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Tuesday 2 September 2014

Julian Assange loses arrest warrant bid

Published 16/07/2014 | 17:57

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Julian Assange has been in the Ecuadorean embassy in London since seeking asylum there in June 2012
Julian Assange has been in the Ecuadorean embassy in London since seeking asylum there in June 2012

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has lost a legal bid to have an arrest warrant issued in Sweden against him cancelled.

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A judge in Stockholm decided to uphold the warrant against him for alleged sexual offences against two women.

The decision by Judge Lena Egelin dashes hopes of a breakthrough in the Australian's case.

He has been living in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for over two years as part of his bid to avoid extradition to Sweden.

He believes that if he travels to Sweden, he will be sent on to the United States for questioning over the activities of the whistleblowing organisation.

His Swedish lawyer said he will appeal against today's decision.

A court order to cancel the warrant would have been a step towards enabling the 43-year-old Australian to leave the London embassy.

Supporters of Mr Assange gathered outside the embassy in London's Knightsbridge area, holding up banners calling for him to be freed.

His lawyers lodged legal papers in Sweden last month shortly after the second anniversary of his dramatic arrival at the London embassy.

He has been granted political asylum by Ecuador, but faces arrest the moment he steps outside the building.

Police officers have been stationed outside the embassy since he arrived there.

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