WikiLeaks founder’s extradition hearing adjourned

11 Feb 2011

Following three days in a London court, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s extradition hearing has been adjourned to 24 February.

Judge Howard Riddle said he needed time to consider whether Assange should be extradited to Sweden to face charges.

Assange is wanted for questioning in Sweden in relation to a number of sex crimes. Two women have accused the 39-year-old investigative journalist of sex crimes. “Miss A” alleges Assange molested her, while “Miss W” accused him of having sex with her while she was asleep.

Assange, who angered US authorities by publishing hundreds of thousands of secret diplomatic tables, claims he could face the death penalty in America if he is sent back to Sweden. He believes he is being persecuted because of the work he has carried out with whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks.

He remains on bail under strict conditions in England until Riddle comes to a decision.

Grounds for refusing an extradition request are mainly limited to whether it would violate a suspect’s human rights or whether the arrest warrant was drawn up correctly.

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