Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Julian Assange arrest warrant still stands, court rules

A UK warrant to arrest Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is still valid, a court has ruled.

The warrant was issued in 2012 after Mr Assange failed to answer bail over sex assault claims in Sweden, now dropped.

Lawyers for Mr Assange, who has been living in London's Ecuador embassy since then, argued the warrant had therefore "lost its purpose".

His lawyers went on to argue against it on other grounds and the court will rule on 13 February.

At Westminster Magistrates' Court, senior district judge and chief magistrate Emma Arbuthnot said, having considered the arguments, she was "not persuaded that the warrant should be withdrawn".

She told the court that not surrendering to bail was a stand-alone offence under the Bail Act and Mr Assange must explain why he had failed to do so.

The offence carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison.


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