Britain should 'free' Assange after UN panel decision: lawyer

4th February 2016, Comments 0 comments

Britain should "free" Julian Assange after a UN panel decision expected to find his confinement in the Ecuadorian embassy in London unlawful is published on Friday, one of his lawyers told AFP.

"If it respects its international commitments to the United Nations, it has to respect a decision of a working group based on the UN convention on political and civil rights. We hope it will endeavour to free Assange," said Christophe Marchand, who works for the Brussels-based law firm Jus Cogens.

"Assange's position has always been that he is in detention, like in a transit zone," he said.

"The next step is what Britain and Sweden are going to do. The ball is in their court, they have to put an end to the legal labyrinth," he added.

The WikiLeaks founder, who has been holed up at the embassy since June 2012 to avoid arrest, said he expects the British police to call off their attempts to detain him if the panel rules in his favour when it publishes its report on Friday.

But Sweden's prosecution authority said the ruling had no impact on its investigation into a 2010 rape allegation against him, and Britain said it would have to arrest him as long as a European warrant for his arrest remained in vigour.

© 2016 AFP

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