Ecuadorean Judge Orders Swedish Citizen Close to Assange Jailed Pending Trial

Ecuadorean Judge Orders Swedish Citizen Close to Assange Jailed Pending Trial

Ecuadorean Judge Orders Swedish Citizen Close to Assange Jailed Pending Trial

The 47-year-old Australian activist was arrested by British police on Thursday and forcibly removed from the Ecuadorian embassy in London after his asylum was revoked, bringing to an end more than six years in the building. Assange took refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in 2012 after he was released on bail in Britain while facing extradition to Sweden on sexual assault allegations that have since been dropped.

Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange could face a renewed investigation into an allegation of rape in Sweden.

The letter to the Home Secretary was organised by Labour MP Stella Creasy and stated: "We are writing to request that you do everything you can to champion action that will ensure Julian Assange can be extradited to Sweden in the event Sweden make an extradition request".

In the court it was also announced Assange was facing a charge of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion in the United States for his alleged role in WikiLeaks' 2010 dumping of government secrets.

"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.

According to a criminal indictment against Assange which prosecutors in Virginia secretly obtained more than a year ago but only unsealed after Assange's arrest, Assange is charged with conspiring with former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to gain unauthorized access to a government computer.

However, the US Department of Justice claims that he faces just five years behind bars on hacking charges.

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

Assange denies both allegations.

But WikiLeaks editor Kristinn Hrafnsson said he fears more charges will be added, meaning Assange could face decades in a United States prison.

Despite this support, for Ecuador, which prides itself on its hospitality and spent nearly $1mn a year protecting Assange, his behaviour was seen been by some as a national insult.

They will now re-examine the rape case to decide whether to resume it before the statute of limitations runs out in August 2020. He could be jailed for up to a year when he is sentenced at a later date.

Assange's lawyer Jennifer Robinson said they would be fighting the extradition request. He feared that if he was taken to Sweden, he would be handed to the U.S. authorities.

The Ecuadorian government said Assange, who was thrown out of the embassy after his diplomatic asylum was withdrawn by the country's president, Lenin Moreno, had paid for his own expenses since the last December.

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