British MPs say WikiLeaks’ Assange should face justice in Sweden | News

More than 70 British members of parliament have signed a letter urging the home secretary to ensure that WikiLeaks cofounder Julian Assange is extradited to Sweden if a case there is reopened against him. 

The letter, signed late on Friday by mostly Labour Party MPs, urged UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid to “stand with the victims of sexual violence” and ensure the rape claim against him can be “properly investigated”.

“We do not presume guilt, of course, but we believe due process should be followed and the complainant should see justice be done,” it said.

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was arrested by British police on Thursday and forcibly removed from the Ecuadorian embassy in London after his asylum was revoked, bringing to an end more than six years in the building.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 originally sought asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden, where prosecutors wanted to question him over a rape allegation, which he denied.

Sweden suspended its investigation of serious sexual misconduct two years ago because Assange was beyond their reach while at the embassy.

But on Friday, Swedish prosecutors said they were examining the rape case at the request of the alleged victim’s lawyer.

‘Embarrassing information’

British Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott said it was right that he should face justice if charges are brought.

“If the Swedish government wants to come forward with those charges, I believe that Assange should face the criminal justice system,” said Abbott, who added that the arrest was politically motivated as WikiLeaks has published enormous tranches of sensitive military information.

“We all know what this is about. It’s not the rape charges, serious as they are, it’s about WikiLeaks. All that embarrassing information about the activities of the American military that was made public and that is what it is about.”

The move by British MPs to push for Assange’s extradition to Sweden came hours after the Labour Party called on the government to halt his extradition to the United States, where he has been charged with offences related to his work with whistle-blower Chelsea Manning. 

Abbott said Prime Minister Theresa May should intervene as she did in the case of British hacker Gary McKinnon, whose extradition request she rejected on medical grounds in 2012.

But May has shown no desire to interfere with the US’s wishes this time. She welcomed the arrest in Parliament on Thursday, where Sajid Javid, the current home secretary, accused Labour of supporting a man with “a track record of undermining the UK and our allies and the values we stand for”.

US prosecutors say Assange faces five years in prison if convicted of “conspiracy to commit computer intrusion”, though further charges are expected to be brought against him. 

Abbott’s comments followed a post on Twitter by Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn on Thursday that praised Assange’s exposing of US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan and said that his extradition to the US “should be opposed by the British government”.


Source

more recommended stories

  • Record number of people murdered in Mexico this year | News

    Violence in Mexico has hit new.

  • Sri Lanka bombings: All the latest updates | Sri Lanka News

    A series of coordinated explosions has rocked.

  • Sri Lanka Easter bombings: Mass casualties in churches and hotels | News

    A series of bombings has hit.

  • Will Egyptian President Sisi’s mandate be extended? | Abdel Fattah el-Sisi

    Millions of Egyptians are heading to.

  • Gaza fishermen: Israel extending fishing zone is token gesture | News

    Gaza Strip – Under cover of.

  • US man arrested for threatening Democratic politicians | USA News

    Police arrested a Florida man on.

  • US Democrat Nadler subpoenas full, unredacted Mueller report | USA News

    United States House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler.

  • Mali’s PM Maiga, government resign over Ogossagou massacre | News

    Mali‘s prime minister and his government.

  • Libya death toll rises to 205 as Tripoli fighting continues: WHO | News

    At least 205 people have been.

  • Magnitude 6.1 earthquake hits east Taiwan, no major damage | News

    A magnitude 6.1 earthquake has struck.

  • Mueller report to be released on Thursday: 5 things to look for | News

    US Attorney General William Barr has.

  • Ethiopia: Former jail to become museum | Ethiopia News

    The administration of Ethiopia‘s southeastern Somali.

  • Voting underway in Indonesia’s biggest election | News

    Indonesians have started voting to choose.

  • Why is Notre Dame important to France? | France News

    Notre Dame Cathedral is one of.

  • Jailed Reuters journalists honoured with Pulitzer Prize | News

    Two jailed reporters for the Reuters.

  • Are foreign powers worsening the conflict in Libya? | Middle East

    Libya’s rival forces are intensifying their.

  • India’s poll body accused of bias as election complaints pile up | India News

    New Delhi, India – In 2011,.

  • Sudan military vows to reform intelligence service amid protests | News

    Sudan‘s ruling military council has announced.

  • Russia in Africa: Inside a military training centre in CAR | Central African Republic

    Russia is back in the Central.

  • Think you can survive in Bangkok’s art world?

    Curate an art exhibition and survive.

  • Sudan’s military removes al-Bashir: All the latest updates | News

    Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir has been.

  • ‘Not pawns’: US mayors decry Trump’s sanctuary city threat | USA News

    Democratic US mayors said on Friday.

  • Algerians take to the streets as anger mounts at interim leader | Algeria News

    Algerian police tried but failed to.

  • ‘Guard your revolution’: Sudan protests continue despite curfew | News

    Organisers of the months-long demonstrations that.

  • US charges WikiLeaks’ Assange with ‘computer hacking conspiracy’ | News

    Washington, DC – US prosecutors have charged.

  • India elections: Voting under way for first phase | India News

    Indians are voting in the first.

  • US, China ‘agree to establish trade deal enforcement offices’ | News

    US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

  • New Zealand passes gun law reform in wake of Christchurch attack | New Zealand News

    Auckland, New Zealand – New Zealand’s.

  • Israel elections: Netanyahu and main rival in tight race | News

    Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was.

  • Hope blossoms in spring as Afghans keep close eye on peace talks | Asia

    Asasabad, Kunar Province, Afghanistan – The.

  • Hong Kong ‘Umbrella Movement’ protest leaders found guilty | News

    Hong Kong – A Hong Kong.

  • Three US troops, one contractor killed in Afghanistan explosion | Afghanistan News

    Three US service members and a.