Julian Assange should be extradited to Sweden: British MPs

Protest outside Assange trial at Westminster Magistrates Court

Protest outside Assange trial at Westminster Magistrates Court

More than 70 Parliamentarians have signed a letter urging the Government to ensure Julian Assange faces Swedish authorities if they request his extradition.

On Friday evening, shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry said Assange should be extradited to Sweden before any attempt to get him to the US.

Assange was arrested and dragged out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London on Thursday, bringing an end to his seven-year stay after seeking asylum in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden over sexual assault charges levelled against him.

Within hours of police hauling him out of the embassy, the 47-year-old Australia appeared in court for breaching his British bail conditions back in 2012 and to face a subsequent United States extradition request.

Sweden suspended its investigation of serious sexual misconduct two years ago because Assange was beyond their reach while at the embassy.

A preliminary investigation against Mr Assange, 47, was dropped in 2017, however the alleged victim's lawyer has stated "we will do everything we can" to resume the case.

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If found guilty of the USA charges, Assange could get five years in prison.

The United States will nearly certainly ask for him to be extradited to the States but Assange has said that he will fight an extradition order.

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It added that "justice has already been denied" in some parts of the investigation because of Assange's unavailability.

The Swedish accusation against Assange dates from August 2010 when the alleged victim, who says she met him at a WikiLeaks conference in Stockholm a few days earlier, filed a complaint.

"He said: "I told you so", Robinson told reporters and supporters, including fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, outside court on Thursday.

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It follows confirmation from the Crown Prosecution Service that in the event of competing extradition requests for the same person, it falls to the home secretary to decide which one goes first.

"Though the Secretary of State does have very limited powers to interfere, I don't see that discretion being used", she said.

Sweden, meanwhile, has tapped prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson to look into whether the reopening of the rape inquiry can be pursued.

The United Nations has called for his right to a fair trial to be respected.

After his dramatic arrest, he was taken to Westminster Magistrates' Court and found guilty of a British charge of breaching bail.

The country's ambassador to the UK, Jaime Marchan, said that in the time Assange had remained in the embassy he had been disrespectful, "continually a problem" and interfered in elections, politics and the internal affairs of other countries.

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The Australian had been holed up there for seven years to avoid the Swedish rape allegation, which he denies, along with charges for skipping bail in Britain, and a U.S. indictment relating to a massive leak of Pentagon documents.

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