February 25, 2018

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange loses bid to have United Kingdom arrest warrant dropped

07 February 2018, 12:44 | Darnell Patrick

Lawyers Say Assange Warrant is Worthless, Court to Decide

Court to Make Decision on Validity of UK Arrest Warrant Against Julian Assange

Judge Emma Arbuthnot said she would give her decision on February 13.

However, the United Kingdom refused to recognize him as having diplomatic status, which would have given him legal immunity and allowed him to leave the embassy.

The related European arrest warrant was also cancelled.

UK Judge Emma Arbuthnot ruled that the argument for discarding the warrant wan't persuasive enough.

Tuesday's ruling prolongs a stalemate that has kept Assange as Ecuador's houseguest for 5 ½ years.

That investigation was dropped a year ago after the prosecutor said leads had been exhausted.

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.

The Wikileaks founder faces arrest for violating bail.

WikiLeaks has published thousands of classified military documents and diplomatic cables from the American government.

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"The Metropolitan police will continue to be obliged to arrest Assange should he set foot outside the Embassy".

A United Nations tribunal had ruled that Assange's situation amounted to arbitrary, unreasonable, unnecessary and disproportionate detention.

Assange has strained the patience of his hosts during his long stay.

Sweden dropped its investigation a year ago, but British police are still seeking to arrest Assange for failing to surrender to a court after violating his bail terms during his unsuccessful battle against extradition.

"His health issues are not that bad", said Arbuthnot.

Last month, the WikiLeaks founder and his lawyers asked British authorities to drop the warrant because the threat of extradition was over.

They said Assange's medical problems included "a awful bad tooth, frozen shoulder and depression".

Ecuador's Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement on Tuesday saying the government of Ecuador would maintain worldwide protection for Assange "as long as the danger to his life persists" and they were still trying to find a satisfactory solution to the situation.

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