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  • Julian Assange

    Julian Assange | Photo: Reuters FILE

Published 5 February 2018

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London for over five years.

A UK court looking into whether authorities should drop any action against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange for breaching bail terms in 2012 has adjourned, and the presiding judge said she will issue her ruling on Feb. 13.

Judge Emma Arbuthnot ruled against the first motion presented by Julian Assange's legal team, but three other motions were presented at the hearing to decide the validity of the arrest warrant against him, Assange tweeted Tuesday.

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WikiLeaks' Assange, Lawyers Ask UK Court to Drop Arrest Warrant

"Judge has ruled against the first technical point the court now expected to hear & decide on the other points," Assange wrote.

Judge Arbuthnot was expected to make her ruling on Julian Assange's arrest warrant, following a request from his team of lawyers who argued that the charges have been dropped and the warrant has "lost its purpose."

If the warrant is dropped, Assange could walk free after being holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London for over five years.

Hours after the ruling, Ecuador’s Foreign Ministry reiterated the Ecuadorean government will continue to protect Assange “as long as the danger to his life persists,” adding the decision is in accordance to “the constitutional mandate of the defense of human rights.” The Ecuadorean government also expressed they will continue to work with the United Kingdom to find a “satisfying solution for both countries.”

The warrant was issued for the WikiLeaks founder in 2012 after sexual abuse allegations from the Swedish government were leveled against him. The claims followed a series of leaks published on the website, by former U.S. soldier Chelsea Manning, that drew international attention in 2010.

However, the allegations have since been dropped, and both the Crown Prosecution Service and Assange's defense lawyer, Gareth Pierce, say the controversial computer programmer now stands a good chance of winning his case and walking away a free man.

Assange has spent the past five-and-a-half years in the Ecuadorean embassy in London, as a result of the allegations. In December, he was granted Ecuadorean citizenship.

UK government officials have, so far, refused to recognize Assange's new status, prompting his team to strategize ways to secure a conflict-free departure from the London location.


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