In May 2017 the Swedish authorities dropped the rape investigation against Julian Assange and rescinded the arrest warrant. However Julian Assange still remains at the Ecuadorian embassy, rather than leaving to freedom.

What is the reason behind this? Does the UK still threaten to arrest him if he leaves?

  • 1
    – user9389
    Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 19:38

1 Answer 1


In 2012, Mr Assange was arrested and bailed. He broke the conditions of his bail when he entered the Ecuadorian Embassy, and following this the Westminster Magistrate issued a warrant of arrest against him. Thus the police are obliged to arrest him if he leaves the embassy. The offence of breaching bail on conviction normally leads to a prison sentence, of up to one year.

If he was arrested, the USA would almost certainly immediately issue an extradition request, and given his previous actions, Mr Assange would not be bailed again.

And hence the standoff continues, but as the charge is no longer one of rape, but of breach of bail, there are far fewer resources being put in his apprehension.

This is analysed by the Guardian in May.

  • "If he was arrested, the USA would almost certainly immediately issue an extradition request" - Do you have any evidence for this? In particular, why didn't they do that in 2012? Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 13:12
  • Why are there suddenly so many Assange questions here? Has he been in the news recently? Assange was arrested on a swedish warrant, the USA didn't request extradition as Sweden had already made a request. American proceedings would therefore have to follow swedish ones.
    – James K
    Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 22:31

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