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Lawyers for Assange seek to overturn arrest warrant

By Ed Adamczyk Follow @adamczyk_ed Contact the Author   |   Feb. 22, 2016 at 1:03 PM
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STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Lawyers for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange asked a Swedish court on Monday to overturn a warrant for Assange's arrest.

The request came after a United Nations panel decided that Assange's asylum at Ecuador's embassy in London is, in essence, "arbitrary detention."

"We consider that there have arisen a number of new circumstances which mean there is reason to review the earlier decision," lawyer Thomas Olsson said.

Assange, 44, has lived in the Ecuadorean embassy since he was granted asylum in 2012. He is wanted for questioning in Sweden on rape and molestation charges stemming from incidents in 2010. He said he fears arrest and deportation to Sweden if he leaves the embassy, as well as extradition to the United States, where a criminal investigation regarding WikiLeaks' disclosure of U.S. government secret files remains open.

A ruling by the UN Working Team on Arbitrary Detentions declared in early February that Assange has been "unlawfully detained" by the United Kingdom and Sweden, and is entitled to compensation.

Assange has not been charged with any crime in the United States, although he would likely be arrested if he left the embassy. Britain has not yet issued an extradition request.

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