A court in France’s Creteil commune turned down a request to grant political asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the AFP news agency reported citing a court document, Report informs referring to TASS.

The agency quoted the document as saying that “the fact that he [Assange] is being kept in custody” should not be viewed as a reason for an exception to the rule stating that “the applicant must be present on the territory of the country or the European Union” in order to apply for political asylum in France.

The request was filed by members of the Robin des Lois association, who sought to challenge in court several regulations related to rules of entry, residence and political asylum for foreigners. According to the organization, some provisions from French laws contradict the preamble to the country’s constitution, as well as several international conventions.

Legal representatives of the French government were not present in the court. The association has no plans to appeal the ruling, but publicly urges French Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti – who is Assange’s former lawyer – to “at last take the matter into his own hands.”

Assange was taken into custody after leaving the premises of Ecuador’s embassy in London in April 2019, and has since been held at the Belmarsh maximum security prison in London. Washington has been seeking his extradition for more than four years, but Assange’s defense team has so far managed to successfully fend off their moves in court.