Assange Still Stuck In Embassy After Swedish Court Ruling

The court upheld a detention order for the WikiLeaks founder, meaning he will be arrested and extradited if he ever leaves Ecuador's embassy.
Posted at 10:31 PM, Jul 16, 2014

A Swedish court has upheld its warrant for Julian Assange's arrest after he filed a motion that may have allowed him to leave the Ecuadorian embassy where he's currently stuck.

The WikiLeaks founder has very good reason to be experiencing cabin fever right now. He's been in that London-based embassy for two years avoiding extradition to Sweden. (Via CNN)

Why does Sweden want to extradite him? Well, two women made complaints against Assange to Stockholm police in 2010. The complaints led to an arrest warrant being issued for unlawful coercion, sexual molestation and rape.

Something Wired notes Assange has denied, saying that the charges are false and politically motivated:

"Assange and his attorneys have asserted that the warrant was just a pretext to extradite him to the U.S. to face possible espionage charges for publishing documents leaked by Chelsea Manning."

Assange first entered the Ecuadorian embassy in 2012 to request asylum from the South American country, which they eventually granted. (Via BBC)

But British police have surrounded the embassy 24 hours a day since then in order to fulfill Sweden's extradition request if Assange ever steps outside. The Guardian says that surveillance has cost British taxpayer's more than $10 million. (Via Daily Mail)

So, even with Ecuadorian asylum, extradition to Sweden by the U.K. means possible extradition to the U.S by Sweden? Makes sense, sort of. 

According to The Guardian, Assange's lawyers have argued that Sweden could simply come to the embassy in London to question him rather than requiring him to be extradited.

But CNN says, due to the nature of the crimes, the prosecution doesn't want to question Assange in London, saying it would be difficult to get all of the necessary evidence and would have to be done via the U.K's judicial system.

Unfortunately for Assange, it looks like he won't be getting out of the embassy quite yet, but his lawyers have said that they are planning to file an appeal.