A Swedish court has rejected an appeal by Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to have his arrest warrant over sexual assault allegations revoked.
Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since June 2012 to avoid being extradited to Sweden and face allegations he sexually assaulted two women in 2010.
The Australian national fears if Britain forces him to go to Sweden, he will be handed over to US authorities to face charges for leaking thousands of classified documents.
He denies all the sex offence allegations against him.
The Swedish Court of Appeal has now rejected his appeal to have the detention order issued by prosecutors revoked. The court also expressed its frustrations that the investigation into Assange appears to have "come to a halt" since his time the embassy.
"There is no reason to set aside the detention solely because Julian Assange is in an embassy and the detention order cannot be enforced at present for that reason," the Svea Court of Appeal said.
It added: "When it comes to the reasons for and against detention, i.e. the assessment of proportionality that is always made when use is made of a coercive measure such as detention, the Court of Appeal considers that Julian Assange's stay at the embassy shall not count in his favour since he can himself choose to bring his stay there to an end.
"The Court of Appeal notes, however, that the investigation into the suspected crimes has come to a halt and considers that the failure of the prosecutors to examine alternative avenues is not in line with their obligation – in the interests of everyone concerned – to move the preliminary investigation forward.
"However, in the view of the Court of Appeal the reasons for detention still outweigh the reasons to the contrary since Julian Assange is suspected of crimes of a relatively serious nature and there is a great risk that he will evade legal proceedings or punishment if the detention order is set aside."