Published: Tue, May 21, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Swedish prosecutors file request for Julian Assange's arrest

Swedish prosecutors file request for Julian Assange's arrest

"Ecuador is committing a flagrant violation of the most basic norms of the institution of asylum by handing over all the asylee's personal belongings indiscriminately to the country that he was being protected from", added lawyer Aitor Martinez.

Ecuador's move to turn items and documents belonging to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange over to the USA emphasizes the power that the Trump administration can exert over the famed publisher, activist and comedian Randy Credico told Sputnik.

Assange said he took refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy because he feared Sweden would later extradite him to the United States, which did issue a warrant for his arrest following his removal from the building last month after Quito ended his asylum.

If granted, the court order would be the first step in a process to have Assange extradited from Britain, where he is serving a 50-week sentence for skipping bail.

The US has also filed an extradition request for Assange, in relation to WikiLeaks' release of a number of military and diplomatic documents.

WikiLeaks said Assange's attorneys will not be present.

Mr Assange was arrested on 11 April after being handed over to British authorities by Ecuador. "Julian isn't a novice when it comes to security and securing his information".

Fidel Narvaez, a former consul of Ecuador to London, who was also protesting outside the embassy on Monday, warned that there could be "tampering" with evidence.

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"The Americans are the ones pulling the strings, and Moreno their puppet dancing to the tune of money", said Hrafnsson.

The Swedish prosecutor heading an investigation into a rape allegation against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange filed a request with a local court on Monday for him to be detained in absentia.

On May 13, Swedish prosecutors reopened a preliminary investigation against Assange, who visited Sweden in 2010, after two Swedish women said they were the victims of sex crimes committed by Assange.

While a case of alleged sexual misconduct against the 47-year-old in Sweden was dropped in 2017 when the statute of limitations expired, a rape allegation remains.

Assange denies the allegations of rape.

He had been holed up at the building since 2012 in order to avoid extradition to Sweden over a rape case, fearing that from Sweden he would be handed over to the United States to be tried for alleged offenses linked to his publication of military intelligence documents that detailed war crimes committed by USA forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

According to the request for a detention order, Assange is wanted for "intentionally having carried out an intercourse" with an unnamed woman "by unduly exploiting that she was in a helpless state because of sleep".

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