British Court Gives Green Light to Assange Extradition

World | February 24, 2011, Thursday // 15:03|  views

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange (R) accompanied by Jennifer Robinson (L), member of his legal team, arrives at Belmarsh Magistrates court in south east London, Britain, 24 February 2011.

A British judge has ordered that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange be extradited to Sweden, where he is to face accusations of sexual abuse.

The Swedish warrant seeking Assange's return to Sweden for questioning was valid, the court ruled on Thursday. Assange is accused of two counts of sexual molestation, one count of unlawful coercion and one count of rape.

Assange has seven days to appeal the ruling. If he doesn't appeal, extradition could proceed in 10 days his lawyers, however, immediately indicated that they will appeal.

The 39 year-old Australian has said he believes the accusations to be a CIA conspiracy designed as a retribution for the recent release of a vast amount of leaked diplomnatic cables in his whistleblower website. His British lawyer Mark Stephens has further stated that Assange is actually accused of "sex by surprise", as his accusers have stated that their sexual encounters with Mr. Assange started out as consensual but turned nonconsensual.

Assange and his defense have expressed their concerns that there might be a further extradition to the USA he could face imprisonment in Guantanamo or the death penalty.

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Tags: Julian Assange, diplomatic cables, Swedish, sexual, Wikileaks

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