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article imageAssange refused arrest warrant suspension for mentor's funeral

By AFP     Oct 28, 2016 in World

The Swedish prosecutor's office on Friday said it had rejected WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's request to temporarily suspend an arrest warrant so he could leave the Ecuadoran embassy in London to attend the funeral of mentor Gavin MacFayden.

The 45-year-old Australian -- wanted for questioning in Sweden over a 2010 rape accusation -- has been holed up in the embassy since June 2012.

He had wanted to attend the funeral in London of MacFayden, a US investigative journalist and Assange defender who has died at the age of 76.

"The prosecutor has rejected the request, as there is no grounds in Swedish legislation to make an exemption from a court’s decision of detention in absence or from a decision on a European Arrest Warrant, neither by granting a leave nor by any other means," the prosecutor's office said in a statement.

Assange sought refuge in the Ecuadoran embassy four years ago after exhausting all his legal options in Britain against extradition to Sweden.

He has refused to travel to Sweden for questioning over the rape allegation, which he denies, due to concerns that he would then be extradited to the United States over WikiLeaks' release of 500,000 secret military files on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Assange said in a WikiLeaks statement that he would appeal the decision to Sweden's Attorney General, Anders Perklev.

"I am heart-broken that this official has rejected my request to attend Gavin's funeral," he said.

"Her rejection is consistent with the corrupt and frankly wicked manner in which she has exercised her 'discretion' over me," Assange said about the Swedish public prosecutor Marianne Ny.

In September, a Swedish appeals court ruled against his request to lift the arrest warrant, the eighth time a Swedish court has ruled against him.

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