STOKHOLM, May 3. /TASS/. Lawyers of Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, have filed a request at Stockholm District Court asking to drop the arrest warrant against Assange.
"The reason for the new request is that the United States has now explicitly announced the intention to arrest Assange. There is a real risk that the Americans will demand his extradition," Assange's lawyer Per Samuelson said.
The request to end the arrest warrant won’t mean that the preliminary investigation into the case will be stopped in Sweden, he said. "The prosecutors do not need to halt the investigation. The decision to drop the arrest warrant will give Assange a chance to enjoy freedom of movement and leave Ecuador’s embassy in London."
WikiLeaks founder Assange requested asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London on June 19, 2012 to avoid his extradition to Sweden over rape and sexual assault allegations. Assange has rejected all the accusations, calling them politically motivated. The Australian fears that Sweden will deport him to the US where he faces up to 35 years in prison or death penalty for having published secret documents of the US Department of State.