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UK judge upholds WikiLeaks founder Assange's arrest warrant

Despite Swedish prosecutors dropping charges, Julian Assange is still wanted in the UK after he skipped bail in 2012.

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks on the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2017.

Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

A British judge has upheld the outstanding arrest warrant for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange despite his requests last month for it to be dropped.

Judge Emma Arbuthnot dismissed calls from Assange's lawyers at London's Westminster Magistrates' Court, saying, "I am not persuaded the warrant should be withdrawn," Bloomberg reports.

Julian Assange has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden over sexual assault charges, which he denies. While Swedish prosecutors dropped the case last year due to its inability to extradite him, Assange is still subject to a British warrant for escaping bail in 2012.

Assange maintains that the US government would use his release to charge him with "secret" espionage charges.

Assange founded WikiLeaks in 2006. It was responsible for releasing thousands of emails from Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign.