Julian Assange: Sweden considers reviving rape inquiry

Craig Murray

More than 70 British members of parliament have signed a letter urging the home secretary to ensure that WikiLeaks cofounder Julian Assange is extradited to Sweden if a case there is reopened against him.

Police bundle WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, centre right, from the Ecuadorian embassy into a police van in London after he was arrested by officers from the Metropolitan Police and taken into custody Thursday April 11, 2019.

But within 60 days from Thursday, when British police bundled Assange out of the Ecuadorean embassy in London where he had taken refuge seven years ago, USA authorities must submit a formal request outlining all the legal charges Assange would face if he is transferred into US custody.

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.

Prosecutors said they were looking again at the case after a request by the lawyer of the alleged victim.

"A kneejerk response that presumes that hacking is acceptable if the perpetrators can claim that their motives were journalistic is particularly unsafe when it emanates from those aspiring to become prime minister or home secretary, such as Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott".

Assange is due to face a hearing over his possible extradition to the United States on 2 May.

The U.S. official said that within the 60-day period, U.S. authorities could modify or add to the current charges they have filed against Assange.

WikiLeaks founder Assange, 47, is facing rape and sexual assault allegations in Sweden.

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The alleged victim's lawyer said she would do "everything we possibly can" to get the investigation reopened.

"I don't think politicians should be saying he should or should not be. extradited", he said.

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

A spokesman for the Swedish Prosecution Authority said they were following the news of Assange's arrest.

The Department of Justice charged Assange with taking part in a computer hacking conspiracy, accusing him of scheming with Chelsea Manning, a former Army intelligence analyst, to break a password for a classified government computer.

The written request comes after Javid and Abbott argued over Assange's arrest by British police on Thursday without discussing the rape allegation.

Assange denies both allegations.

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

The country's ambassador to the UK, Jaime Marchan, said that in the time Assange had remained in the embassy he had been disrespectful, "continually a problem" and interfered in elections, politics and the internal affairs of other countries.

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