Assange lawyers file Swedish court appeal to end arrest warrant
STOCKHOLM Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:55am EDT
(Reuters) - Julian Assange's Swedish lawyers on Tuesday filed a court petition to withdraw an arrest warrant for the WikiLeaks founder who has spent two years at Ecuador's London embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden.
Assange faces allegations of sexual assault and rape in Sweden, which he denies. He says he fears Sweden could in turn extradite him to the United States to be tried for one of the largest leaks of classified information in U.S. history.
Thomas Olsson, one of Assange's lawyers, said the arrest warrant should be repealed because it cannot be enforced while Assange is in the embassy and the Swedish prosecutor had not considered the possibility of interrogating him in London.
"In light of the significant impact this has on Assange's ability to move freely and to live a normal life, we think that it is unreasonable to uphold the decision," Olsson told Reuters.
"As I see it, the arguments for the unreasonableness of the situation are very strong, so we have very strong hopes that the court will change the decision."
Ecuador, which has granted Assange political asylum, wants London to assure him safe passage to Quito. But Britain has surrounded the Ecuadorean embassy with police officers round the clock ready to detain him if he leaves it.
The South American country said last week that talks with Britain over Assange were at an impasse.
A Swedish court has upheld an arrest warrant for Julian Assange. The Wikileaks founder has been spent the last two years in Ecuador's London embassay to avoid extradition for questioning over sexual assault allegations.
Unconfirmed reports on social media that Julian was taken from his sanctuary, and is in the custody of US marines.
Hoping this is BS, of course.
he isn't in a "sanctuary" by an embassy.
He happens to have found it in an embassy.
Did you have a point to make there, Walter?
Our top Catholic Cardinal George Pell sought sanctuary from charges of historical sexual abuse, in Vatican city, which is also guarded by the Vatican police.
What was the point you were making?
When asked directly by journalists about the Cardinal Pell matter last year, Pope Francis answered: "We must avoid a media verdict, a verdict based on gossip."
"It's in the hands of the justice system and one cannot judge before the justice system. After the justice system speaks, I will speak."
It is unclear whether Pope Francis will speak now that charges have been laid, or whether he will wait until the completion of the trial.
Cardinal Pell (apparently 2IC to the Pope)
Widely regarded as the third most senior official in the Vatican
And you still claim that he got asylum in the Vatican?