Swedish court upholds arrest warrant against Julian Assange
The court announced in a statement that Assange "is still detained in absentia", adding that it "shares the assessment of the (lower) district court that Julian Assange is still suspected on probable cause of rape... and that there is a risk that he will evade legal proceedings or a penalty."
The 45-year-old Australian is holed up in the Ecuadoran embassy in London since June 2012, seeking refuge there, after exhausting all his legal options in Britain against extradition to Sweden.
Assange has refused to travel to Stockholm for questioning over the rape allegation, which he denies, due to concerns Sweden will extradite him to the US over WikiLeaks' release of 500,000 secret military files on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
This is the eighth time the European arrest warrant has been tested in a Swedish court. All of the rulings have gone against him. The appeals court said Assange's four-year embassy sequestration "is not a deprivation of liberty and shall not be given any importance in its own right in the assessment of proportionality."
The length of his embassy stay and "the earlier passivity" of police investigators were "arguments for setting aside the detention," it noted.
"However, the relatively serious offence of which he is suspected means that there is a strong public interest (in) the investigation being able to continue," it added.
Assange’s mental health at risk, says WikiLeaks medical report
WikiLeaks on Friday released a medical report and records, claiming that its founder Julian Assange's mental health is at risk if he remains in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. More than four years since Assange moved into the Ecuadorian embassy to escape extradition to Sweden, where he faces a police investigation into rape claims, WikiLeaks argued that his confinement puts his health at risk. "Mr Assange's mental health is highly likely to deteriorate over time if he remains in his current situation... It is urgent that his current circumstances are resolved as quickly as possible," said a report published by the organisation on Twitter.
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