United Kingdom court upholds arrest warrant for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

United Kingdom court upholds arrest warrant for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

United Kingdom court upholds arrest warrant for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

Arguments were made by Assange's legal representatives that the warrant should be dismissed as it had "lost its objective and function" following an investigation into a sex-related allegation being dropped.

A British judge has upheld a United Kingdom arrest warrant for the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, leaving his legal position unchanged after more than five years inside the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.

Julian Assange has claimed a package containing a "threat" and white substance was sent to him at the Ecuadorian Embassy.

Swedish prosecutors had already dropped their investigation over sexual assault and rape allegations, which he denies.

However, Assange suspects there is a secret USA grand jury indictment against him for WikiLeaks' publication of leaked classified American documents, and that American authorities will seek his extradition.

"I'm not persuaded that the warrant should be withdrawn", judge Emma Arbuthnot told a court in London, explaining that Assange had breached his bail conditions in 2012.

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The judge said that if Assange wanted the warrant lifted he should surrender to authorities and come to court.

Swedish authorities a year ago dropped the charges against him because of the passage of time.

Police called off round-the-clock watch outside the embassy in October 2015 but a plane to arrest him should he leave remains in place.

His lawyer Jennifer Robinson said in a statement: "We must confront the real issue in this case - if Julian Assange walks out of the embassy today, he risks facing extradition to the U.S.to face prosecution for publishing information in the public interest with Wikileaks".

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

"In order to proceed with the case, Julian Assange would have to be formally notified of the criminal suspicions against him". She said she would make that ruling on February 13, according to The Times.

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