'Politically Motivated Prosecution' - WikiLeaks Ex-Spokesman on Assange Warrant

© REUTERS / Neil HallWikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is seen on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Britain, May 19, 2017
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is seen on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Britain, May 19, 2017 - Sputnik International
A British judge has upheld an arrest warrant for the WikiLeaks founder, saying that Assange should have the courage to come to court and face justice after more than five years inside Ecuador's London embassy. Sputnik discussed Assange's continuing legal fight with Kristinn Hrafnsson, investigative journalist and former WikiLeaks' spokesperson.

Sputnik: What do you make of this decision by the judge to uphold Assange's arrest warrant?

Kristinn Hrafnsson: This is a continuation of this shameful saga. It has become more and more clear that the prosecution is on behalf of the British authorities, it is quite obvious, when you look at he facts of that matter, and the recent revelations, for example, that it was the Crown prosecution service that pushed Sweden in this matter. It is now known that the Swedish prosecution was willing or wanted to drop the arrest warrant in 2013, but, according to newly surfaced emails, the crown prosecution service was pressing Swedish authorities to continue with the case. Further revelations before that the British authorities were pushing this week to basically to so anything they could upholding the situation and avoiding solution of the matter so Julian Assange could […]. This, of course, is on top of the decision by the UN human rights tribunal two years ago, which came to the conclusion that the Julian Assange situation was amounted to arbitrate attention, and the UN body ordered, basically, the British authorities to do anything in their power to end the situation and to pay damages to Julian Assange.

So it is slowly coming to light to anybody who wants to look at the facts of the matter, that this is a politically motivated persecution, and what is obvious as well, when you look at the statement by American authorities, who claim that it is a priority to prosecute Julian Assange, so this is a political matter entirely.

READ MORE: Assange Sneaking Out is Not a 'Smart Strategy' — Lecturer

Sputnik: Do you think that there are grounds to believe that there is an extradition warrant currently out there for Julian Assange by the Americans?

Kristinn Hrafnsson: I believe it reasonable to assume so, and these kind of extradition requests can be put together at a very short notice and it might already be in place under seal, we don't know that, but if you look at the increasingly harsh statements made by the heads of the intelligence community in the United States it is quite reasonable to assume so.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is seen on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Britain, May 19, 2017 - Sputnik International
‘This Was a Horrible Decision’: UK Judge Upholds Assange Arrest Warrant
Sputnik: How much time do you think Julian Assange will be able to stay at the embassy?

Kristinn Hrafnsson: It's been going on for way too long, it's a human rights concern at the moment, it's an inhumane situation and it needs to end very soon, it just can't go on and on, it affects him in a negative manner.

Sputnik: There's also the issue of elections in Ecuador, which can change the leadership there, do you think that will have an effect on the Ecuadorian stance on Assange?

Kristinn Hrafnsson: It's hard to say, up to now the Ecuadorian authorities have been very firm in standing by him and supporting him in the manner they have, and I hope they will continue.

READ MORE: Journalist: ‘Julian Assange Was Set Up for Obvious Reasons’

Sputnik: Can you talk about any legal options that you see are available to Julian Assange at this point in time, where can he go now from here? Are there any options really still on the table? There were rumors that France might be able to consider giving him asylum, but him leaving the embassy would still open him up to being arrested, how would that work really?

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is seen on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Britain, May 19, 2017 - Sputnik International
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Kristinn Hrafnsson: Well I would direct that question to his legal representatives. It's quite obvious that the fight will continue, there are still some options on the table, but the reaction so far is not very promising.

Sputnik: It's just difficult to understand how this is going to develop further, are there any chances for any kind of breakthrough? Can this latest decision be appealed?

Kristinn Hrafnsson: I would refer this question to his legal representatives. There is an option to appeal, yes, it's quite clear, but whether it's going to be used is up to Julian Assange and his lawyers. I'm sure there are legal ways and means to fight this onward.

The views expressed in this article by Kristinn Hrafnsson are solely those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect the position of Sputnik.

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