A Swedish court has upheld the arrest warrant that’s kept WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange confined in Ecuador’s London Embassy for over two years. Assange is wanted in Sweden for questioning on allegations of sexual misconduct, though no charges have been filed. Assange’s attorneys had petitioned for the warrant to be withdrawn, arguing it cannot be enforced while Assange is in the embassy and Swedish prosecutors refuse to question him in London. But the motion was dismissed on Wednesday without explanation. Defense attorney Thomas Olsson vowed to appeal.
Thomas Olsson: “We will appeal against this decision. We don’t agree with the district court in their judgment of the need to overrule this decision about custody. We can’t accept that this situation is [continuing]. … I think that legally we have very strong arguments, but this case has many dimensions, and it was probably a very difficult decision for the court to take. We waited several hours for it. But we are hopeful for the appeal.”
Wednesday’s hearing marked the first formal legal debate over Assange’s status since he took refuge in June 2012.