domingo, diciembre 05, 2010

Assange will fight return to Sweden, says lawyer

Assange's lawyer claims that the rape charges are a 'political stunt'

By Mark Hughes

Julian Assange's lawyer has said that the WikiLeaks founder will fight attempts to have him extradited to Sweden because he fears that it will be the beginning of a process which will ultimately see him handed over to the US authorities.

Mr Assange is wanted by the Swedish authorities for questioning over sexual allegations. A European arrest warrant has been circulated, but Mr Assange, who is currently in Britain, has yet to be arrested.

Yesterday his lawyer, Mark Stephens, told BBC1's The Andrew Marr Show that the warrant was a "political stunt" and that he would fight it on the grounds that it it could lead to the WikiLeaks founder being handed over to the US, where senior politicians have called for him to be executed. Mr Assange, 39, has come under growing pressure from politicians in the US and around the world after his WikiLeaks website started publishing excerpts from a cache of 250,000 secret American diplomatic cables last week. The leaks have caused the US huge embarrassment.

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