Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been refused permission to have his arrest warrant temporarily suspended to attend a friend’s funeral. Assange was hoping to leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London so he could attend the funeral of Gavin MacFayden, an investigative journalist and Wikileaks director, but his request has been blocked.
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The Swedish prosecutor’s office announced this week it will not suspend the warrant as it does not allow exemptions to a court decision, the BBC reported. The 45-year-old, who has been in hiding at the Ecuadorean embassy since he sought asylum there four years ago, is reportedly “heartbroken” and called the Swedish official who made the decision “callous”.
Assange had made a request to attend the funeral of MacFadyen, a US journalist who died in London on October 22 aged 76. He has said he would be appealing to Sweden’s Attorney General Anders Perklev. The rape allegations against Assange relate to a visit he made to Stockholm in August 2010 to give a lecture.
He has refused to travel to Sweden for questioning over concerns he would be extradited to the US over Wikileaks’ release of 500,000 secret military files on the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.