British MPs urge government to extradite Julian Assange to Sweden

British MPs urge government to extradite Julian Assange to Sweden

British MPs urge government to extradite Julian Assange to Sweden

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

He sought refuge in the Knightsbridge embassy in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden on sexual assault charges.

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

Australian-born Assange faces a charge of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion in the U.S. for his alleged role in one of the largest ever leaks of government secrets, in 2010, which could result in a prison term of up to five years. He could also face a second extradition request if Sweden decides to pursue a rape case against him that was suspended in 2017, when he was in the embassy, beyond the reach of the law.

Assange allegedly helped former U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning hack into the U.S. Defense Department in 2010.

Some Conservative Party members are also backing the move.

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

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.

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WikiLeaks editor Kristinn Hrafnsson warned he fears the U.S. will add more charges, meaning he could face decades in an American prison.

Mr Assange has always denied the allegations.

Previous comparable cases, involving accused hackers Lauri Love and Gary McKinnon, took between five and 10 years but eventually resulted in their extraditions to the U.S. being blocked.

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".

Some of the sexual misconduct accusations are no longer viable because their time ran out.

After Assange's arrest, Swedish prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson was tapped to look into a request from a lawyer for one of the accusers, to find out whether the case can be pursued.

Legal experts said on Friday that the case could take several years mired in British courts and, if appealed, potentially go all the way to the European Court of Justice.

In a statement issued on Friday, his legal team confirmed he would resist the extradition that sets a "dangerous precedent where any journalist could face USA charges for publishing truthful information about the United States".

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