Sweden might turn him over to the United States. The publication of other emails it insisted would have "a definite and deep chilling effect" on relations with "Requesting States", that is the US, and "would inhibit the ability of the CPS to conduct extradition proceedings".
'The history of the case from start to finish is extraordinary.
In Assange's head, his legal team would go to court which would immediately squash the arrest warrant which was out on him for bail jumping.
Over 10 pages, Judge Arbuthnot dissected and dismissed each of the arguments put forward by Mr Assange's lawyers. She said that regardless of Swedish authorities' decision to close their investigation, Assange still breached his bail and has refused to face the consequences of his actions.
If the warrant stands, however, it's likely he won't be going anywhere. And these latest revelations are stoking suspicions that the government is keeping him detained for political reasons.
There is a demand in Swedish law for coercive measures to be proportionate.
At first it selectively published and edited cables released by WikiLeaks that exposed US war crimes and conspiracies, but it quickly turned on Assange, leading attempts to discredit him and demanding his return to Sweden. "He wants justice only when it's in his favor", The New York Times quoted Judge Emma Arbuthnot as saying.
Mr Assange's lawyers said his arrest for failing to answer bail was no longer in the public interest but the judge rejected that argument.
"He records his reasoning as such: 'The defence would without any doubt seek to turn the event to its own advantage'".
Assange took refuge in the embassy in 2012. Mr Assange is fortunately in relatively good physical health. Assange denies the charges.
A small group of supporters stood outside the court after the ruling, chanting "Free Assange" and holding banners reading "Assange Safe Passage".
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said last year that Assange's arrest was a "priority".
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