Feeds

Sit back down, Julian Assange™, you're not going anywhere just yet

Swedish court refuses to withdraw arrest warrant

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Head WikiLeaker Julian Assange's latest bid to move off Ecuador's couch and back into normal digs has failed: a Swedish court has upheld the arrest warrant against him on allegations of sexual assault.

Assange's lawyers filed a petition to withdraw the warrant on Tuesday, in hopes that the WikiLeaks founder could avoid extradition to Sweden should he leave the grounds of Ecuador's London embassy, where he has taken refuge for the past two years.

Although Assange maintains his innocence of the Swedish allegations – and no charges have been filed against him – he reportedly fears the Scandinavian country would extradite him to the US, where authorities would like to have a word with him over his involvement in the Chelsea Manning document leaks.

In a hearing on Wednesday, Assange's lawyers argued that the Swedish arrest warrant should be thrown out because it cannot be enforced while Assange is holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy, yet Swedish prosecutors have refused to entertain the possibility of interrogating him in the UK.

Unfortunately, the court was not persuaded.

"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," Stockholm District court judge Lena Egelin said in her ruling, according to a report by Reuters. "He should therefore continue to be wanted for arrest in his absence."

Assange's attorneys have said they will appeal the decision.

Even if the Swedish warrant is vacated, however, Assange would likely be arrested by British police as soon as he leaves his Ecuadorean flop pad, as he is wanted for violating his bail terms when he fled to the embassy.

Assange has petitioned London to allow him safe passage to Quito, Ecuador, where he has been granted political asylum, but so far he has received no such assurances. Instead, police have surrounded the Ecuadorean embassy in a stakeout that has gone on for 24 hours a day since June 2012.

To date, blocking Assange's escape in this way has reportedly cost some £6m ($10.3m) and counting. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.