Assange may stay at embassy, despite charges expiring

  • 13/08/2015
Julian Assange (AAP)
Julian Assange (AAP)

Julian Assange could soon be free to leave his exile at an embassy in London as three sexual assault allegations against him are set to expire.

The WikiLeaks co-founder took political asylum at the Ecuadorean embassy in June 2012.

Three charges will soon reach their five-year expiry date, and Swedish authorities are considering a deal with Assange over the remaining rape charge, which doesn't expire for another five years.

No charges have ever been officially laid against Assange, who says the accusations are politically motivated.

Assange's lawyer Thomas Olsson says he might choose to stay at the embassy anyway.

"The reason he is at the embassy is his concern over being extradited to the US and prosecuted there because of the very serious accusations the US made about WikiLeaks publications and because of personal threats made by people in public office," Olsson told Swedish television last week.

"So long as that threat remains - and it's a threat of global scope - he can't leave the embassy."

Chelsea Manning, formerly Bradley, was jailed for 35 years in 2013 in a military court for giving WikiLeaks classified military documents. She will be eligible for parole in 2021.

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