March 29, 2017

UK to Extradite Assange to Sweden

Today a UK Court approved the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to Sweden for allegations of rape and sexual assault. Despite this ruling, the matter is not yet resolved because Assange and his lawyers confirmed they will appeal the ruling. If extradited to Sweden, Assange could face up to four years in prison and would be subject to immediate detainment, since Sweden does not have a system of bail.

Assange has denied the accusations ever since he was originally charged in Sweden on August 20th, 2010. The Swedish Prosecution Authority withdrew the original warrant for Assange less than twelve hours after it was issued. Almost three months later, on November 18th, Sweden revived the accusations and issued another warrant to bring in Assange for questioning. Though, since Assange was outside of Sweden when the second warrant was issued, INTERPOL eventually issued an international warrant on November 30th.

Assange subsequently turned himself in to British police and spent a week in jail before he was granted bail. On January 11th, a UK Court set the date of Assange’s extradition hearing, which was scheduled for February 7th and 8th. Following these hearings, Senior District Court Judge Howard Riddle issued today’s ruling [.pdf] that orders Britain to extradite Assange to Sweden. Assange posted bail again today and will remain out of custody until the appeal.

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