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Swedish court upholds Assange arrest warrant

Prosecutors want to question WikiLeaks founder over allegations made by two female former volunteers.

Last updated: 16 Jul 2014 17:31
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Assange has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy since 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden [Getty Images]

A Swedish court has upheld its detention order on Julian Assange, reaffirming the legal basis for an international warrant for the WikiLeaks founder which has kept him hiding in the Ecuadorean embassy in London for two years.

Assange's lawyers on Wednesday said they will appeal the Stockholm district court's decision.

No charges have been brought against Assange in Sweden but he is wanted for questioning by police over allegations of sexual misconduct and rape involving two women he met during a visit to the Scandinavian country in 2010.

Assange denies the allegations and has been fighting a legal battle against extradition since his arrest in Britain in December 2010.

Prosecutors have declined to allow the possibility of questioning him in London.

Even if Sweden had dropped its case against Assange, he would face immediate arrest by British police for violating his bail conditions when he fled officials and sought refuge at the embassy.

The police have maintained a constant presence outside the embassy since then.

British police say they have spent 6 million pounds ($10.28 million) from June 2012 until March this year on policing costs at the embassy.

In a meeting last month with reporters at the embassy to mark his second year of hiding, Assange said had no intention of going to Sweden because he has no guarantees he wouldn't subsequently be sent to the US, where an investigation into WikiLeaks' dissemination of hundreds of thousands of classified US documents remains live.

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