Feeds

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

Swedish court refuses to withdraw arrest warrant

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
NSA mass spying reform KILLED by US Senators
Democrats needed just TWO more votes to keep alive bill reining in some surveillance
'Internet Freedom Panel' to keep web overlord ICANN out of Russian hands – new proposal
Come back with our internet! cries Republican drawing up bill
What a Mesa: Apple vows to re-use titsup GT sapphire glass plant
Commits to American manufacturing ... of secret tech
prev story

Whitepapers

Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.