A British judge has said she will make a decision over whether to drop an arrest warrant against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on 6 February.

Today, his lawyers asked a court in London to drop the warrant that stems from his breach of bail conditions, as he steps up efforts to leave the Ecuadorean embassy after more than five years.

Mr Assange had feared Sweden would hand him over to the United States to face prosecution over WikiLeaks' publication of swathes of classified military and diplomatic documents in one of the largest information leaks in US history.

The hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court is the latest push by Mr Assange to find a way to leave the building without arrest.

"He is seeking to have the warrant of arrest discontinued because the Swedes have confirmed that the extradition warrant is no longer live," a spokesman for Britain's Crown Prosecution Service said.

"He is seeking that therefore the warrant of arrest should be taken out as well."

Asked if a successful ruling could enable Mr Assange to walk free, the spokesman replied: "Hypothetically yes, that would be our interpretation."

In May last year, Swedish prosecutors dropped their probe into the allegations but British police have insisted Mr Assange would still be arrested for breaching bail conditions should he leave the building.

British police have said the charge of skipping bail was a much less serious offence than rape, but he could still face up to a year in jail if convicted.

Earlier this month, Ecuador said it had given citizenship to Mr Assange, hours after the British government refused a request for him to be given diplomatic status, which could have given him immunity from arrest should he try to leave the embassy.