British Judge Upholds Arrest Warrant for Julian Assange

07 February, 2018, 01:20 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Wikileaks founder Julian Assange

His lawyers have now made an application at Westminster Magistrates' Court last for the United Kingdom warrant to be withdrawn, saying it had "lost its objective and its function".

The outstanding warrant stands from 2012, which is in connections with the Swedish investigation, even through it was closed down a year ago.

"I am not persuaded that the warrant should be withdrawn", Arbuthnot, the chief magistrate of England and Wales, said during the hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court.

Judge Arbuthnot rejected a legal argument to have the arrest warrant against him quashed on the basis that with the Swedish case dropped there was no longer any justification for it.

Should his appeal succeed, the Australian could walk free from the Ecuadorian embassy in London for the first time in nearly six years, the Crown Prosecution Service has confirmed.

Assange has been holed up in the embassy since he took refuge there in June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden.

Extradition lawyer Edward Grange said of Tuesday's ruling: "Today's decision results in a continuation of the impasse".


The judge suggested that Assange could address the British warrant but that he had to first surrender and appear in court.

Mr Assange promoted and defended the video, as well as a massive release of classified U.S. military documents relating to the Afghan and Iraq wars in July and October 2010.

A British judge will rule on February 13 whether WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange can have his arrest warrant, for breaching bail conditions, lifted on "public interest grounds".

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

But even if Assange wins, he might decide to remain in the embassy because of fears over a possible secret US indictment against him.

Earlier this month, Ecuador granted citizenship to Assange after officials decided his living situation was unsustainable.

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