m3n4.net January 21, 2019

United Kingdom court called to drop WikiLeaks founder arrest warrant

28 January 2018, 12:21 | Vera Richards

United Kingdom court called to drop WikiLeaks founder arrest warrant

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange 46 has been holed up in the red brick building since 2012 after skipping bail to avoid extradition to Sweden over an allegation of rape which he denies

Julian Assange has complained of depression, a "terribly bad tooth" and a frozen shoulder in his efforts to have an arrest warrant for breaching bail conditions dropped.

That investigation has since ended, but British authorities say that a warrant for Assange's arrest for violating the terms of his bail in the United Kingdom.

Ecuador earlier this month granted citizenship to Assange, who fears that, if he leaves, he will be extradited to the United States over WikiLeaks' publication of leaked secret U.S. military documents and diplomatic cables in 2010.

The hearing involved a plea by Assange's lawyers to cancel a pending arrest warrant against the campaigner. But British police have insisted Assange would still be arrested for breaching bail conditions should he leave the embassy.

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Summers' argument was a technical one: that the goal of the arrest warrant was to allow underlying legal proceedings to continue and not for bringing someone to court to face a separate bail offence.

Assange sought political asylum in the embassy in June 2012, after a failed legal battle to prevent his extradition to Sweden.

"The position of which Mr Assange continues would be absurd were a defendant effectively to be rewarded with immunity to evade proceedings for so long that they fell away for whatever reason".

He said Assange's lawyers were simply trying to look at British laws and then construct an argument which would allow their client to walk free from the embassy.

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For some Assange is seen as a cyber hero who exposed government abuses of power, for others he is a criminal who undermined the security of the West by exposing secrets.

Judge Emma Arbuthnot said evidence presented to the court detailed Assange's health issues included "a awful bad tooth, frozen shoulder and depression".

British police spent millions over several years monitoring the Ecuadorean embassy around the clock in the hope of arresting Assange.

He could face up to a year in prison if convicted.

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