You can read 9 more articles this month
WIKILEAKS founder Julian Assange still faces arrest if he leaves the Ecuadorean embassy after a judge today upheld a British arrest warrant against him for skipping bail.
Senior district judge Emma Arbuthnot told Westminster magistrates’ court she considered that his arrest would be a “proportionate response” and not against the public interest.
Mr Assange has been living inside the embassy in Knightsbridge, central London, for more than five years for fear that, if he leaves, he could extradited to the US for questioning over the activities of the whistle-blowing website.
Last week, Ms Arbuthnot ruled that the warrant issued in 2012 was still valid, despite a Swedish investigation into rape allegations having been dropped.
Mr Assange’s lawyers also argued that it was no longer proportionate to pursue him, while he himself claimed that his case had exposed “improper conduct” by the Crown Prosecution Service.
But Ms Arbuthnot ruled that arresting Mr Assange would be a “proportionate response” and suggested that he should have the “courage” to appear in court in person.
She rejected the finding of the United Nations human rights council’s working group on arbitrary detention that Mr Assange had been forced into confinement as “quite wrong.”
The judge also denied that his fears of extradition from Sweden to the US were reasonable, saying: “If that happened, there would have been a diplomatic crisis between the United Kingdom, Sweden and the United States.”
Gareth Peirce, a member of Mr Assange’s legal team and a human rights activist, said an appeal against the decision was possible, but she added: “Whether it is pursued is another question.”
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.