>> Julian Assange may be staying put in the Ecuadorian embassy in london for the time being. A judge on Tuesday upheld a UK arrest warrant against the WikiLeaks founder, for failing to answer bail in 2012. The ruling means Assange remains in a legal and diplomatic impasse, with no way out of the embassy where he has been living for almost six years, unless he decides to face the prospect of arrest by British police.
The original Swedish sex crime allegations, which Assange always denied, but which led to his seeking refuge, were dropped last May. The UK judge ruled, quote, arrest is a proportional response, even though Mr Assange has restricted his own freedom for a number of years. The 46-year-old, who is very active on Twitter, monitored the hearing from within the Embassy, hinting at his next step that there are three months to appeal the UK ruling.
But he didn't make a balcony appearance, much to the media disappointment. Assange says he fears he could be extradited to the US if he hands himself in, and claims he's subject to undisclosed US indictment and extradition warrant over his website WikiLeaks. In 2010 it began to release hundreds thousands of secret diplomatic cables from U.S. Embassies around the world.
That angered and embarrassed politicians and military officials, who said Assange put American lives at risk. While there's no public record or evidence of pending US criminal charges. Last March federal prosecutors expanded a long-running grand jury investigation into WikiLeaks and Assange. A Justice Department official recently confirmed to Reuters this investigation was still open.
Assange's supporters had hoped Tuesday's ruling would pressure Britain into disclosing any US efforts to prosecute him.