Menu
Swedish judge upholds detention order for Assange

Swedish judge upholds detention order for Assange

Assange hoped to get order lifted, and leave Ecuadorean in UK where he has been holed up for two years

 WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange will head to London's High Court on Tuesday to try to reverse an extradition order that would send him to Sweden for questioning over sexual assault allegations.

WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange will head to London's High Court on Tuesday to try to reverse an extradition order that would send him to Sweden for questioning over sexual assault allegations.

A Stockholm District Court judge ruled on Wednesday that the Swedish detention order against WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange, issued on allegations of sexual assault, will remain in force.

Assange had asked the District Court of Stockholm in late June to revoke the detention order, hoping that a revocation would get him closer to leaving the Ecuadorean embassy in the U.K., where has been holed up for over two years.

However, according to Judge Lena Egelin, there is still probable cause related to the allegations against him, and there is still a risk that he will fail to appear in court or in some other way avoid participation in the investigation and following proceedings, the court said in a news release.

"The Court has decided that there are still reasons for the order to remain in force to attempt to ensure that the legal proceedings will be concluded," according to a statement from the district court.

The Stockholm court ordered Assange to be detained in November 2010 "on probable cause suspected of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion."

Because Assange's whereabouts were unknown at the time, an international arrest warrant was issued by Interpol, requesting Assange's arrest and extradition.

While Assange was officially ordered detained in Sweden, he has so far not been charged by the Swedish prosecution. His arrest warrant is part of a preliminary investigation against him.

Assange, who has maintained that the sexual incidents in question were consensual and the arrest warrant inaccurate and invalid, has said that he fears that an extradition to Sweden might eventually lead to his extradition to the U.S., where he could be charged for publishing secret U.S. diplomatic cables. The U.S. is probing the leak of those cables as a national security case. A possible prosecution is still pending.

The WikiLeaks co-founder tried to fight extradition while staying in London, but eventually the U.K. Supreme Court denied his appeal. Having exhausted all options of appeal, he then took refuge in Ecuador's U.K. embassy in June 2012. The country granted him political asylum two months later, saying that there was reasonable fear of persecution by the U.S. and that the U.K., Sweden or his home country, Australia, wanted to provide guarantees to prevent a possible extradition to the U.S.

Assange has been holed up in the embassy ever since.

However, Assange's rights in the U.K. are not being imposed on in such a way that it is disproportional to keep the detention order in force, the court said. And neither the prosecutors' handling of the case nor the fact that Assange has been granted political asylum and is presently residing in an embassy lead to the conclusion that the order should be revoked, the court said.

Assange has the opportunity to appeal Wednesday's ruling to the Svea Court of Appeal, the Swedish prosecution said. Assange's defense team says he will do so, according to Swedish media reports.

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, open-source and online payment issues for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags legalwikileaksJulian AssangeCriminal

Featured

Slideshows

EDGE 2018: Kiwis kick back with Super Rugby before NZ session

EDGE 2018: Kiwis kick back with Super Rugby before NZ session

New Zealanders kick-started EDGE 2018 with a bout of Super Rugby before a dedicated New Zealand session, in front of more than 50 partners, vendors and distributors on Hamilton Island.‚Äč

EDGE 2018: Kiwis kick back with Super Rugby before NZ session
EDGE 2018: Kiwis assess key customer priorities through NZ research

EDGE 2018: Kiwis assess key customer priorities through NZ research

EDGE 2018 kicked off with a dedicated New Zealand track, highlighting the key customer priorities across the local market, in association with Dell EMC. Delivered through EDGE Research - leveraging Kiwi data through Tech Research Asia - more than 50 partners, vendors and distributors combined during an interactive session to assess the changing spending patterns of the end-user and the subsequent impact to the channel.

EDGE 2018: Kiwis assess key customer priorities through NZ research
Show Comments