Julian Assange's Lawyers Vow to Fight His Extradition to the United States

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Meanwhile a group of over 70 British MPs has urged the UK Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, to give priority to Sweden over the USA, if the Swedish authorities request his extradition.

Women's groups have added to pressure on Sajid Javid to ensure Julian Assange is extradited to Sweden.

A law change following the case of accused cyber-hacker Gary McKinnon, who has Asperger's, shifted responsibility away from ministers to the courts after then-home secretary Theresa May intervened to stop his extradition to the U.S. in 2012.

"We must send a strong message of the priority the United Kingdom has in tackling sexual violence and the seriousness with which such allegations are viewed", the letter says.

Assange's lawyers meanwhile confirmed that U.S. prosecutors have 65 days to submit a full set of charges, raising the prospect of additional criminal allegations being introduced that would result in a far longer sentence. Assange was arrested earlier Thursday at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, and the US has charged him with conspiring with former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to break into a classified government computer at the Pentagon.


Assange sought asylum at Ecuador's embassy in London's chic Knightsbridge district after a British judge ruled he should be extradited to Sweden to face sexual assault allegations.

Renowned author Noam Chomsky took apart the arrest of Julian Assange on 12 April.

Following his arrest, however, the alleged rape victim asked that her case now be reopened - but the limitation period on this claim expires in August 2020.

"We do not presume guilt, of course, but we believe due process should be followed and the complainant should see justice be done", it said.

Most of the lawmakers who signed the letter are from the opposition Labour Party, whose leader, Jeremy Corbyn, wants Britain to refuse to send Assange to the U.S. After Assange's arrest, Corbyn praised him for exposing U.S. atrocities committed in Iraq and Afghanistan when WikiLeaks released tens of thousands of confidential U.S. documents in 2010.


Assange spent nearly seven years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he sought political asylum in 2012 after failing in his legal battle against extradition to Sweden, where he was wanted over two separate allegations, one of rape and one of molestation. "From now on we'll be more careful in giving asylum to people who are really worth it, and not miserable hackers whose only goal is to destabilise governments".

Assange is now being held at the high-security Belmarsh jail in southeast London.

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

He was arrested Thursday and is now in British custody facing an extradition request from the United States on charges of conspiring to break into a Pentagon computer.

As Assange settled in to his first night in British custody, his allies and enemies alike are gearing up for what promises to be a long, dogged legal slog, not only over his possible extradition to the US but over how courts should view his actions.


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