UPDATE 1-Swedish court upholds Assange arrest warrant

miércoles 25 de mayo de 2016 05:48 GYT
 

(Adds quote from Assange's lawyer, background, additional quote from court statement)

STOCKHOLM May 25 (Reuters) - A Swedish lower court upheld on Wednesday the arrest warrant for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, saying the stay at Ecuador's London embassy did not equal detention.

Assange, 44, is wanted by Swedish authorities for questioning over allegations, which he denies, that he committed rape in 2010.

A computer hacker who enraged U.S. authorities by publishing hundreds of thousands of secret U.S. diplomatic cables, he has been holed up in the embassy since June 2012 to avoid the rape investigation in Sweden.

He says he fears further extradition to the United States, where there has been a criminal investigation into the activities of Wikileaks.

"The district court finds that there is still probable cause for the suspicion against JA (Julian Assange) for rape, less serious incident, and that there is still a risk that he will depart or in some other way evade prosecution or penalty," the court said in a statement.

Last year, Sweden's Supreme Court rejected a previous appeal by Assange to revoke a detention order.

Following a statement by a U.N. panel that his stay in the embassy amounts to arbitrary detention, Assange's lawyers again in February asked the Stockholm District Court to overturn the warrant for his arrest.

"Unlike the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention the district court does not consider JA's stay at the Embassy of Ecuador in London a form of detention," the court said.   Continuación...