Julian Assange loses latest bid to have UK arrest warrant dropped

The Swedish case against Assange relates to allegations of sexual assault and rape brought against the WikiLeaks founder in 2010. Against this background, we have found us to be obliged to lift the detention order ... and to withdraw the European arrest warrant.

The founder of whistleblower site WikiLeaks argues he flouted the conditions of his bail out of fear of being handed over to the US to face an unfair trial for disclosing American secrets, which he considers a public service.

Julian Assange should have the "courage" to face court after losing his latest bid to have his UK arrest warrant dropped, a judge has said. They said it made little sense for officers to continue monitoring the embassy when the 46-year-old is no longer wanted by Sweden.

"I suspect if one were to ask one of the men incarcerated in Wandsworth Prison whether conditions in the Ecuadorian Embassy were akin to a remand in custody, the prisoner would dispute the assertion".

She said he would have had enough sunlight and access to the internet during his "self confinement" something which other prisoners would not of had.

Assange said he is surprised at the ruling. Mr Assange is fortunately in relatively good physical health.

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U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said last year that Assange's arrest was a "priority". Assange's lawyers will challenge this in court on 13 February. But a court victory might force British authorities to disclose any outstanding US extradition warrants.

"At all times he offered his co-operation to the Swedish investigation".

As there are legal proceedings still under way it would be inappropriate to comment.

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Robinson said Assange's case was a test for the freedom of the press to publish.

However, he might still elect to remain in the embassy, where he has been granted political asylum, because he fears Britain would arrest him under a U.S. extradition warrant, the existence of which has neither been confirmed nor denied.

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"His case is unprecedented".

The judge's remarks drew exclamations of dismay from Assange supporters in the public gallery.

Assange is expected to appeal. "I do not accept that Sweden would have rendered Mr Assange to the United States".

Mr. Assange's legal hurdles began in 2011, when Sweden requested that he be extradited there to face accusations that he had sexually assaulted two women. "Each aspect of the case becomes puzzling and troubling", she said. If so this should be done in a couple of weeks. While he can list celebrities such as PJ Harvey, Brian Eno and Noam Chomsky as friends, he is judged for visits from the likes of Nigel Farage.

Westminster Magistrates Court heard how Assange was suffering from a bad tooth, a frozen shoulder and depression.

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