US has two months to finalize extradition case against WikiLeaks' Assange

Clay Curtis
April 13, 2019

Given the extradition treaty between the United Kingdom and USA, it is likely the United Kingdom will have to honour it.

"In all, it seems a very steep hill to climb", he said. Under section 179 of the 2003 Extradition Act, it falls to the home secretary to decide which demand to satisfy, and the decision is made based on a number of criteria, including the relative severity of the offences, the date of the first warrant and the places where they were committed, a report from The Guardian says.

Australian-born Assange faces a charge of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion in the U.S. for his alleged role in one of the largest ever leaks of government secrets, in 2010, which could result in a prison term of up to five years.

"Though the Secretary of State does have very limited powers to interfere, I don't see that discretion being used", she said.

The 2016 Democratic presidential nominee and former secretary of state weighed in on Assange while at a speaking event with her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

The growing row over the extradition comes as a man, said to be Swedish software developer Ola Bini, was held at Quito airport as he prepared to board a flight bound for Japan on Thursday.

And it doesn't get much more discourteous than smearing shit on the walls, as Ecuador's Interior Minister Maria Paula Romo has claimed Assange did.

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The Guardian leads with the WikiLeaks founder's sensational arrest that saw him dragged from the Knightsbridge embassy where he had been holed up for almost seven years in a diplomatic stand-off. "I thought it was disgraceful the Ecuadorians would go back on their word".

The political debate over whether to extradite Assange is already taking shape, with Britain's opposition Labour Party urging the government not to hand him over to the Americans.

Assange sought refuge in the Ecuador embassy, in Knightsbridge, west London, in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden over allegations of sexual assault.

Elisabeth Massi Fritz, who represents the unnamed woman, said news of Assange's arrest was "a shock to my client" and something "we have been waiting and hoping for since 2012".

"We expect all the relevant authorities to ensure Mr Assange's right to a fair trial is upheld by authorities, including in any extradition proceedings that may take place", United Nations human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told a Geneva news briefing.

A preliminary investigation against Mr Assange, 47, was dropped in 2017, however the alleged victim's lawyer has stated "we will do everything we can" to resume the case.

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