Swedish court upholds arrest warrant for Assange

STOCKHOLM Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:49pm EDT

1 of 3. Prosecutor Marianne Ny talks to the media after a public court hearing in Stockholm July 16, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Roger Vikstrom/TT News Agency

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STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - A Swedish court upheld on Wednesday an arrest warrant for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange who has spent two years at Ecuador's London embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden over allegations of sexual assault.

Swedish prosecutors want to question Assange over the allegations made by two female former WikiLeaks volunteers.

Assange denies the allegations and has been fighting a legal battle against extradition since his arrest in Britain in Dec. 2010.

Assange says he fears Sweden could in turn extradite him to the United States to be tried for one of the largest leaks of classified information in U.S. history.

"All in all, the district court makes the assessment that the reasons for the arrest warrant offset the infringement and adverse effects the measure entails for Julian Assange," District court judge Lena Egelin said.

"He should therefore continue to be wanted for arrest in his absence."

Assange's lawyers have argued the arrest warrant should be repealed because it cannot be enforced while Assange is in the embassy and the Swedish prosecutor had not considered the possibility of interrogating him in London.

Thomas Olsson, one of Assange's Swedish lawyers, said he would appeal the verdict.Ecuador, which has granted Assange political asylum, wants London to assure him safe passage to Quito. But Britain has surrounded the Ecuadorian embassy with police officers round the clock ready to detain him if he leaves it.

British police say they have spent 6 million pounds ($10.28 million) from June 2012 until March this year on policing costs at the Ecuadorian embassy.

In an interview with Reuters last year, Assange said he would not leave the sanctuary of the embassy in London even if Sweden stops pursuing sexual assault claims against him because he feared arrest on the order of the United States.

(Reporting by Johan Ahlander; writing by Alistair Scrutton; editing by Niklas Pollard)

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Comments (5)
viewing wrote:
There is an easy and legal solution for all involved parties: 1. Step: The lawyer of Mr. Assange requests for a written statement from the U.S. Gov. that there is no intention to bring Mr. Assange to the U.S., or any other place, illegally while he defends himself depending on this sexual assault claims against him in Sweden. – 2. Step: In return, Mr. Assange confirms in written manner that he will leave the embassy to face trial in Sweden. – 3. Step: The trial will be done by legal measures, without political influence, in Sweden. – 4. Step: If Mr. Assange may be acquitted from these sexual assault claims, he may go as a free man wherever he is welcome. – 5. Step: If the U.S. Gov. has legal claims against Mr. Assange, there shall be a prosecutor open such claims at an U.S. court against him and by legal measures. Otherwise, the U.S. Gov. may leave him in peace and have learnt the lesson of keeping better security measures. – The result of this plan: (a) End of ‘mixing’ political and legal issues; (b) Political face-saving and justice for all involved parties; (c) a reduction of costs for the British police and last but not least, (d) a positive message to the world that law and order are respected by all involved parties …

Jul 16, 2014 1:25pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
anonymot wrote:
So the British police spent 10+ MILLION DOLLARS hounding Assange because Hillary got her personal feathers ruffled when her lack of control of State was revealed. Is that the kind of small, b*tchy mind we need for President in times of profound crises? Isn’t that the size of mind that’s put us in this mess in the first place? Bush then Obama…

Jul 16, 2014 1:31pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
1nation1 wrote:

Jul 16, 2014 2:27pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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