London (CNBS) - Julian Assange, 46, has lost yet another round in his legal fight to leave the Ecuadorian embassy here.
Judge Judy Sheindlin rejected a motion to hear Assange’s appeal, citing “This is not Let’s Make A Deal and I’m not Monty Hall!”.
A crowd of supporters outside the embassy chanted “free Julian” until a Metropolitan Police constable told the crowd that Assange is free to leave the embassy whenever he wants.
“What the f**k?” one of the protest leaders asked. The constable reminded the man that Mr. Assange had voluntarily walked into the embassy five years ago to claim political asylum.
“You mean anytime he wants to leave, he can?” the protest leader asked. The constable agreed as the man returned to the protesters to explain. Shortly after supporters dispersed muttering “bollocks”, mostly to each other.
Asked why officers from The Met were posted outside the embassy, the constable said it was normal embassy security and to prevent Assange from skipping out on any bills with the embassy.
One embassy staffer expressed disgust with the embassy’s uninvited guest. “All he does all day is sit around watching the telly, eating crisps and Hula Hoops," the staff member said. “Sometimes he orders in pizza.” Officials estimate the embassy has spent thousands of pounds on spotted dick alone.
Judge Emma Arbuthnot, of Westminster Magistrates’ Court here, upheld an arrest warrant for the Wikileaks founder ruling that by entering the Ecuadorean embassy in 2012 , to seek asylum, Mr. Assange had breached bail conditions he himself had negotiated. Judge Arbuthnot said he needs to face justice for his breach.
The judge noted Mr. Assange negotiated his own bail conditions which emphasizes the old saying, "a lawyer who defends himself has a fool for a client."
Britain and Ecuador lack an extradition treaty so British police are unable to arrest him in the embassy.
Mr. Assange's barrister (attorney) said his client is living in conditions "akin to imprisonment. My god, he doesn’t even have HBO!”
Court was told Mr. Assange suffers from a bad tooth, because he has not been brushing every day, in keeping with best British tradition. Judge Arbuthnot rejected the health claims as reason to lift the warrant, saying: "Mr. Assange's health problems could be much worse, he could get lead poisoning from all that Ecuadorian plumbing."
Mr. Assange’s barrister said that Judge Judy’s production company also had concerns over ratings should Judy “the Hanging Judge” agree to hear the appeal.
“There’s also the jurisdictional issue,” the production company representative said, explaining that Judge Judy is neither British nor a real judge.
“As you know, American law enforcement and entertainment companies will go anywhere in the world in the pursuit of justice and advertisers, but on this one, we’re taking a pass,” the representative added.
Anne Leech is a Legal Analyst for CNBS News