French Sec. of State Would Consider Asylum for Julian Assange
00:08, Apr 14, 2019
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"We will do everything we can to get the prosecutors to reopen the Swedish investigation so that Assange can be extradited to Sweden and be prosecuted for rape".
The lawmakers signed a letter late Friday urging Home Secretary Sajid Javid to "do everything you can to champion action that will ensure Julian Assange can be extradited to Sweden in the event Sweden makes an extradition request".
"We do not presume guilt, of course, but we believe due process should be followed and the complainant should see justice be done".
The struggle has taken him through a "mansion arrest" in the English countryside; a dramatic escape into the Ecuadorian Embassy in London; a multimillion-pound United Kingdom police siege of the embassy that has strained government coffers; and even a freaky attempt to turn him into a Moscow-based diplomat.
Assange sought refuge in the Ecuador embassy, in Knightsbridge, west London, in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden over allegations of sexual assault.
A preliminary investigation against Mr Assange, 47, was dropped in 2017, however the alleged victim's lawyer has stated "we will do everything we can" to resume the case.
Diane Abbott, Labour's spokeswoman for domestic affairs, said the government should block the extradition on human rights grounds.
WikiLeaks says he will fight the US extradition request and has been meeting with his legal team to plan his defence.
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.
Assange faces what is likely to be a titanic struggle to fend off extradition to the US - and possibly a second extradition request from Sweden on rape allegations.
The Swedish accusation against Assange dates from August 2010 when the alleged victim, who says she met him at a WikiLeaks conference in Stockholm a few days earlier, filed a complaint.
Britain is bound by law not to extradite a suspect to a country where he or she could face execution for the crime, but this is not an issue at the moment because the crime Assange faces does not put him at risk of capital punishment, he said.
She said she was "disgusted" the American allegation had been "allowed to eclipse" the sex offence case.
Sweden's Prosecution Authority said Thursday they were considering reopening the investigation against Assange.
However, under British law the United States has until June 12 to submit full extradition papers.
Following his arrest, Assange, with grey hair tied into a pony tail and sporting a long beard, appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court, where a judge accused him of behaving like a "narcissist".
Assange has denied wrongdoing.
Legal experts said on Friday that the case could take several years mired in British courts and, if appealed, potentially go all the way to the European Court of Justice.
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