by Graham Pierrepoint
Julian Assange continues to be one of the most polarizing figures in modern culture. The face behind document-busting website WikiLeaks, the founder has been instrumental in exposing a number of private dossiers belonging to several world sources – and, in addition to this, he has been fighting against his own controversial case in the past few years. He had been accused of raping a woman in Stockholm, Sweden, seven years ago – but now, it appears that Swedish officials are no longer pursuing such charges. This, of course, begs the question – what next for Assange?
Assange is currently holed up in London’s Ecuadorian Embassy, where he has been living as an asylum seeker since 2012. The Wikileaks head had secured himself safety from extradition to Sweden since then, only having been given an effective green flag from authorities in Scandinavia in the past few days. Surely this means that Assange is clear to leave the Embassy after five long years – or does it?
Despite Sweden having relented on the rape charges, it’s been advised that he will be in breach of conditions of bail should he leave the Embassy at any time – at least, according to the London Metropolitan Police. Swedish authorities had ceased their pursuit into Assange as a result of all lines of potential pursuit having been exhausted – and while the decision has been declared an ‘important victory’ by Assange, it is thought that he remains concerned about the possibility of being extradited to the US over his Wikileaks activities – meaning that, at least for now, Ecuador may continue to foster the controversial figure in their London Embassy.
Assange, an Australian national, remains a polarizing figure in modern culture and is also highly-sought after for various reasons. He has found public support from a number of figures, notably singer Lady Gaga and actress Pamela Anderson, the latter whom is said to have grown close to the Wikileaks founder over the past few years. Where will the Assange story end? Will he eventually leave the Embassy in a blaze of glory, or will he be extradited beyond his control? Nothing is especially clear beyond the fact that Sweden no longer wishes to pursue him – but the UK, certainly, will seek to arrest him if he leaves his domicile – and his position with the US remains unclear. Five years in, and according to Assange himself, ‘the war has just begun’.