WikiLeaks founder to learn extradition decision tomorrow

29 May 2012

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

The founder of whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks Julian Assange will find out tomorrow morning whether he will be extradited to Sweden from Britain when the UK Supreme Court delivers its judgment in central London.

Assange (40) is wanted in Sweden for questioning over allegations of rape and sexual assault. He has not been charged with any crime in any country.

Assange has been detained since December 2010 on a European arrest warrant issued by a public prosecutor in Sweden and has been under house arrest in London for more than a year.

Attempts by Swedish authorities to arrest Assange over the sexual assault allegations have resulted in a lengthy court battle.

Assange has claimed his arrest was politically motivated and linked to WikiLeaks, which published leaked confidential US military and diplomatic cables in 2010. He has also questioned the validity of the European arrest warrant.

Britain’s highest court is his last means of appeal under British law. Tomorrow’s judgment, which is scheduled to begin at 9.15am, is expected to last only 10 minutes.

If tomorrow’s ruling is to extradite Assange, he will be sent to Sweden within 10 days. He can then appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, though that will not stop his extradition.

Assange has been adamant in his belief that extradition to Stockholm will only result in him being handed over to US authorities keen to strike back over the cables that were leaked online.

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic