(File pix) This file photo taken on February 05, 2016 shows WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange looking out of a window at the Ecuadorian embassy in central London.Swedish prosecutors dropped a seven-year rape investigation into Julian Assange on May 19, 2017, a legal victory for the WikiLeaks founder who has been holed up in the Ecuadoran embassy in London since 2012. (AFP photo)

STOCKHOLM: Swedish prosecutors Friday dropped a seven-year rape investigation into Julian Assange, a legal victory for the WikiLeaks founder who has been holed up in the Ecuadoran embassy in London since 2012.

"Director of Public Prosecution, Marianne Ny, has today decided to discontinue the investigation regarding suspected rape by Julian Assange," the prosecutor's office said in a statement.

The 45-year-old Australian denies the 2010 allegations which he fears will see him extradited to the United States and tried over the leaking of hundreds of thousands of secret US military and diplomatic documents.

Assange was questioned in Nov in the presence of a Swedish prosecutor. He has repeatedly reiterated his innocence and said the sex was consensual.

Ny and Chief Prosecutor Ingrid Isgren are set to hold a press conference on the decision on Friday.

The investigation has suffered from endless procedural complications since it began in 2010.

The statute of limitations on the rape allegation was due to expire in August 2020. -- AFP

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