UK judge upholds Assange's arrest warrant


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WikiLeaks creator Julian Assange lost a court bid to have his UK arrest warrant dropped, and still faces detention if he leaves the Ecuadorian embassy where he’s taken refuge for almost six years. Judge Emma Arbuthnot upheld the warrant (Guardian) on February 13, after rejecting arguments from Assange’s attorneys that it was not in the public’s interest to arrest him. 

The warrant was issued in August 2012 after Assange skipped bail and sought refuge in Ecuador’s embassy in London, where he remains to this day.

The WikiLeaks creator faced extradition to Sweden, where he was being investigated for sexual assault (The Guardian). Assange has said his extradition to Sweden was merely a ploy to eventually have him extradited to the United States (Foreign Policy), where he faces potential espionage charges for his publishing work at WikiLeaks. In April 2017, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said arresting Assange remained a “priority” for the United States (The Guardian).

On February 6, Arbuthnot, of Westminster Magistrates’ Court said she was “not persuaded” by the arguments of Assange’s lawyer that because Sweden has dropped the request for his client’s extradition that the arrest warrant should no longer apply. Instead, she said that Assange not surrendering to bail was its own offense and that by not appearing in court, Assange has failed to provide reasonable cause for skipping bail.

The full text of the judgment is here.

This is an emerging story which needs expansion. If you wish you may EDIT to add information or discuss it in TALK.

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