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Judge upholds warrant against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

07 February, 2018, 01:14 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • Julian Assange

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange lost one legal bid to have a United Kingdom arrest warrant against him quashed on Tuesday but immediately launched another, to have the British authorities halt any action against him on public interest grounds.

Assange has been hiding in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for the last five years, having claimed asylum to evade extradition to face rape allegations in Sweden.

Mr Assange's lawyers went to court last month to argue the warrant served no goal because he was no longer wanted for questioning in Sweden in relation to alleged sex offences.

An Australian who has been granted Ecuadorian citizenship, Mr Assange is wanted in Britain for breaching his bail conditions when he entered the embassy, instead of handing himself in to be sent to Sweden.

Despite the fact that the Swedish case has been dropped, the British authorities consider that he breached his bail conditions.

London police responded to reports of a suspicious package at Ecuador's embassy in the city on Tuesday.




Summers said Assange had several serious health problems including depression, and argued that the five and a half years he has spent inside the embassy were more than adequate punishment for his actions.

Assange sought asylum in the embassy because he fears he will eventually be extradited to the U.S. and prosecuted over WikiLeaks' publication of thousands of secret military documents in 2010. "This is and has always been our overriding concern".

Tuesday's ruling prolongs a stalemate that has kept Assange as Ecuador's houseguest for 5? years. He has been holed up in the embassy as he faced separate charges.

"In order to proceed with the case, Julian Assange would have to be formally notified of the criminal suspicions against him".

"Assange had been released on bail in proceedings; he was under a duty to surrender to the custody of the court and he failed to surrender at the appointed time for him to do so".

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