Sweden no longer plans to seek Assange's extradition, he hails victory

By Chris Peterson in London | | Updated: 2017-05-20 01:21

Sweden no longer plans to seek Assange's extradition, he hails victory

Julian Assange's cat sits at the window of Ecuador's embassy where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is taking refuge, in London, Britain, May 19, 2017.  [Photo/Agencies]

The UK Home Office (Interior Ministry) earlier this year estimated the cost of policing the embassy and monitoring Assange was in excess of one million pounds (1.3 million USD).

London’s police force issued a statement saying that the dropping of the European Arrest Warrant meant he was now wanted for the less serious offence of jumping bail, for which a magistrate in Westminster issued an arrest warrant, which is still valid.

The police statement said it would provide a level of resourcing "proportionate to the offence," adding that the Metropolitan Police service’s priority was arrested those wanted for serious violent or sex crimes.

Lawyers said one scenario was that Assange could appear before a standing magistrate, who could grant him immediate bail without sureties provided he agreed to leave the country.

"I would also like to thank my legal team, who have worked very hard for no money. The road is far from over, and the proper war is continuing."

He added that he could still be arrested by the UK police for jumping bail, and that the latest action by US officials was "unacceptable. We hope to have dialogue on the way ahead. I am always happy to engage in dialogue."

Assange, whose address by interrupted by an unidentified heckler shouting "What’s the truth?," spoke for 10 minutes before going back inside without answering any questions.

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