Corbyn calls on UK Government to oppose Julian Assange extradition

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange arrives at the Westminster Magistrates Court after he was arrested in London Britain.— Reuters  File

More than 70 British legislators are urging the government to make sure WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange faces Swedish justice if prosecutors there reopen a rape allegation against him.

On Thursday, UK police finally arrested him at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, where he has spent the last seven years.

Assange first sought asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in 2012, when he skipped bail after an extradition order to Sweden, where someone had accused him of sexual assault.

Assange took refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in 2012 after he was released on bail in Britain while facing extradition to Sweden on the allegations.

But Swedish prosecutors say they are now re-examining the 47-year-old's case at the request of the lawyer acting for the alleged rape victim.

If found guilty of the US charges, Assange could get five years in prison. British police said Assange had been arrested Thursday for breaching his bail conditions and in relation to the us arrest request.

His separate extradition case is set to be next heard by video-link at Westminster Magistrates Court on May 2.

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.

Clearly, this is why the USA government is so tenaciously pursuing Mr Assange's prosecution - to protect the mechanisms used by the status quo to maintain itself.

"We are going to do everything we possibly can to get the Swedish police investigation re-opened so that Assange can be extradited to Sweden and prosecuted for rape", lawyer Elisabeth Massi Fritz tweeted.

"And he said, 'I told you so'".

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.

Relations with his Ecuadoran hosts gradually soured and new pro-US President Lenin Moreno on Thursday pulled his asylum and permitted British police to remove Assange.

A coalition of campaigners representing survivors of sexual violence urged the home secretary to focus on the unresolved rape allegations emanating from Sweden against Assange.

Meanwhile, prosecutors in Sweden have confirmed that while the investigation has not yet been officially resumed, they are looking into the case.

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

In a statement issued on Friday, his legal team confirmed he would resist the extradition that sets a "dangerous precedent where any journalist could face U.S. charges for publishing truthful information about the United States".

On Friday, several dozen people demonstrated in support of Assange outside the British embassy in Berlin.

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