A Swedish appeals court has upheld the detention order on Julian Assange, dismissing a challenge by the WikiLeaks founder who is wanted by Swedish prosecutors in an investigation of alleged sex crimes.Confirming a ruling by a lower court, the Svea appeals court said there was no reason to lift the order just because it cannot be enforced at the moment — as his lawyers had argued.
Mr Assange has avoided being extradited to Sweden by taking shelter in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. The court also criticised the prosecutors, who have declined Mr Assange’s offer to be questioned in London, for not considering “alternative avenues” to move the investigation forward.
He has not been formally indicted 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. He denies the allegations.
The court said:
“The reasons for detention still outweigh the reasons to the contrary since Julian Assange is suspected of crimes of a relatively serious nature and there is a great risk that he will evade legal proceedings or punishment if the detention order is set aside.” .
Mr Assange’s lawyer Per E Samuelson said the defence would appeal the decision to Sweden’s Supreme Court.
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