UNITED KINGDOM: A Stockholm District Court is set to decide on whether to repeal an arrest warrant on Julian...
- Title: UNITED KINGDOM: A Stockholm District Court is set to decide on whether to repeal an arrest warrant on Julian Assange, who still faces arrest in the UK if he leaves Ecuador's London embassy after breaching bail terms
- Date: 16th July 2014
- Summary: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (JULY 16, 2014) (REUTERS) HARRODS DEPARTMENT STORE / ECUADORIAN EMBASSY WHERE WIKILEAKS FOUNDER JULIAN ASSANGE IS STAYING CAR DRIVING PAST ENTRANCE TO EMBASSY AS POLICEMAN STANDS GUARD VARIOUS OF ECUADOR EMBASSY SIGN ON WALL OF BUILDING SECURITY CAMERA ON BUILDING POLICEMEN STANDING GUARD POLICEMAN'S HANDCUFFS POLICEMAN OUTSIDE ENTRANCE EMBASSY WINDOWS WIDE OF EMBASSY
- Reuters ID: LVAAH53YYWF0D67JHS8XQSGMBF8G
- Location: United Kingdom
- Country: United Kingdom
- Duration: 00:01:09
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Stockholm District Court is set to decide on Wednesday (July 16) whether to repeal an arrest warrant on Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.
Assange faces allegations of sexual assault and rape in Sweden, which he denies. He says he fears Sweden could in turn extradite him to the United States to be tried for one of the largest leaks of classified information in U.S. history.
He would still risk detention the moment he leaves the Ecuadorian Embassy in London after breaching bail to avoid extradition.
After his detention in December 2010, he had mostly been living under strict bail conditions at the country mansion of a wealthy supporter in eastern England. Fearing extradition Assange fled to Ecuador's London embassy in June 2012.
Thomas Olsson, one of Assange 's lawyers, said the arrest warrant should be repealed because it cannot be enforced while Assange is in the embassy and the Swedish prosecutor had not considered the possibility of interrogating him in London.
Ecuador, which has granted Assange political asylum, wants London to assure him safe passage to Quito. But Britain has surrounded the Ecuadorean embassy with police officers round the clock ready to detain him if he leaves it.
The South American country said in June that talks with Britain over Assange were at an impasse.
The former computer hacker gained international prominence in 2010 when Wikileaks began releasing secret video footage and thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables about Iraq and Afghanistan, in the largest leak of classified documents in U.S. history.
That made him a hero to anti-censorship campaigners but a menace to Washington and other governments. Assange also faced widespread criticism that he had put lives at risk by blowing the cover of sources who spoke to diplomats and intelligence agents in countries where it was dangerous to do so.
Since then, Wikileaks has faded from the headlines due to a dearth of scoops and a blockade by credit card companies that has made donating to the site almost impossible. Assange 's personal standing has been damaged by the Swedish sex case and he has lost support from most of his celebrity backers.
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