Swedish court upholds Assange detention order

2014-11-20 22:25
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks during a press conference inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. (John Stillwell, AP)

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks during a press conference inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. (John Stillwell, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Stockholm - A Swedish court rejected on Thursday an appeal by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to revoke a detention order issued over allegations of sexual assault, but called on prosecutors to make more effort to question him.

Assange's Swedish lawyer said the decision would be appealed to the Supreme Court.

The 43-year-old Australian has been stuck inside Ecuador's London embassy since June 2012 to avoid a British extradition to Sweden, which wants to question him on allegations of sexual assault and rape but have insisted he must come to Sweden first.

Assange's lawyers have argued that the arrest warrant should be repealed because it cannot be enforced while Assange is in the embassy, and Swedish prosecutors had not travelled to London to interrogate him.

"There is no reason to set aside the detention solely because Julian Assange is in an embassy and the detention order cannot be enforced at present for that reason," the Svea Court of Appeal said in a statement.

The court also said Swedish prosecutors had not made enough effort to interrogate Assange outside Sweden and said the "failure of the prosecutors to examine alternative avenues is not in line with their obligation".

Per Samuelson, one of Assange's lawyers, told Reuters he read this to mean that the court believed the defence was right, but that it did not dare take the full consequences and lift the detention order.

"If you don't do it now, the arrest warrant will go next time, that is how it looks, like a warning," he said of the court's comments.

Prosecutor Marianne Ny said in a statement: "Like the court of appeals says, there is every reason to continue considering how the case should be taken forward."

Assange denies the allegations and says he fears Sweden would extradite him to the United States, where he could be put on trial for one of the largest classified information leaks in US history.

Samuelson said Assange would not leave the embassy before he could do so without risking ending up in a US prison.

"This is about the threat of extradition to the US and 35 years of jail there," Assange's lawyer said. "As long as that threat remains, there is no doubt he will stay at the embassy."

Assange was initially taken into custody in London but freed on bail, later claiming political asylum in Ecuador's embassy.

Read more on:    julian assange  |  sweden

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.