Julian Assange loses latest bid to halt U.K. legal action against him
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has lost another legal bid to persuade British authorities not to pursue any further action against him for breaching his bail conditions when he walked into the Ecuadorian embassy in 2012.
Judge Emma Arbuthnot upheld the right of the British authorities Tuesday to pursue legal action against Assange in a judgment delivered at Westminster Magistrates Court in London.
Arbuthnot said she wasn't persuaded by arguments by Assange's lawyers that it was no longer in the public interest to arrest him for jumping bail in 2012 and seeking shelter in the embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden, where prosecutors were investigating allegations of sexual assault made by two women. He denied the allegations.
Assanage's lawyer, Mark summers, cited a report by a United Nations committee to argue that the U.K. arrest warrant should be thrown out.
Summers said the report concluded that Assange was being arbitrarily detained, adding that the 5½ years Assange has spent inside Ecuador's London embassy are "adequate, if not severe" punishment for his actions.
Arbuthnot said Tuesday she finds that "arrest is a proportionate response" to Assange's actions.
Swedish prosecutors dropped the sexual assault investigation last year, but the British warrant for violating bail conditions still stands.
Assange's lawyers asked for the warrant to be withdrawn, since Sweden no longer wants him extradited, but the same .