Parliamentarians urge Government to ensure Assange can be extradited to Sweden

Parliamentarians urge Government to ensure Assange can be extradited to Sweden

Parliamentarians urge Government to ensure Assange can be extradited to Sweden

Ms Massi Fritz said in a text message sent to the Associated Press that "we are going to do everything" to have the Swedish case reopened "so Assange can be extradited to Sweden and prosecuted for rape".

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

On Thursday, British police forcibly removed Assange from the Ecuadorean Embassy, where he had taken asylum for nearly seven years. 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.

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

Meanwhile, the lawyer of the Swedish woman who accused Julian Assange of rape in 2010 said Thursday she and her client would ask Swedish prosecutors to reopen the investigation which was dropped in 2017.

Extradition lawyer Ben Keith said the court will not assess the evidence against Assange to determine his guilt or innocence but will scrutinize whether the offence he is accused of in the USA would be a crime in Britain.

The British MPs also noted that while Ecuador had warned British and USA officials that they would rescind Assange's asylum, Swedish authorities were kept in the dark.

He was retweeted by Pamela Anderson - one of Assange's most famous supporters - who has previously described Mr Corbyn as "clearly a decent and fair man".

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It follows confirmation from the Crown Prosecution Service that in the event of competing extradition requests for the same person, it falls to the home secretary to decide which one goes first.

According to a criminal indictment that was only unsealed after the WikiLeaks founder's arrest, Assange is charged with conspiring with former army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to gain unauthorised access to a government computer.

His arrest became possible after Ecuador revoked his political asylum, complaining that he was an obnoxious houseguest who didn't clean up after his cat and that WikiLeaks was plotting to blackmail the Latin American country's president.

The letter, signed by mostly Labour MPs, urges Mr Javid to "stand with the victims of sexual violence" and ensure the rape claim against the 47-year-old can be "properly investigated".

Prosecutors in Sweden have since confirmed that, while the investigation has not been resumed, they are looking into the case.

Assange is due to face Westminster Magistrates Court on May 2 via a video-link from prison over the United States extradition case.

The battle between Assange and the US government was always going to be epic, involving concepts like free speech, journalists' rights, national interests, even treason.

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