After 40 months, UK police call off their 24-hour surveillance of the Ecuadorian embassy. The cost of the operation is over $17 million. Police:
[It is] no longer proportionate to commit officers to a permanent presence…The MPS will not discuss what form its continuing operation will take or the resourcing implications surrounding it. Whilst no tactics guarantee success in the event of Julian Assange leaving the embassy, the MPS will deploy a number of overt and covert tactics to arrest him.
My interpretation is that it has not been lifted. They are calling off the uniformed presence but escalating the covert operation and will arrest him if he steps out off the embassy.
Swedish prosecutors will drop their investigation into sexual assault allegations against Assange because of the statutes of limitation on that charge have expired due to investigators not being able to interview Assange. Prosecutors had until 13 August to question Assange about one accusation of sexual molestation and one of unlawful coercion, while the time limit on a further allegation of sexual molestation runs out on 18 August. The more serious allegation of rape is not due to expire until 2020. Assange’s lawyers:
Our position is that the investigation should have been shut down earlier because there wasn’t enough evidence to keep it going. It’s regrettable that it’s gone on for this long. We are convinced that as soon as he has the opportunity to give his version of the circumstances [of the alleged rape], there’ll be no need to continue the investigation.