19:15 GMT22 June 2021
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    The UK authorities still have a legal obligation to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to Sweden due to a European arrest warrant in place, according to a UK government spokesperson.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The United Kingdom is legally obliged to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to Sweden on sexual assault arrest warrant, a UK government spokesperson said Thursday.

    Earlier in the day, media reports emerged claiming that the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention had decided in Assange’s favor that detaining him was illegal, meaning that the United Kingdom and Sweden would immediately have to release him and pay compensation. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is set to make an official statement on the issue Friday.

    "An allegation of rape is still outstanding and a European arrest warrant in place, so the UK continues to have a legal obligation to extradite Mr Assange to Sweden," the government spokesperson told reporters.

    Assange has been residing at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012 out of fear of being extradited, first to Sweden where he has been accused of sexual assault, and ultimately to the United States where he could face espionage charges for publishing secret documents through his website.

    On September 12, 2014, Assange submitted a complaint against London and Stockholm to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD).


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    arrest warrants, arrest, extradition, Julian Assange, Sweden, United Kingdom
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