A British judge has upheld an arrest warrant for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
British police are seeking to arrest Assange for not surrendering to court authorities after violating his bail terms.
Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012, in order to dodge a European arrest warrant seeking his extradition to Sweden to face allegations of rape and sexual assault. Swedish authorities dropped their investigations in 2016.
Explaining her ruling to the court, Judge Emma Arbuthnot said, “I’m not persuaded that the warrant should be withdrawn.” She said that Assange had breached his bail conditions in 2012, while trying to avoid extradition to Sweden.
Assange’s lawyers have made an application to the court asking the judge to consider whether the warrant for their client is still in the public interest. Judge Arbuthnot is set to rule on this application on February 13th.
This is just the latest development in Assange’s ongoing legal woes. The WikiLeaks founder has been unable to leave the Ecuadorian embassy for the last six years, for fear he’ll be arrested the moment he steps out the door.
Last year, Ecuadorian authorities announced that Assange qualified for citizenship of that country, since technically he’d been living on its soil for five years, making him a naturalised citizen. News also emerged that Ecuador was allegedly trying to make Assange a member of its diplomatic team, which would grant him diplomatic immunity.
However, UK authorities said that Assange would not be granted diplomatic status in the UK. It looks like, for at least the foreseeable future, Assange isn’t going anywhere.