Octubre 24, 2020

UK judge upholds arrest warrant for Julian Assange

16 Febrero 2018, 03:33 | Bibiana Flor

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has lost his latest court bid to have his UK arrest warrant dismissed

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has lost his latest court bid to have his UK arrest warrant dismissed

Judge Emma Arbuthnot said that by jumping bail Assange had made "a determined attempt to avoid the order of the court".

Assange also tried claiming that failing to hand himself in to the authorities should not count against him because he agreed to be interviewed by Swedish prosecutors in the embassy, which the judge threw out.

In the courtroom's public gallery, which held a large contingent of Assange's supporters, many of the judge's comments met with gasps and murmurs of disapproval.

British police ended their permanent guard in October 2015, having spent an estimated 12.6 million pounds, but said they would maintain "covert tactics" to arrest him if he left the embassy.

Arbuthnot said she could not determine whether the lawyer had acted inappropriately, and it was "too speculative" to argue it had made a difference to the case.

Julian Assange still faces an arrest warrant in the UK after a judge at Westminster Magistrates Court threw out his appeal
Julian Assange still faces an arrest warrant in the UK after a judge at Westminster Magistrates Court threw out his appeal

Mr Assange had first challenged the warrant on the grounds that police in Sweden no longer want him extradited for questioning over rape allegations.

"He should have the courage to do the same".

But she said: "I do not accept there is not sunlight, there have been a number of photographs of him on a balcony connected to the premises he inhabits".

There were gasps in the gallery from Mr Assange's backers as the judge laid out her blistering assessment of his legal team's arguments. But a court victory might force British authorities to disclose any outstanding US extradition warrants.

"The time passing, the costs and how severe the crime is to be taken into account together with the intrusion or detriment to the suspect". In our recent FOI challenge against the CPS [.] the CPS refused to disclose certain material because it would 'tip off' Mr Assange about a possible US extradition request.

Summers argued that Assange's fear that Sweden would hand him to US authorities was reasonable justification for violating his bail conditions.

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".

"His case is unprecedented".

Assange has said all along that the Swedish sex allegations were baseless and the real reason for his legal troubles was the fact that he had published U.S. diplomatic and military secrets on WikiLeaks.

But Judge Arbuthnot pulled that apart as well - telling the UN it had "misunderstood" Mr Assange's situation.

He has accused the UK Government of a "cover up" to keep him detained.

The court heard that the 46-year-old was suffering from a bad tooth, a frozen shoulder and depression. He remains an arrest priority for both the FBI and CIA. "He wants justice only when it's in his favor".

"Each aspect of it becomes puzzling and troubling as it is scrutinised". He also called Assange a "fraud" and a "coward". On June 19, he entered the Ecuadorean Embassy in the upmarket Knightsbridge area of London seeking asylum.

Summers replied: "Being able to use a computer is no substitute for liberty".

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