Parliamentarians urge Government to ensure Assange can be extradited to Sweden

Posted April 14, 2019

More than 70 British members of parliament have signed a letter urging the home secretary to ensure that WikiLeaks cofounder Julian Assange is extradited to Sweden if a case there is reopened against him.

"We do not presume guilt, of course, but we believe due process should be followed and the complainant should see justice be done".

Newly arrested WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange needs to "answer for what he has done", Hillary Clinton said on April 11. Assange was arrested earlier Thursday at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, and the USA has charged him with conspiring with former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to break into a classified government computer at the Pentagon.

The MPs note that the investigation in Sweden was "discontinued only because of Assange's unavailability" while he was inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

More than 70 parliamentarians wrote to the home secretary, and the shadow Home sScretary Diane Abbott, urging them to prioritise the outstanding charge over the U.S. charges relating to Wikileaks' activities.

Mr Assange now faces the possibility of extradition to the United States, where he has been indicted on a conspiracy charge in connection with his interactions with Ms Manning.

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"We expect all the relevant authorities to ensure Mr Assange's right to a fair trial is upheld by authorities, including in any extradition proceedings that may take place", United Nations human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told a Geneva news briefing.

Assange faces what is likely to be a titanic struggle to fend off extradition to the USA - and possibly a second extradition request from Sweden on rape allegations.

Swedish prosecutors opened an investigation into Assange after two women accused him of sexual offences during a 2010 visit to Sweden.

"I don't think politicians should be saying he should or should not be. extradited", he said.

On occasions, when there are competing extradition requests, the home secretary decides which country should take priority.

According to a criminal indictment that was only unsealed after the WikiLeaks founder's arrest, Assange is charged with conspiring with former army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to gain unauthorised access to a government computer.

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He was arrested Thursday after Ecuador withdrew his asylum.

Prosecutors in Sweden have since confirmed that, while the investigation has not been resumed, they are looking into the case. "Julian's spirit stays strong", Mrs Assange said in a tweet to "warriors" for her son.

Assange denies the Swedish allegations, which have a limitation period that expires in August 2020.

If Assange loses in extradition court, he could appeal several times and ultimately try to have his case heard at the European Court of Human Rights - unless Britain has left the European Union by that time.

The 47-year-old Assange has extreme shoulder pain and tooth pain, Hrafnsson said.

"He's obviously going to fight extradition and fight it hard", Robinson told BBC radio on Friday, adding she had visited her client in a court cell after the hearing when he thanked supporters and said: "I told you so".

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