Britain says to challenge UN panel opinion on Assange, plans to arrest him

A UN panel examining the case of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said Friday he had been arbitrarily detained by both Sweden and Britain.

Reuters| Updated: Feb 05, 2016, 15:01 PM IST

London: Britain on Friday said it would contest a United Nations panel opinion that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was a victim of arbitrary detention and said the computer hacker would be arrested if he left the embassy.

"This changes nothing. We completely reject any claim that Julian Assange is a victim of arbitrary detention. The UK has already made clear to the UN that we will formally contest the working group’s opinion," a government spokesman said.

"He is, in fact, voluntarily avoiding lawful arrest by choosing to remain in the Ecuadorean embassy," the spokesman said. "An allegation of rape is still outstanding and a European Arrest Warrant in place, so the UK continues to have a legal obligation to extradite him to Sweden."