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Assange asks Sweden to drop arrest warrant so that he can fly to Ecuador

Assange has so far lost eight bids to cancel the arrest warrant over rape allegations against him.

Image: Dominic Lipinski/PA

WIKILEAKS FOUNDER JULIAN Assange has filed a new motion in Sweden calling for a European arrest warrant over rape allegations to be dropped, after the United States said it was seeking to arrest him.

The 45-year-old Australian denies the accusations in Sweden that date back to 2010, which he fears will see him extradited to the United States.

He has been holed up at the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012 and risks being arrested by British police as soon as he steps out of the building.

His Swedish lawyer Per Samuelsson said today the new motion was filed because US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in April that arresting Assange would be “a priority”.

“This implies that we can now demonstrate that the US has a will to take action… this is why we ask for the arrest warrant to be cancelled so that Julian Assange can fly to Ecuador and enjoy his political asylum,” Samuelsson said.

He said the motion was filed in a Stockholm court this morning and that it should take two to three weeks for a ruling.

Assange fears imprisonment in the United States over the leaking by WikiLeaks of hundreds of thousands of secret US military and diplomatic documents that first gained attention in 2010.

He has made numerous appeals to Swedish courts, including the Supreme Court, but has lost eight bids to cancel the arrest warrant.

- © AFP, 2017

Read: Arrest of Julian Assange is ‘a priority’ in US clampdown on all leaks

Read: WikiLeaks releases over 8,000 documents ‘hacked from CIA’ 

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