ISSN 2330-717X

British Court to reconvene for WikiLeaks’ Assange extradition hearings Feb.24

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A British court will announce a decision on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s extradition to Sweden, District Judge Howard Riddle said on Friday.

Extradition hearings for Assange started in London’s Belmarsh Magistrates’ Court on Monday. His lawyer, Geoffrey Robertson, started off the hearing with a request to delay it until March to prepare evidence that Assange would not have a fair trial in Sweden.

The whistle-blowing WikiLeaks website has provoked U.S. rage by releasing diplomatic documents in late 2010.

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt on Tuesday said the description of Sweden’s judiciary system presented by Assange’s lawyers was untrue.

“It is unfortunate. We have an independent judiciary,” the Swedish Wire quoted Reinfeldt as saying.

Judge Riddle denied Robertson’s request, saying that there was a need for “an element of finality” for the extradition hearing.

Assange was arrested in London on December 7, but later released on bail. Assange’s lawyers express fears that if he is sent to Sweden on sex assault charges, he could be then extradited to the United States and face the death penalty for violation of the Espionage Act of 1917.

The defense of WikiLeaks founder says the charges against him are politically motivated.

Ria Novosti

Ria Novosti

RIA Novosti was Russia's leading news agency in terms of multimedia technologies, website audience reach and quoting by the Russian media.

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