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Julian Assange arrest warrant still stands, court rules

07 February 2018

Being afraid of extradition to the United States over his whistleblowing organization's exposure of classified documents, Assange has been living at Ecuador's embassy in London since summer 2012, being granted political asylum, thereby breaching his bail conditions.

Julian Assange still faces arrest if he leaves the Ecuadorian embassy in London after a court ruled a warrant against him was still valid.

But his case continues, with more hearings and court dates to come.

Assange's lawyers argued to the court that the warrant, issued back in 2012, had lost it's goal.

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British Judge Emma Arbuthnot said she was "not persuaded" the warrant should be withdrawn, according to the AP.

His supporters hope that a court victory will force the British authorities to disclose whether such a warrant has been issued by the US authorities. "Once at court, a defendant will be given an opportunity to put an argument for reasonable cause". She said the Ecuadorean government is seeking a "dignified and just" solution in his case with the British government.

But under British authorities Assange remains in breach of his bail conditions - a separate offence.

Assange's legal team is now arguing that the British state taking action against him for skipping bail is not in the public interest, on which the judge will rule next week.

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Months later Swedish authorities sought to question him about an allegation of rape which he denied.

Tuesday's ruling prolongs a stalemate that has kept Assange as Ecuador's houseguest for 5? years. Some carried placards reading "Assange safe passage" and "Don't shoot the messenger". He fled there after losing a series of court battles to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he faced allegations of sexual assault against two women.

It is not publicly known whether there is a sealed US indictment against Assange.

Assange was made an Ecuadorian citizen in December.

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Julian Assange arrest warrant still stands, court rules