March 26, 2017

Julian Assange Case Facts

On August 20th, the Swedish Prosecution Authority issued a warrant for Julian Assange, who was sought for questioning about allegations of rape. Less than twelve hours after the release of the warrant, a senior Swedish prosecutor withdrew the warrant. Almost three months later, on November 18th, a Swedish court revived the allegations and issued another warrant to bring Assange in for questioning. Though, since Assange was no longer in Sweden, the warrant did not provide enough authority to arrest Assange outside of Sweden.

However, on November 30th, which was the third straight day that WikiLeaks published a series of diplomatic documents, the allegations against Assange were amplified when Interpol issued an international warrant for Assange on the basis of “sex crimes.” Yesterday, amid an international manhunt, Assange turned himself in to British police and was later denied bail. Assange has still not been charged with a crime and is wanted for questioning in Sweden.

As a result, the UK must decide whether or not it will extradite Assange to Sweden for questioning. Typically, extradition to other countries is unlikely when there is a lack of a criminal charge. Until the next extradition hearing, which is scheduled for December 14th, Assange will remain in British custody.

Meanwhile, even though Assange is in custody, WikiLeaks continues to publish diplomatic documents each day. Today’s publication marked the 11th consecutive day and brings the total number of released documents to 1,095 – only a fraction of the 251,287 documents that WikiLeaks possesses. The whistleblowing organization has said it will publish new documents each day until all of the documents are released.

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