Stockholm court upholds Assange arrest order
AFP/The Local · 16 Jul 2014, 18:07
Published: 16 Jul 2014 18:07 GMT+02:00
In a statement on the Swedish Court Service's website, the court said Assange remains a suspect for crimes including unlawful coercion, sexual molestation and rape and that there was still a risk that he would fail to cooperate with the authorities or submit to punishment.
The judge said that the restrictions on Assange's liberty following his arrest in the UK were not disproportionate. "Neither does the prosecutors handling of the case nor the fact that Julian Assange has been granted a political asylum and is presently residing in an embassy lead to the conclusion that the order should be revoked."
"The deadlock continues," said Tomas Olsson, one of Julian Assange's Swedish lawyers, to the media at Stockholm District Court.
Olsson indicated that his client would appeal the decision.
The decision is likely to mean that the 43-year-old Australian will remain in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he has been holed up for the past two years after having exhausted all legal options in the British courts to avoid being extradited to Sweden.
Wednesday's hearing was held following a change in Swedish law which has been interpreted to mean that Julian Assange's prosecutors must hand over evidence against him - including text messages from one of the Swedish women at the centre of the case.
The texts allegedly indicate that she did not want to press charges against him for rape.
Assange has said that he fears that being sent to Sweden would be a pretext for transferring him to the United States, where WikiLeaks sparked an uproar with its publication of thousands of secret documents.