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Julian Assange arrest warrant still valid, judge rules

Julian Assange arrest warrant still valid, judge rules”

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.

He has said he feared Sweden would hand him over to the United States to face prosecution over WikiLeaks' publication of leaked U.S. military and diplomatic documents.

They said Assange's medical problems included "a awful bad tooth, frozen shoulder and depression". "I am not persuaded that the warrant should be withdrawn".

Judge Emma Arbuthnot said in her judgement: "Many authorities underline the importance of a defendant attending court when bailed to do so and they describe the way that the administration of justice can be undermined by defendants who fail to attend".

The chief prosecutor in the Swedish case said the move did not declare Assange innocent, only that he no longer faces any charges in that country.

The judge suggested that Assange could address the British warrant but that he had to first surrender and appear in court.

The item, which has been deemed "non-suspicious" by police, was addressed to Mr Assange, he said in a tweet.

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Assange has been at the embassy for six years.

Tuesday's ruling prolongs a stalemate that has kept Assange as Ecuador's houseguest for 5? years. (AAP) Julian Assange has sought refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy since 2012.

This meant bail warrant was the only thing keeping Assange in the embassy.

Posters featuring character of the WikiLeaks founder are fixed on a barrier in front of the Ecuadorian embassy.

Earlier this month, Ecuador granted citizenship to Assange after officials decided his living situation was unsustainable.

The British government has already refused a request for Mr Assange to be bestowed diplomatic status granting immunity should he try to leave the building. Some carried placards reading "Assange safe passage" and "Don't shoot the messenger".



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