Julian Assange 'arbitrarily detained'

  • 05/02/2016
Julian Assange (Reuters)
Julian Assange (Reuters)

Sweden's Foreign Ministry says a United Nations panel has ruled that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange had been "arbitrarily detained".

"Their working group has made the judgment that Assange has been arbitrarily detained in contravention of international commitments," a spokeswoman for the Foreign Ministry said on Thursday (local time).

The comment confirms a report by the BBC earlier on Thursday.

Assange's lawyer told the Associated Press that if the UN ruled the 44-year-old was arbitrarily detained it would mean Sweden would be forced to revoke an arrest warrant it had for him.

Assange, 44, took refuge in Ecuador's embassy in London in June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden.

Swedish prosecutors want to question him over allegations, which he denies, that he committed rape in 2010.

Before the decision, Assange said he would "accept arrest by British police" if the UN ruled against him.

Reuters / Newshub.