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Judge refuses to quash arrest warrant for Julian Assange

15 Febrero 2018
Judge refuses to quash arrest warrant for Julian Assange

In 2010, Sweden began an investigation into rape allegedly committed by Assange.

For several years, London police maintained round-the-clock surveillance of the Ecuadorian embassy at a cost of at least £11 million ($15.2 million).

The 46 year-old - who says he fears extradition to the United States for questioning over the activities of WikiLeaks if he leaves - accused the UK of a "cover-up" to keep him detained and claimed through his lawyers that his case had exposed "improper conduct" by the Crown Prosecution Service. He is suffering from ill health and depression and the time he's spent locked inside the Ecuadorian Embassy is punishment enough for his crimes, they said.

The WikiLeaks founder said Arbuthnot's ruling came as a surprise.

"Judge went well outside what the parties presented in court. This seems to have led to many factual errors in the judgment". WikiLeaks had published classified US military logs supplied by Chelsea Manning, who was charged under the Espionage Act. She added that Assange should have the courage to come to court to face the consequences of his choices.

'The history of the case from start to finish is extraordinary.

Mr. Assange's legal hurdles began in 2011, when Sweden requested that he be extradited there to face accusations that he had sexually assaulted two women.

Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot told the packed hearing and public gallery at Westminster Magistrates' Court on February 6 that the challenge had failed. She also gave short shrift to Assange's complaint that his self-imposed exile was making him ill. Against this background, we have found us to be obliged to lift the detention order ... and to withdraw the European arrest warrant. "I do not find those restrictions harsh and there was certainly no such suggestion during the currency of the extradition proceedings".

If the warrant stands, however, it's likely he won't be going anywhere. "I have been dismayed by the repeated refusal of various state authorities - in Sweden, in the UK, in Australia - to use available procedures to resolve his case in a just, fair and proportionate manner". "I do not believe there is no sunlight".

'Importantly for a man who spends a great deal of time on his computer, he is free to use multi-media, whether his computer or a mobile telephone, in a way that prisoners are not allowed to do'.

Assange's lawyers made an application for the judge to consider whether the warrant was still in the public interest.

Though Stockholm has since abandoned the sex crime charges against Assange, a British arrest warrant remains in place due to his failure to answer bail in 2012.

Arbuthnot said Assange has no one but himself to blame for his prolonged detention.

The CPS only released the correspondence with Sweden saying, "On balance, the CPS considered that the public interest factors were in favour of maintaining the exemptions".