Swedish Court Keeps Julian Assange Arrest Warrant in Place

AP Photo/ Anthony Devlin
Julian Assange

The court ruled that the WikiLeaks founder, who has been holed up in Ecuador's embassy in London for two years, should still face Swedish justice on sex crime allegations.

A Swedish court Wednesday ruled to uphold the arrest warrant on Julian Assange, saying the WikiLeaks founder is still suspected of committing sex crimes in Sweden and should face justice there.

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To avoid extradition to Sweden, Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since June 2012 after he exhausted all his legal options to stay in Britain. He and his supporters had hoped the Swedish court would overturn the original warrant, which would have been the first step for Assange to end his asylum at the embassy.

Assange's Swedish lawyer says he will appeal Wednesday's court ruling to uphold the arrest warrant.

Assange has said he fears the Swedish warrant is a pretext for having him transferred to the United States, where he could face charges for the publication of thousands of classified documents via WikiLeaks. Two woman in Sweden have accused Assange of rape and sexual molestation.

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In their arguments to the Swedish court, Assange's lawyers claimed that the allegations against him had insufficient basis to justify extradition. The court disagreed, saying there was probably cause to suspect Assange was guilty of the sex crime allegations and that the warrant for his arrest should stand.

Email: Scott.Roxborough@thr.com

Twitter: @sroxborough