Published: Wed, February 07, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

British Judge Upholds Arrest Warrant Against WikiLeaks Founder Assange

British Judge Upholds Arrest Warrant Against WikiLeaks Founder Assange

The ruling at Westminster Magistrates' Court is a "blow to his fresh bid for freedom", The Daily Telegraph says.

The WikiLeaks founder believed this was part of a wider plan to get him sent to the United States to face prosecution for leaking classified documents. Although Swedish prosecutors have since dropped the case, British law enforcement officials stand ready to arrest the 46-year-old Australian for breaking his 2012 bail conditions.

Assange remains concerned that he faces a secret United States indictment on charges related to WikiLeaks' disclosure of leaked classified U.S. documents. The publication of the classified military and diplomatic documents ranks as one of the biggest information leaks in American history.

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

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Julian Assange's lawyer Jennifer Robinson speaks outside court on Tuesday.

Last year, Sweden dropped its investigation into rape allegations against Assange because it was unable to get access to him. Though that case eventually timed out in May past year, the unwelcome guest has stayed put because he fears being arrested by British police and handed over to the Americans, who want to prosecute him over his WikiLeaks website.

"We only lost the first of four points".

Arbuthnot said normally such issues would only be considered if somebody were brought to court to explain their failure to surrender to bail. "And that is when Mr. Assange will be able to place that before the court", the judge said.

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Lawyers representing Assange argued the warrant should be scrapped because he is no longer wanted for questioning in Sweden.

The British government has already refused a request for Mr Assange to be bestowed diplomatic status granting immunity should he try to leave the building. We can not expect to receive assistance from Ecuador regarding this.

That is because he fears that with the Swedish issue out of the way, the United States will unseal charges against him and that the British authorities would arrest him under a USA extradition warrant.

But no, that did not mean freedom for Assange.

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