Julian Assange loses appeal to have United Kingdom arrest warrant dropped

Laura Christensen
February 7, 2018

Assange and his lawyers say they fear an arrest could ultimately lead to deportation to the U.S., where he may face a sentence as severe as the death penalty for his activities related to Wikileaks.

He challenged the warrant because police in Sweden no longer want him extradited for questioning over rape allegations.

Sky's David Bowden, at the court, said the judge was now looking at case law to see if she could consider the reasonable cause argument without Assange present. Britain rejected the appeal, saying that "the way to resolve this issue is for Julian Assange to leave the embassy to face justice".

But Aaron Watkins, for the Crown Prosecution Service, told the court Mr Assange's application was "absurd".

"I am not persuaded that the warrant should be withdrawn", said judge Emma Arbuthnot, the chief magistrate of England and Wales.

She added it was "not uncommon" for people to be pursued for bail offences after the proceedings the bail related to were discontinued.

His time there has been marked by regular appearances at the embassy's balcony to address crowds of supporters, who have gathered at various stages of his legal battle.

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In case, it is required the persons named in the FIR are to be questioned, the Army will give the necessary permission, they said. He said the police should have filed a "generic FIR" in the case instead of "prematurely" naming a Major as an accused.

Being afraid of extradition to the United States over his whistleblowing organization's exposure of classified documents, Assange has been living at Ecuador's embassy in London since summer 2012, being granted political asylum, thereby breaching his bail conditions.

Mr Assange was interviewed in November 2016 at the Ecuadorian embassy and the interview was relayed to Swedish prosecutors.

Swedish authorities may have been swayed by Baywatch beauty Pamela Anderson, who is close to Assange and convinced he was set up.

Julian Assange won't be seeing the outside world anytime soon.

The Australian, 46, has always denied the rape claims. Mr Assange has been released on bail, 2.

The judge will give her decision later today.

British police no longer keep a constant presence outside the embassy.

Other reports by My Hot News

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