Julian Assange’s lawyers appeal against arrest warrant

Wikileaks founder files papers in Swedish court following decision of UN panel

 Julian Assange speaking from the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in London, England. File photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Julian Assange speaking from the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in London, England. File photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

 

Lawyers for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange have submitted papers to a Swedish court, asking for his arrest warrant to be overturned.

The move follows a decision by a UN panel that his stay in the Ecuadorian embassy in London amounted to “arbitrary detention”.

His lawyer, Thomas Olsson, said a number of “new circumstances” had arisen, which meant there was reason to review an earlier decision.

Mr Assange is wanted for questioning in Sweden over a sexual assault allegation, which he denies.

He believes that if he goes to Sweden he will be taken to the US for questioning over the activities of WikiLeaks.

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention said earlier this month that Mr Assange should be free to leave the embassy in London.

Authorities in Britain and Sweden rejected the UN panel’s finding, saying Mr Assange had detained himself by seeking refuge in the embassy.

The British government said the panel has merely offered an opinion which is not legally binding.

Political asylum

Mr Assange has been living in the embassy in central London for more than three years after being granted political asylum by the Ecuador government.

Mr Olsson told the Press Association the legal papers had been submitted to a Swedish court, with no indication of when a hearing might be held to consider the request.

PA