STOCKHOLM, June 3. /TASS/. The Uppsala District Court rejected the prosecutors’ motion to arrest WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in his absence. Still, there are suspicions against him. SVT broadcast the court’s session.
According to the European Investigation Order, the Swedish prosecutors still may question Assange, but no arrest warrant will be needed for him.ъ
"As long as Julian Assange is serving his prison sentence, investigative measures may be taken based on the European Investigation Order, which does not require Julian Assange’s arrest. So, the district court considers it disproportionate to detain Julian Assange," the court told the media.
Earlier at the hearings, Deputy Director of Public Prosecution Eva-Marie Persson stated the risk of Assange’s attempts to flee from justice. Defense lawyer for Assange, Per Samuelson, said in response that the Australian is currently staying in prison.
"It is hard not to think that we are sitting here not because of charges of rape, but because we want to compete with the US in extradition issues. Why detain someone who was already detained? The only reason I see here is that you want to compete with the United States," the lawyer stressed.
Assange denied the charges but agreed to cooperate with the investigators, for example through a video conference or at a personal meeting in London.
Assange founded the WikiLeaks portal in 2006 to publish classified information about the activities of a number of governments, including that of the United States. After harassment charges had been brought against him in Sweden in 2012, Assange sought refuge in London's Ecuadorian Embassy to escape extradition. The rape case was dropped in 2017 but the United Kingdom continued to insist that Assange be arrested over his no-show in court in London. On May 13, 2019, the Swedish prosecutors renewed the rape case. The Swedish authorities are considering the possibility of issuing a European Arrest Warrant for the journalist, which may lead to his expulsion to Sweden after the end of his custody term in the UK.