World Bulletin / News Desk
Swedish prosecutors on Friday dropped a rape investigation into Wikileaks founder Julian Assange after a seven-year standoff.
The Swedish Prosecution Authority said in a statement that top prosecutor Marianne Ny "has decided to discontinue the investigation".
Following the announcement, London police issued a statement saying Assange was facing arrest if he left the Ecuadorian embassy, where he took refuge in June 2012 after U.K. authorities granted a Swedish request to extradite him.
"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.
"The Metropolitan Police Service is obliged to execute that warrant should he leave the embassy," the statement said.
It added that while Assange was wanted on a European Arrest Warrant 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. The MPS will provide a level of resourcing which is proportionate to that offence," it said.
Assange's taking refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy provoked a stalemate, with diplomatic rules preventing British police from entering the building and Assange unable to leave without facing arrest.
The United Nations' International Labour Organization rarely creates this type of probe, known as a Commission of Inquiry. The last case was launched against Zimbabwe in 2008.
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