News World Julian Assange awaits ruling on UK warrant

Julian Assange awaits ruling on UK warrant

Julian Assange
A British judge is set to rule on a bid by Julian Assange to have his UK arrest warrant squashed. Photo: Getty
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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will learn on Tuesday (Wednesday AEDT) if he has succeeded in having a warrant for his arrest in the UK dropped.

If his bid is successful he could eventually leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he’s been holed up for more than five years because of fears he’ll be extradited to the US.

Assange, 46, fled to the embassy in the British capital in 2012 after skipping bail to avoid being sent to Sweden to face an allegation of rape, which he denied.

He had feared Sweden would hand him over to the US to face prosecution over WikiLeaks’ publication of classified military and diplomatic documents, one of the largest information leaks in American history.

In May last year, Swedish prosecutors dropped their investigation into the allegation and withdrew their European Arrest Warrant.

But British police have insisted Assange would still be arrested for breaching bail conditions should he leave the embassy.

Assange’s lawyers went to court last month to argue that the British warrant serves no purpose because he is no longer wanted for questioning in Sweden over alleged sex offences.

Assange’s lawyers also said in court papers that five years in conditions “akin to imprisonment, without access to adequate medical care or sunlight” had left his mental and physical health “in serious peril”.

Judge Emma Arbuthnot said she would make her ruling on the arrest warrant on February 6.