On Monday, a Swedish court rejected a request to arrest and detain WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, halting for now an extradition attempt by Swedish prosecutors over a recently reopened rape investigation from 2010. Assange is now serving a 50-week sentence at Belmarsh Prison in London for skipping bail. His lawyers and the U.N. special rapporteur on torture have warned that Assange’s health and psychological well-being are deteriorating. Swedish prosecutors say they will proceed to question Assange while in British detention instead.
The decision could make possible extradition to the U.S. easier. Assange faces 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act for his role in publishing U.S. classified military and diplomatic documents, leaked by U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning, and exposing U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also faces one count of hacking a government computer.