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Assange needs UK medical care: lawyers

Julian Assange's lawyers say the Australian's health has been affected by his years in the Ecuadorean embassy in London and he now needs medical treatment.

Swedish lawyers representing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange have filed new documents seeking to repeal his arrest warrant, so that he can receive medical care in Britain.

Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy in London since 2012.

He fled there after losing a legal battle in Britain against extradition to Sweden.

The defence team said it wanted a new hearing at the Stockholm District Court to lift a 2010 Swedish arrest warrant.

Defence lawyer Per E Samuelson told DPA that the long period in the Ecuadorean embassy had affected Assange's health, and that the Australian needed a shoulder X-ray, as well as dental treatment.

A physician who examined Assange said his "mental health is also likely to deteriorate over time if he remains in his current situation", according to court documents seen by DPA.

The defence team said the court should take into consideration an opinion from the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, a panel of independent legal scholars, which stated that Assange had been subjected to arbitrary detention since his arrest in London in 2010 on allegations of rape and sexual harassment.

A Stockholm District Court official said the Swedish Prosecution Authority had until April 13 to reply.

Swedish prosecutors want to question Assange in connection with a suspected rape in 2010, an allegation he denies.

Britain and Sweden have dismissed the UN panel's findings.

Meanwhile, Sweden was waiting for a reply from Ecuador on a request to question Assange that was sent in March.

Ecuador granted Assange asylum because he was afraid of a possible extradition to the United States, where he is wanted in connection with WikiLeaks' publication of top secret diplomatic cables.

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