HAVANA TIMES – The arrest warrant for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for violating his terms of bail is still in effect, a British court said on Tuesday, reported dpa news.
The magistrates rejected the argument of Assange’s lawyers, who alleged that the order “makes no sense” after the withdrawal last May of the extradition request for alleged sexual abuse in Sweden.
The decision of the magistrates means that British police can still arrest Assange, 46, if he decides to leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he took refuge in 2012 and has not left since.
When Assange took refuge in the embassy he had pending a European arrest warrant for attempted rape in Sweden. He was afraid of being extradited to Sweden and later turned over to the United States. In 2017 the Swedish prosecutor’s office closed the case.
But no, that did not mean freedom for Assange. Scotland Yard announced that it was still going to arrest the activist as soon as he stepped outside the embassy. The situation in limbo of Assange seems endless and an example of a failure of diplomatic negotiation.
The British authorities accuse him of having violated the conditional freedom by taking refuge in the embassy. Assange’s lawyers argued that, after the case was shelved in Sweden, those accusations by the British authorities were nullified, but the court did not consider it that way.
The United States blames Assange for having published confidential and secret US information about its wars in Afghanistan and Iraq through its Wikileaks platform.
Critics consider him a person with a desire for prominence, which has even put other people’s lives at risk, while his followers consider him an enlightened person and a hero of freedom of the press and transparent governance.
During the presidential campaign in 2016 Wikileaks published emails stolen by hackers from the US Democratic Party. Those emails hurt Hillary Clinton, who Donald Trump ended up defeating in the presidential elections.