WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London for over five years because he fears extradition to the United States, will learn next month if he has succeeded in having a warrant for his arrest dropped, according to Reuters.
Assange, 46, fled to the embassy in the wealthy Knightsbridge district of the British capital in 2012 after skipping bail to avoid being sent to Sweden to face an allegation of rape, which he denied.
The Australian-born Assange had feared Sweden would hand him over to the United States to face prosecution over WikiLeaks’ publication of a large trove of classified military and diplomatic documents – one of the largest information leaks in U.S. history.
In May last year, Swedish prosecutors dropped their investigation into the allegation and withdrew their European Arrest Warrant (EAW). But British police have insisted Assange would still be arrested for breaching bail conditions should he leave the embassy.
On Friday, Assange’s lawyer, Mark Summers, told Westminster Magistrates’ Court that the withdrawal of the EAW meant the British bail arrest warrant could no longer apply.
“We say it’s lost its purpose and its function,” he said.
Summers’ argument was a technical one: that the purpose of the arrest warrant was to allow underlying legal proceedings to continue and not for bringing someone to court to face a separate bail offense.
While many wonder why Assange has had any charges at all pressed against him, even more wonder why Hillary Clinton isn’t rotting in a jail cell after all the damning information made public by Wikileaks. Sadly, Assange’s plight highlights the two-tier justice systems around the world, where the rich rarely are punished, and the whistle blowers are persecuted.
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
January 26th, 2018