WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been cleared of rape following after a ruling by the Swedish Prosecution Authority.
The rape charges have been formally dropped by the chief prosecutor Eva Finne, however, charges of molesting another woman remain intact, news agency the Associated Press reported on Wednesday.
According to a spokesman for the Swedish Prosecution Authority, molestation is not a sex crime under Swedish law, but covers a range of offences, including reckless behaviour or inappropriate physical conduct with another adult. Conviction can result in fine or up to one year in prison.
Assange had continually protested his innocence, and, whilst speaking to a Swedish newspaper, said that he fully expected a smear campaign to be launched against him following the publication of the 'Afghan War Diaries'.
Tech news site THINQ reports that Assange's lawyer Leif Silbersky hit out at prosecutors for exposing his clients name to the press.
He said: "He has been cast as a rapist, labelled as a rapist and the international press have described him as a suspected rapist and now he has ended up in a situation where they have dispelled the sexual parts and what remains is molestation."