Swedish court upholds arrest warrant for Julian Assange over rape accusation

A Swedish appeals court on Friday upheld an arrest warrant for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange over a 2010 rape accusation, rejecting his request to have it lifted.

AFP September 16, 2016 16:12:09 IST
Swedish court upholds arrest warrant for Julian Assange over rape accusation

Stockholm: A Swedish appeals court on Friday upheld an arrest warrant for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange over a 2010 rape accusation, rejecting his request to have it lifted.

The court announced in a statement that Assange "is still detained in absentia", adding that it "shares the assessment of the (lower) district court that Julian Assange is still suspected on probable cause of rape... and that there is a risk that he will evade legal proceedings or a penalty."

Swedish court upholds arrest warrant for Julian Assange over rape accusation

File image of Julian Assange. Reuters

The 45-year-old Australian has been holed up in the Ecuadoran embassy in London since June 2012, seeking refuge there after exhausting all his legal options in Britain against extradition to Sweden.

Assange has refused to travel to Stockholm for questioning over the rape allegation, which he denies, due to concerns Sweden will extradite him to the United States over WikiLeaks' release of 500,000 secret military files on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

This is the eighth time the European arrest warrant has been tested in a Swedish court. All of the rulings have gone against him.

The appeals court said Assange's four-year embassy sequestration "is not a deprivation of liberty and shall not be given any importance in its own right in the assessment of proportionality."

The length of his embassy stay and "the earlier passivity" of police investigators were "arguments for setting aside the detention," it noted.

"However, the relatively serious offence of which he is suspected means that there is a strong public interest (in) the investigation being able to continue."

"At present, continued detention therefore appears to be both effective and necessary so as to be able to move the investigation forward. The reasons for detention therefore still outweigh the intrusion or other detriment that the measure entails for Julian Assange."

Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny hailed the decision.

"The public interest in having the investigation proceed still carries a lot of weight, in our opinion. The court has here shared our opinion that upholding the arrest warrant is in line with principle of proportionality," she said in a statement.

Updated Date:

also read

Complaint of rape against Bhushan Kumar 'completely false and malicious': T-Series issues statement
Entertainment

Complaint of rape against Bhushan Kumar 'completely false and malicious': T-Series issues statement

The present complaint is nothing but a "counterblast" to the complaint T-Series filed against her for extortion, says the statement

'Wouldn't say such a stupid thing': Pakistan's Imran Khan backtracks on rape comments
World

'Wouldn't say such a stupid thing': Pakistan's Imran Khan backtracks on rape comments

Last month, the Pakistani prime minister's comments on sexual violence drew severe backlash after he suggested that avoiding 'temptation in society' is the way to prevent sexual violence against women

Amid outrage, Goa CM Pramod Sawant says his remarks on rape victims taken out of context
India

Amid outrage, Goa CM Pramod Sawant says his remarks on rape victims taken out of context

He also said that he was deeply pained by the incident and would ensure that the accused in the case get the “most stringent punishment under the law”.