Corbyn calls on UK Government to oppose Julian Assange extradition

Corbyn calls on UK Government to oppose Julian Assange extradition

The WikiLeaks co-founder was dramatically arrested on Thursday at the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he had been holed up for nearly seven years.

Since 2012, Assange had been residing in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he faced a probe over allegations of sexual assault.

Carlos Poveda, the lawyer of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, speaks to Reuters following Assange's arrest in London, in Quito, Ecuador, April 11, 2019.

Julian Assange may yet face rape charges in Sweden as the battle for extradition of the WikiLeaks founder heats up.

Assange sought asylum at Ecuador's embassy in London's chic Knightsbridge district after a British judge ruled he should be extradited to Sweden to face sexual assault allegations.

In the court it was also announced Assange was facing a charge of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion in the U.S. for his alleged role in WikiLeaks' 2010 dumping of government secrets.

Swedish prosecutors dropped a rape investigation into Assange in 2017 because they were unable to formally notify him of the allegations - a necessary step in proceeding with the case - while he remained in the Ecuadorian embassy.

"It is therefore of grave concern to us that it appears that the Swedish authorities were not aware of the plans made to arrest Mr Assange yesterday in London, and we would welcome clarity as to what action the United Kingdom authorities took to ensure that the Swedish prosecutors were informed in advance of this decision", it adds.




Assange's lawyer has previously said he planned to fight any USA charges against him.

The Ecuadorian government had historically been sympathetic to Assange's cause, but a regime change two years ago heralded a less supportive approach.

The prosecution service said it did not have a timetable for when any decisions on the case would be made, but added the statute for limitations would not expire until August 2020.

Mr Marchan said: "He has said that we were spying on him, he has said we were lying, we were agents of the United States".

According to the Home Office, the home secretary can bring a limited number of factors into consideration when deciding whether to order a person's extradition.

Extradition lawyer Ben Keith said the court will not assess the evidence against Assange to determine his guilt or innocence but will scrutinize whether the offence he is accused of in the USA would be a crime in Britain.

But pointing the finger at Mr Corbyn and Ms Abbott, Maajid said: "You can't claim to be a progressive, you can't claim to be of the left, you can't claim to stand for social justice if when women make allegations against trump you say believe them but when they make allegations against your man you're suddenly making excuses for him".

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