Army of lawyers prepares for Assange extradition battle

Craig Murray

Craig Murray

At Thursday's hearing, judge Michael Snow described Assange as a "narcissist" and said he could consent to the extradition and "get on with your life".

She said: "This is all about Wikileaks and all of that embarrassing information about the activities of the American military and security services that was made public".

The 47-year-old's Swedish lawyer, Per E Samuelson, told local media it would be "highly unlikely" Assange would face a Swedish courtroom, and that the US's extradition request would trump Sweden's.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is handled by Metropolitan Police officers during his arrest, London, April 11, 2019.

María Paula Romo says the person arrested allegedly conspired against the Ecuadorian government. The charge was announced after Assange was taken into custody.

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

USA prosecutors have just under two months to present British authorities with a final and detailed criminal case to justify the possible extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, a US government official said on Friday.

Sweden suspended its investigation into possible serious sexual misconduct against Assange two years ago because he was beyond their reach while he was living in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London with political asylum status. He had stayed inside the embassy building for almost seven years.

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.

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Mr Assange has always denied the allegations.

After his dramatic arrest, he was taken to Westminster Magistrates' Court and found guilty of a British charge of breaching bail.

Elisabeth Massi Fritz, who represents the unnamed woman, said news of Mr Assange's arrest was "a shock to my client" and something "we have been waiting and hoping for since 2012".

The extradition process is not swift, and Assange could appeal several times if decisions go against him.

Extradition proceedings are dealt with by the courts.

"The most likely outcome is that he will be extracted to the United States", he said.

Following Assange's arrest in London on an unrelated USA hacking charge, Clinton said that he should be held responsible. In rare cases where US law would allow the death penalty, such as first-degree murder or terrorism, USA officials typically facilitate extradition by providing assurances to Britain that capital punishment would not be sough, Keith added.

The letter, signed late on Friday by mostly Labour Party MPs, urged UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid to "stand with the victims of sexual violence" and ensure the rape claim against him can be "properly investigated". Typically the first request made - in this case from USA officials - would be acted on first, but officials have some leeway.

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