UK News Assange loses bid to have arrest warrant dropped

17:55  13 february  2018
17:55  13 february  2018 Source:   Sky News

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has lost his initial bid to have his UK arrest warrant dropped – but could still have it cancelled at another court hearing next week. He challenged the warrant because police in Sweden no longer want him extradited over rape allegations.

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange © PA WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has lost his latest bid to have his UK arrest warrant dropped.

A judge at Wesminster Magistrates' Court rejected Mr Assange's claim it was no longer in the public interest to pursue him for failing to answer bail as he fought extradition to Sweden in 2012.

"I find arrest is a proportionate response even though Mr Assange has restricted his own freedom for a number of years," Senior District Judge Emma Arbuthnot said.

"Defendants on bail up and down the country, and requested persons facing extradition, come to court to face the consequences of their own choices.

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Wikileaks founder Julian Assange lost his bid to have a UK arrest warrant dropped on Tuesday. This means that if he decides to leave the Ecuadorian embassy, he would likely be arrested on the basis of the existing UK warrant .

Sweden dropped its investigation previous year, but British police are still seeking to arrest Assange for failing to His lawyers had argued that with the Swedish case dropped , there was no longer any justification for the arrest warrant against him, but judge Emma Arbuthnot rejected their reasoning.

"He should have the courage to do the same.

"It is certainly not against the public interest to proceed."

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is seen on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Britain, May 19, 2017. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo © Reuters WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is seen on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Britain, May 19, 2017. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo It was Mr Assange's second failed attempt to have the arrest warrant dropped in a week.

Last week the judge rejected his lawyers' argument that the warrant issued in 2012 was no longer valid because an investigation into a sex-related allegation had been dropped by Swedish authorities.

Mr Assange has been living inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for more than five years, fearing extradition to the United States for questioning over the activities of WikiLeaks if he leaves.

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Image: Assange has been in the embassy in London for five and a half years.

Assange ’s hopes of leaving the Ecuadorian embassy are scuppered for now, as a judge says his arrest warrant still stands. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has lost his initial bid to have his UK arrest warrant dropped – but could still have it cancelled at another court hearing next week.

He has accused the UK Government of a "cover up" to keep him detained and claimed his case had exposed "improper conduct" by the Crown Prosecution Service.

His barrister Mark Summers QC has alleged that emails showed a CPS lawyer apparently persuading the Swedish prosecutor not to drop the case.

He previously told the court that Mr Assange had health problems, including depression, and that his years inside the embassy were more than adequate punishment for his bail offence.

The 46-year-old sought asylum in the embassy because he feared Swedish police would eventually send him to the US over WikiLeaks' publication of thousands of secret military documents in 2010.

The site released confidential information on the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, provoking fury among US intelligence and defence chiefs.

Mr Assange's lawyers believe there is a secret US indictment that will end up with him in an American court.

The UK government has not confirmed whether an extradition request exists.


Police on 'poo watch' over drug suspect's loo strike .
A suspected drug dealer who hid a stash of Class A drugs inside his body when he was arrested has been in custody for three weeks because he refuses to go to the toilet, police have said. Essex Police's Operation Raptor West unit arrested the man - thought to be from a London gang - on 16 January, and charged him with two counts of intent to supply the drugs.Chelmsford Magistrates' Court granted the force permission to keep him in detention until he revealed the goods, initially for 190 hours, but officers say he refused to eat or accept that he would not be released until he went to the loo.

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