02:44 GMT +322 February 2019
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    Wikileaks founder Julian Assange speaks from the balcony of the Ecuadorean Embassy in London (File)

    Assange's Possible Arrest by UK Pretext to Curb His Freedom of Movement - Lawyer

    © AP Photo / Kirsty Wigglesworth
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    The lawyer of Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks whistleblowing website, in an interview to RT broadcaster on Saturday, called the possible Assange's arrest by the United Kingdom a pretext to hinder the programmer' freedom of movement.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Friday, Swedish prosecutors confirmed dropping the long-running rape investigation against Assange. The UK police however said they intended to arrest the WikiLeaks founder on a charge of violating the bail conditions if he leaves the Ecuadorian embassy, where he has been residing for years.

    "[The arrest by the United Kingdom] was just a pretext to prevent [Assange] from moving freely after he had received political asylum in Ecuador," Assange's lawyer Baltasar Garzon Real said answering the question concerning the possible Assange's arrest by the UK authorities.

    The lawyer characterized the situation as "violating the law."

    "After Julian Assange stepped inside Ecuador's embassy in London we did not receive any news that legal proceedings were launched in relation to the supposed violations of the restrictions [release on bail]. I think that this is illegal as he had not violated any restrictions," Garzon stressed.

    After the US secret documents had been published on WikiLeaks website in 2010, the United States started an investigation against its founder. Assange, who had been first put in prison, then under house arrest by the UK authorities, was released on bail and took refuge in Ecuador’s London embassy in 2012 after losing his appeal to the United Kingdom's Supreme Court against extradition to Sweden as part of the probe into the allegations of sexual assault and rape leveled at him.


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