MPs urge United Kingdom to cooperate with Sweden in Assange case

MPs urge United Kingdom to cooperate with Sweden in Assange case

More than 70 British lawmakers have urged the government to make sure that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange faces Swedish justice if prosecutors there reopen a rape allegation against him.

The WikiLeaks co-founder was dramatically arrested on Thursday at the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he had been holed up for nearly seven years.

The United Nations called for Assange's right to a fair trial to be respected during any extradition process.

"We will now examine the case in order to determine how to proceed".

Assange denies the Swedish allegations, which have a limitation period that expires in August 2020.

Should the extradition of Mr Assange go through, it would set a bad precedent, eroding the progress made by press freedom campaigners to democratise access to information and its attendant redistribution of power to the people.

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. Assange was arrested earlier Thursday at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, and the USA has charged him with conspiring with former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to break into a classified government computer at the Pentagon. British police said Assange had been arrested Thursday for breaching his bail conditions and in relation to the us arrest request.

He could receive up to a year in prison when sentenced at an as yet undetermined later date.

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"I think the top priority, as we say in our letter, is to ensure that if the Swedish authorities wish to have him extradited there to face those charges, they must take priority above all else".

"It's not going to happen", Mr Samuelson told the Expressen newspaper.

The 47-year-old asylum seeker was reportedly abusive toward the embassy staff, ate with his fingers, infrequently bathed or did laundry - and even smeared feces on the walls.

"As the USA has now submitted an extradition application, the Americans have preferential rights under worldwide rules".

He appeared in court a few hours later and was found guilty of breaching his bail terms back in 2012.

He is now on remand in custody awaiting sentencing at Southwark Crown Court over his bail breach.

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

The U.S. indictment filed in March 2018 said Assange, in March 2010, engaged in a conspiracy to help Manning crack a password stored on Defense Department computers connected to the Secret Internet Protocol Network (SIPRNet), a U.S. government network used for classified documents and communications. He feared that if he was taken to Sweden, he would be handed to the U.S. authorities.

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