Swedish prosecutors have dropped the investigation of three of the four sex crimes accusations faced by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Due to Sweden's statute of limitations, prosecutors announced that they are dropping investigations into allegations of sexual molestation and coercion made in 2010.

A fourth allegation, relating to rape, still stands, and Swedish prosecutors have until 2020 to investigate the claim.

Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2013, after fleeing extradition to Sweden. The activist and journalist denies all of the allegations, and claims they are politically motivated.

He says that if he travels to Sweden, he could then be extradited to the US, where he could face charges over WikiLeaks' release of thousands of confidential diplomatic cables in 2012.

It is estimated that the cost to British taxpayers of policing the embassy to arrest Assange if he steps foot outside amounts to £10 million.

Chelsea Manning, formerly US Army private Bradley Manning, was sentenced to 35 years behind bars after being found guilty of passing the 750,000 diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks.