UK judge refuses to withdraw arrest warrant for Assange
Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, continues to face arrest by British authorities if he leaves the Ecuadorian embassy, after a U.K. judge upheld his arrest warrant Tuesday afternoon, APA reports quoting BBC.
Senior district judge Emma Arbuthnot handed down her ruling at the Westminster Magistrates Court and said she was not persuaded by the argument presented by Assange’s legal team that it was not in the public’s interest to continue his arrest warrant for skipping bail in 2012.
“I find arrest is a proportionate response even though Mr. Assange has restricted his own freedom for a number of years,” The Guardian quoted the judge as saying.
Assange, 46, has been held up at the Ecuadorian embassy in central London for 6 years after claiming asylum in June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he was accused of sexual assault and rape, a claim he denies.
Though Swedish prosecutors have since dropped the investigation against him, he still faces arrest by the U.K. police for breaching former bail conditions in 2012. Any arrest, Assange argues, will lead to extradition to the U.S. where he is wanted in connection for the publishing of classified military documents by his organization WikiLeaks.
Assange’s legal team had requested for the warrant to be withdrawn since Sweden has dropped extradition requests and have relied on a technical point, arguing that the warrant has “lost its purpose and function” since criminal investigations are no longer in motion.
Mark Summers QC, the lawyer representing Assange, argued that the years he has spent confined within the embassy were “adequate, if not severe” punishment for his actions. He also cited a UN committee report which declared the Australian national’s current situation as being arbitrarily detained.
“Note that a win is a win, but even if we lose the first point today the hearing may immediately continue on another,” Assange wrote on Twitter, implying that he aims to contest the ruling.
Related news releases
- 24.04.2018PACE 'double standard' for postponed polls: Deputy PM
- 24.04.2018Armored vehicle maker BMC wins Turkish battle tank bid
- 24.04.2018PACE calls on Turkey to ‘postpone’ June 24 snap elections
- 24.04.2018CoE may take action against Russia in event of failure to pay a contribution to the budget
- 23.04.2018OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs release statement on Nagorno-Karabakh
- 23.04.2018Former Georgian defense minister jailed for 9 years
- 22.04.2018Europe not choosing sides in U.S.-China trade dispute
- 22.04.2018Britain's Queen Elizabeth celebrates 92 years with star-studded concert
- 21.04.2018Threat comes from strategic partners: Erdogan
- 21.04.2018Tens of thousands of Hungarians protest against PM Orban's rule
- 21.04.2018MHP chairman says his party's presidential candidate is Erdogan
- 19.04.2018OSCE/ODIHR director urges Armenian authorities to ensure right to freedom of peaceful assembly
- 19.04.2018Deputy Prime Minister: "Turkish State of Emergency to not effect snap elections"
- 19.04.2018PM Kvirikashvili: Ethnic minorities in Georgia should be informed about benefits of NATO integration
- 19.04.2018German leaders to seek waivers from US sanctions on Russia
- 19.04.2018Basque separatist group ETA to be dissolved in May
- 19.04.2018MHP to support Erdogan in snap presidential election
- 18.04.2018Turkey extends state of emergency for 7th time
- 18.04.2018Turkey’s Erdogan announces snap elections on June 24
- 18.04.2018Turkey rejects allegations in EU report
- 17.04.2018US: Plane makes emergency landing after engine failure
- 17.04.2018Turkey to extend state of emergency for 3 more months
- 17.04.2018Turkey's security council advises extending emergency
- 17.04.2018Georgian interior minister: Sustainable economic growth impossible without security
- 17.04.20188 killed in severe road accident in southern Ukraine
- 17.04.2018British PM May defends Syria strikes against parliament critics
- 16.04.2018Erdogan, Merkel discuss Syria over phone
- 16.04.2018Erdogan: West tries to tarnish Islamic world through terrorist organizations
- 16.04.2018Stoltenberg says no other NATO ally suffers as much from terrorist attacks as Turkey
- 16.04.2018Turkey warns Greece over disputed Aegean islets
- 16.04.2018Leader of Georgia’s Girchi Zurab Japaridze says he will run for president in 2018
- 16.04.2018Turkey’s Patriotic Party: Appropriate measures to be taken to prevent “Armenian genocide” board from being hung on church wall in Amsterdam
- 15.04.2018France, US, UK launch joint draft resolution on Syria
- 15.04.2018Putin, Erdogan agree to intensify bilateral cooperation on Syrian issue
- 14.04.2018Turkish, French presidents discuss Syria over phone
- 14.04.2018Turkey not making choice between Russia, US: Cavusoglu
- 14.04.2018Germany, France to initiate new format of talks on Syrian settlement
- 14.04.2018Turkish FM: We need to get rid of Assad
- 14.04.2018Georgian FM supports US and allies on Syrian operation
- 14.04.2018Turkey says was informed ahead of air strikes on Syria
- 13.02.2018Dutch foreign minister resigns after lying about Putin
- 13.02.20183 killed as migrant boat capsizes in NW Turkey
- 13.02.2018Martin Schulz resigns as German SPD chief
- 13.02.2018Turkish defense head attends anti-Daesh meeting in Rome
- 13.02.2018N. Ireland power-sharing talks enter ‘decisive phase’
- 13.02.2018One killed, 22 hurt in Austrian train crash: police