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Judge to rule if Assange can walk free from embassy

Judge to rule if Assange can walk free from embassy

The embassy is home to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is living there as he evades a warrant for his arrest on breach of bail charges.

Mr Assange's lawyers went to court last month to argue that the British warrant serves no objective because he is no longer wanted for questioning.

Assange has been staying at the Ecuadorian embassy in London for the last five years to avoid extradition to Sweden to face allegations of rape.

The UK government recently refused to grant Mr Assange diplomatic status, calling him to leave the Ecuadorean embassy to "face justice" with no guarantee that he will not be extradited to the US.

Swedish authorities dropped the rape charges in May 2017.

Sweden dropped its investigation past year, but British police are still seeking to arrest Assange for failing to surrender to a court after violating bail terms during his unsuccessful battle against extradition.

However, Assange suspects there is a secret USA grand jury indictment against him for WikiLeaks' publication of leaked classified American documents, and that American authorities will seek his extradition.

Extradition lawyer Edward Grange said of Tuesday's ruling: "Today's decision results in a continuation of the impasse".

United Kingdom authories however, argued that Assange faces arrest for jumping bail in 2012 and should not be "rewarded" for outlasting Swedish authorities.

"The proper approach is that when a discrete, standalone offence of failing to surrender occurs, it always remains open to this court to secure the arrest", he said.

In May past year, Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny said she was withdrawing the EAW because Assange's refusal to come to Sweden meant "all possibilities to advance the investigation have now been exhausted".

Assange was made an Ecuadorian citizen in December.

The Foreign Office condemned this, saying it "completely rejects any claim that Julian Assange is a victim of arbitrary detention".

He could still be arrested for leaving Ecuador's embassy in London, where he has lived for years.