WikiLeaks’ Assange seeks lifting of Swedish detention order

FILE - In this Feb. 5, 2016, file photo, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange stands on the balcony of the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. Assange is celebrating the results of Ecuador’s presidential runoff with a blast at the losing candidate who had pledged to evict him from Ecuador’s embassy in London. Assange has been holed up at the diplomatic mission since 2012, when President Rafael Correa granted him asylum. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A lawyer for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has resubmitted a request for a Stockholm court to drop a detention order relating to a possible sex crime in Sweden seven years ago.

Per E. Samuelsson says Assange wants to travel to Ecuador to seek political asylum because he fears otherwise he could be extradited to the United States to face espionage charges.

Samuelsson said Wednesday the U.S. has made clear it wants Assange. Last month, President Donald Trump said he would support any decision by the Justice Department to charge Assange.

Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since 2012. He fears if he sets foot outside the embassy he will be arrested on the Swedish warrant and could then end up being extradited to the U.S.

Samuelsson said lifting the detention order wouldn’t stop the Swedish case going forward. Assange denies any wrongdoing.