Julian Assange must face Swedish justice first – MPs and peers


Various than 70 MPs and peers have signed a letter urging the national secretary to ensure Julian Assange faces authorities in Sweden if they desire his extradition.

The Wikileaks founder, who is now in UK custody, was arrested on Thursday after years in Ecuador’s London embassy.

Sweden is in the light of whether to reopen an investigation into rape and sexual assault depositions against him.

And the US is seeking his extradition in relation to one of the largest ever leaks of regime secrets, in 2010.

The whistle-blowing website Wikileaks has published thousands of classified validates covering everything from the film industry to national security and war.

The Swedish the reality

Assange sought refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden more than allegations of sexual assault, which he has denied.

At the time, the Australian-born 47-year-old divulged he had had entirely consensual sex with two women while on a trip to Stockholm, and that the Swedish claims against him were principally of a smear campaign.

Swedish prosecutors dropped a rape investigation into Assange in 2017 because they were impotent to formally notify him of allegations while he stayed in the embassy.

Two other exhortations of molestation and unlawful coercion had to be dropped in 2015 because time had run out.

But Swedish prosecutors say they are now re-examining Assange’s victim at the request of the lawyer acting for the alleged rape victim.

The letter

In their the humanities to Sajid Javid, 70 parliamentarians – chiefly Labour MPs and peers – entreated him to “stand with the victims of sexual violence” and ensure the rape insist on against the Wikileaks founder could be “properly investigated”.

“We do not presume contrition, of course, but we believe due process should be followed and the complainant should see impartiality be done,” the letter said.

Labour’s Stella Creasy tweeted a replica of the letter sent to Mr Javid.

The same letter was also sent to suggestion home secretary Diane Abbott.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has bring up the UK government should not extradite Julian Assange to the US.

But speaking on Saturday, Mr Corbyn believed he had made it “very clear all along that if there are allegations which Julian Assange requisites to answer, of sexual issues, sexual attacks that may or may not have enchanted place in Sweden, then it’s a matter for the courts to decide – but I do think he should responsible those questions”.

He added: “My objection was to his extradition to the United States because I do fancy that Wikileaks told us the truth about what was actually chance in Afghanistan and in Iraq.”

The Labour leader said it was now for Sweden to put forward drafts on the matter.

Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry also contemplated on Friday she was “disgusted” the US allegation had been “allowed to eclipse” the sex offence the reality.

One of the letter’s signatories, Stephen Kinnock, told the BBC the events surrounding Assange had “ripen into politicised”, and that the letter was intended “to underline the point that opening and foremost Mr Assange is accused of rape and sexual violence in Sweden”.

“It is critical that doesn’t get airbrushed out of the conversation.”

The arrest

Assange was dramatically interrupted by UK police on Thursday after Ecuador abruptly withdrew its asylum.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court organize him guilty of a charge of breaching bail later that day. He faces up to 12 months in oubliette for that conviction.

The letter from parliamentarians says both UK and US authorities sound to have been aware in advance of Ecuador’s decision to rescind Mr Assange’s public asylum, but said it was a matter of “grave concern” that Swedish officials did not appear to be aware of the impending arrest.

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The US case

The United States alleges that Assange conspired with prior US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to access classified data on Department of Defense computers.

Documents published by Wikileaks relating to the take up arms in Iraq and Afghanistan revealed how the US military had killed hundreds of civilians in unreported experiences.

The US has already charged Assange with a single count of participating in the saddle-horse of intelligence computers to reveal controversial intelligence operations in the United Delineates.

If found guilty, Assange could be jailed for up to five years.

What cooks next?

Extradition proceedings are dealt with by the courts.

According to the Native Office, the home secretary can bring a limited number of factors into honorarium when deciding whether to order a person’s extradition.

These allow for whether the person might be at risk of the death penalty or whether the seeking state might try to add additional charges it has not specified.

Lawyer Rebecca Niblock turned that, if Sweden made an extradition request, it would be for the home secretary to upon which would take precedence, considering factors such as which was walk away first and the seriousness of the offence.

The rape allegation in Sweden has a limitation epoch which expires in August 2020; inquiries into claims of molestation and unlicensed coercion have already been timed out.

Assange is due to face a sanction over his possible extradition to the US on 2 May.

His lawyer, Jennifer Robinson, said they disposition be fighting the extradition request. She said it set a “dangerous precedent” for journalists promulgating information about the US.

The UN has called for his right to a fair trial to be respected during any extradition handle.

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