Assange Lawyers Ask UK Court to Lift Arrest Warrant

Assange Lawyers Ask UK Court to Lift Arrest Warrant

Assange, who has been holed up inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012, has launched an appeal at Westminster Magistrates Court to have his United Kingdom arrest warrant rescinded.

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Aaron Watkins, representing the CPS, said: "Mr Assange has been released on bail in proceedings, he was under a duty to surrender to custody of the court and he failed to surrender at the appointed time, therefore a warrant stands".

The founder of the whistleblowing website has been in the embassy since seeking asylum there in 2012 after he skipped bail to avoid extradition to Sweden over an allegation of rape.

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"He is seeking to have the warrant of arrest discontinued because the Swedes have confirmed that the extradition warrant is no longer live", a spokesman for Britain's Crown Prosecution Service said.

While the Swedish investigation is no longer being actively pursued, British authorities say the Wikileaks founder will still be arrested if he leaves the embassy.

"I am particularly concerned that there are some medical issues".

The court heard that Assange was suffering from a bad tooth, a frozen shoulder and depression.

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While legal proceedings concerning the rape charges were dropped in May past year, Assange fears if he is arrested he could be extradited to America where he is wanted for leaking secretive documents via Wikileaks.

Ecuador this month awarded Assange citizenship hours after the British government refused a request for him to be given diplomatic status, which would have given Assange immunity from arrest should he try to leave the embassy.

British Police say the charge of skipping bail is a much less serious offense than rape, but he could still face a one-year prison sentence if convicted.

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