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Julian Assange asks court to drop arrest warrant

Julian Assange asks court to drop arrest warrant

A judge has been called to drop the warrant by attorney Mark Summers QC who pointed out the warrant to not be needed any longer since its issue over an investigation in Sweden.

Assange skipped bail in 2012 before entering the Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid being extradited to Sweden after he was accused of sexual assault.

In May a year ago, Swedish prosecutors dropped their investigation into the allegation and withdrew their European Arrest Warrant.

Ecuador earlier this month granted citizenship to Assange, who fears that, if he leaves, he will be extradited to the United States over WikiLeaks' publication of leaked secret U.S. military documents and diplomatic cables in 2010.

British prosecutors are opposing the dropping of the arrest warrant.

As proceedings in Sweden over rape allegations have now been dropped, they believe the British arrest warrant has lost its objective.




When asked if a successful ruling could enable Assange to walk free, a spokesman for the CPS said: "Hypothetically yes, that would be our interpretation". Another route to secure his exit from the embassy under the garb of diplomatic immunity was also lost when he was recently denied diplomatic status by the United Kingdom government. They argue that Assange shouldn't be immune from the law simply because he has managed to evade justice for years.

Assange sought political asylum in the embassy in June 2012, after a failed legal battle to prevent his extradition to Sweden.

The WikiLeaks founder has been living in Ecuadorian embassy in London for over five years.

For some Assange is seen as a cyber hero who exposed government abuses of power, for others he is a criminal who undermined the security of the West by exposing secrets.

British Police say the charge of skipping bail is a much less serious offense than rape, but he could still face a one-year prison sentence if convicted.

A decision on whether to quash Assange's arrest warrant is due to be made at the same court on 6 February.

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