Julian Assange
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange makes a speech from the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy, in central London, Feb. 5, 2016. Reuters/Peter Nicholls

Just an hour after Sweden's director of public prosecutions dropped rape investigation into Julian Assange on Friday, the Metropolitan police in London issued a statement confirming a separate warrant for the arrest of Assange still stands. The warrant was issued following his failure to surrender to the court on June 29, 2012.

"The Metropolitan Police Service is obliged to execute that warrant should he leave the Embassy," the statement read. "Whilst Mr Assange was wanted on a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) for an extremely serious offence, the MPS response reflected the serious nature of that crime. Now that the situation has changed and the Swedish authorities have discontinued their investigation into that matter, Mr Assange remains wanted for a much less serious offence. The MPS will provide a level of resourcing which is proportionate to that offence."

Assange has been living in the Ecuador embassy for nearly five years, protected by Ecuador's current leftist government from extradition to Sweden over the 2012 rape allegations.

The Wikileaks founder took to his Twitter account to post a celebratory photo. The 45-year-old, who denied the rape allegations against him, has been living in the embassy since 2012 for fear of being extradited to the U.S. if sent to Sweden. He could still face trial in the U.S. over the leaking of hundreds of thousands of secret U.S. military and diplomatic documents.

On Friday, Wikileaks tweeted the "focus now moves to the UK", saying the country had "refused to confirm or deny whether it has already received a US extradition warrant for Julian Assange."

A brief statement from Sweden by the prosecutor ahead of a press conference, set for later Friday, read: "Director of Public Prosecution, Ms. Marianne Ny, has today decided to discontinue the investigation regarding suspected rape (lesser degree) by Julian Assange."

Shortly after the announcement was made, Assange shared the celebratory photo on Twitter.

Kim Dotcom, the founder of now-defunct file hosting service Megaupload, also responded to the news of the rape investigation against Assange being dropped in Sweden.

Before the Metropolitan Police in London said Assange could be arrested if he leaves the Ecuador embassy, Melinda Taylor, one of Assange’s lawyers, told the Swedish news agency TT: “The first thing that needs to be done, presumably, is to secure guarantees from the British authorities that he will not be arrested on other grounds.”

Last month, U.S. attorney general, Jeff Sessions, said arresting Assange was a priority. During the presidential campaign last year, WikiLeaks came under criticism for distributing hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee. Assange acknowledged the release of the documents had been timed so it harmed the prospects of Hillary Clinton becoming president.