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    A demonstrator holds a banner outside the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, where Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is staying, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016

    Sweden, UK Must Fulfill UN Mandate to Decide on Assange Case – Lawyer

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    Sweden and the United Kingdom must fulfill the UN mandate to make a decision in the case of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange this year, Assange's lawyer told Sputnik on Saturday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — In February, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) ruled that Assange was being detained inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London arbitrarily. Britain and Sweden resolved to challenge the ruling.

    "It is imperative that Sweden and Great Britain fulfil the UN working group mandate to advance in the solution of Julian Assange situation this year," Baltasar Garzon said.

    Earlier this week, Garzon was quoted as saying that Assange could walk out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London freely as early as by the year end.

    Melinda Taylor, other Assange's lawyer, told Sputnik that, "According to the decision of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, binding international law requires that Mr. Assange should be able to leave the Ecuadorian Embassy without any negative consequences as concerns his ability to subsequently enjoy his right to freedom, and protection."

    Taylor added that her client expected both Sweden and the United Kingdom to take steps to allow him to walk freely from Ecuador's embassy as soon as possible.

    Assange's lawyer in Sweden Thomas Olsson told Sputnik that a review of the arrest warrant against Assange had been requested by the defense. If the review succeeds, the WikiLeaks founder will be able to leave the Ecuadorian Embassy in London freely. However, the process could take a while, Olsson said.

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

    Related:

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    500 Academics, Legal Experts Slam UK and Sweden Over Assange Treatment
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    United Nations, Julian Assange, Ecuador, Britain, Sweden
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