Julian Assange Takes Arrest Warrant Appeal to Sweden's Supreme Court

© AFP 2022Founder of Wikileaks Julian Assange
Founder of Wikileaks Julian Assange - Sputnik International
Lawyers for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange are appealing to Sweden's supreme court in a final attempt to have his arrest warrant lifted.
Surrounded by British police WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, centre, makes a statement to the media and supporters from a window of Ecuadorian Embassy in central London. - Sputnik International
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Lawyers for the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange have appealed his arrest warrant with the Swedish Supreme Court, as prosecutors have failed to move the case forward, the spokesman for WikiLeaks confirmed to Sputnik on Wednesday.

"The appeal was filed by his lawyers in Sweden," Kristinn Hrafnsson told Sputnik.

"The Supreme Court will review the case and Julian Assange's lawyers are confident that they have the law on their side and that the Supreme Court will quash the outstanding arrest warrant."

Hrafnsson explained that the arrest warrant, which restricts Julian Assange's freedom, should be lifted as prosecutors have failed to move the case forward.    

They're hoping to persuade a Swedish judge that "severe limitations" imposed on Assange caused by his inability to leave the Ecuadorian embassy without fear of arrest are "unreasonable and disproportionate" to the case.

Julian Assange claimed asylum in the Embassy in 2012 to escape extradition to Sweden where he is accused of rape and sexual molestation. He remains uncharged because he is unable to be interviewed about the allegations that were made in 2010.

Assange has taken refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy to avoid the threat of extradition to the United States where he could face trial for publishing classified military documents.

Assange denies all the charges.

His lawyer, Per Samuelson has revealed that there was a "zero chance" that the supreme court would react to their submission on the same day and that it was "hard to tell" when prosecutors would make a decision.

Last November, the appeal court in Stockholm rejected Assange's case, ruling his confinement to the embassy was voluntary. However, the senior appeal court judge noted that the case had reached deadline and criticised the prosecution for not moving the investigation forward.

Assange launched the WikiLeaks website back in 2006, taking the role of its editor-in-chief. - Sputnik International
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The WikiLeaks founder has previously called on Swedish prosecutors to travel to London to interview him — or to conduct it over video link. The British Foreign Office welcomed the move and agreed to help facilitate it; however prosecution lawyers in Stockholm argued it was not normal legal practice.

Julian Assange's case is now to be considered in the highest court in Sweden. However this doesn't mark the end to potentially further legal proceedings. Lawyer Per Samuelson previously said that if the appeal is not granted, Assange is entitled to apply to the district court once again, "so the case could end up going through the Swedish courts all over again", he said. "This could go on indefinitely, there is no time limit".

Journalist John Pilger says the "siege of Julian Assange is a farce". In a special investigation written last November, Pilger said:

"For two years, an exaggerated, costly police presence around the Ecuadorian embassy in London has served no purpose other than to flaunt the power of the state. Their quarry is an Australian charged with no crime, a refugee from gross injustice whose only security is the room given him by a brave South American country. His true crime is to have initiated a wave of truth-telling in an era of lies, cynicism and war."

The security bill to keep Assange safe in the embassy in Knightsbridge has so far cost British taxpayers around £10 million.

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