- Julian Assange’s lawyers took a case to court in London today, asking for an arrest warrant against him to be dropped.
- Judge Emma Arbuthnot dismissed the application and attacked Assange’s character.
- She said Assange “appears to consider himself above the normal rules of law” and called on him to have the “courage” to come to court like others accused of wrongdoing.
A British judge has called out Julian Assange for cowardice after he decided not to come to a court hearing in which he asked police to give up trying to arrest him.
“The impression I have, and this may well be dispelled if and when Mr Assange finally appears in court, is that he is a man who wants to impose his terms on the course of justice, whether the course of justice is in this jurisdiction or in Sweden.
“He appears to consider himself above the normal rules of law and wants justice only if it goes in his favour. As long as the court process is going his way, he is willing to be bailed conditionally but as soon as the Supreme Court rules against him, he no longer wants to participate on the court’s terms but on his terms.
“I have had to consider whether it is proportionate not to withdraw the warrant for his arrest. On the one hand he is a man who has failed to attend court and has thwarted the course of justice but on the other he has been unable to leave a small flat for a number of years and is suffering physically and mentally as a result.
“Having weighed up the factors for and against and considered [Assange lawyer] Mr Summers’ arguments I find arrest is a proportionate response even though Mr Assange has restricted his own freedom for a number of years.
“Defendants on bail up and down the country, and requested persons facing extradition, come to court to face the consequences of their own choices. He should have the courage to do so too.”
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- Police respond to reports of a suspicious package at Ecuador’s embassy in London, where Julian Assange is staying