Julian Assange court ruling not the last step in his long-running battle
The international media pack was back outside the Ecuadorian Embassy, their television lights shining onto the facade a block from the even brighter lights of Harrods.
There had been speculation Julian Assange would make an appearance on the balcony if the latest court decision had gone in his favour.
The Wikileaks founder's lawyers had argued in late January that an arrest warrant relating to breaching bail conditions should be dropped, given the original matter — the Swedish rape investigation — was closed.
So they tried something else.
What most of the media inside the court were expecting to be a short, sharp hearing, instead lasted two hours.
And they heard many of the arguments that have been repeated often over the past six years.
The initial media reporting from court, that Assange had "lost" his bid to have the arrest warrant ruled invalid, clearly irritated the man himself following it all from his semi-permanent home in the Embassy.
The decision by his lawyers to launch into a follow-up bid when the first failed was an unexpected twist.
Health concerns dismissed
Mark Summers QC made a separate application to have the arrest warrant, making various arguments:
- that it should be scrapped on public interest grounds;
- that Mr Assange had justification for not surrendering;
- that the UN said his detention was arbitrary;
- that the legal process had not been paralysed by his refusal to appear;
- that his health is failing — he has a sore tooth, frozen shoulder and depression.
"His health issues are not that bad," Judge Arbuthnot said.
"It might be argued that this is a person who lives through his computer."
Mr Summers responded by saying that being able to access a computer was not equivalent to liberty.
Extradition risk 'remains real'
She will make her ruling at 2:00pm on Tuesday, February 13, but Julian Assange's future will not be decided in Court Room 1.
He is looking for a guarantee that he will not be extradited to the US if he walks out of the Embassy.
"Mr Assange remains willing to answer to British justice in relation to any argument of breach of bail, but not at the expense of facing injustice in America, " lawyer Jennifer Robinson said.
"This case is and has always been about the risk of extradition to the United States and that risk remains real.
"Unless that assurance is given and the UK stops insisting on neither confirming or denying the existence of that, he is at risk of extradition and that is the risk that he entered the embassy for in the very first place."
With those words Ms Robinson reveals that while these court hearings are interesting steps in a long running saga the end game is fair more complicated.