'If my client ends up in the US he'll go to Guantanamo, or be executed,' says Assange's lawyer

Claim that grisly fate awaits the WikiLeaks founder if he is extradited

Julian Assange fears that he will be sent to Guantanamo Bay and ultimately executed if he is extradited to Sweden to face allegations of sexual assault, his legal team said yesterday.

Lawyers working on behalf on the WikiLeaks founder are fighting his extradition from the UK. Yesterday they published an outline of the arguments they will use in an attempt to stop British authorities removing Mr Assange to Sweden.

Among their objections is that there is a "real risk" that the Swedes will hand Mr Assange over to the United States, where he has provoked immense anger with his the leaking of 250,000 diplomatic cables.

The 35-page document states: "It is submitted that there is a real risk that, if extradited to Sweden, the US will seek his extradition and/or illegal rendition to the USA, where there will be a real risk of him being detained at Guantanamo Bay." It continues: "Indeed, if Mr Assange were rendered to the USA, without assurances that the death penalty would not be carried out, there is a real risk that he could be made subject to the death penalty. It is well known that prominent figures have implied, if not stated outright, that Mr Assange should be executed."

The document goes on to quote the Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee who has previously said of Mr Assange: "I think anything less than execution is too kind a penalty." It also quotes Sarah Palin, who said that he should be "pursued with the same urgency we pursue al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders".

Mr Assange's legal team released their skeleton argument after a short case management hearing at Woolwich crown court in south London yesterday. It highlighted points which they will argue at the full extradition hearing next month.

The document also suggests that the European Arrest Warrant issued by the Swedes is not valid. Mr Assange's lawyers say that the prosecutor, Marianne Ny, is not able to authorise such a warrant and that the Swedish National Police Board is the proper authority for doing so.

The document also claims that the extradition has been sought for an "improper purpose" – namely that such a sanction should not be used merely to make Mr Assange available for questioning. The legal team will also argue that the details of the alleged sexual offences that Mr Assange is wanted for in Sweden would not constitute offences in the UK. Mr Assange denies all of the offences.

The full extradition hearing will take place at Woolwich over two days, beginning on 7 February. Yesterday's hearing was notable for the continuation of the global media circus which accompanies every court appearance Mr Assange makes. There were large queues outside the court and police officers had to contain a pack of more than 100 journalists when Mr Assange made a short speech after the hearing stating that he was happy with the outcome and that his work with WikiLeaks would continue.

The placard-waving supporters of the WikiLeaks founder had, however, declined in number from the many who attended his previous appearances in central London. Yesterday there were no more than 10.

There were slight alterations to Mr Assange's bail conditions. District Judge Nicholas Evans agreed to allow him to sleep at the Frontline Club – a club for journalists in central London – on the two nights before the hearing next month. Mr Assange is staying at the Norfolk home of Vaughan Smith, the club's owner. His supporters include the human rights campaigner Bianca Jagger, socialite Jemima Khan and Gavin MacFadyen, director of the Centre for Investigative Journalism. All three attended the hearing.

Sport
Aaron Ramsey celebrates after opening the scoring in Arsenal's win over Hull `
sport
News
peopleActress speaks out against historic sexual assault claims, saying things have 'gone quite far now'

Arts & Entertainment
A stranger calls: Martin Freeman in ‘Fargo’
tvReview: New 10-part series brims with characters and stories

Life & Style
Guests enjoy food and cocktail parings by Chefs Jimmy Bannos, Jimmy Bannos Jr, Daniel Rose and Mindy Segal with mixologists Josh King and Alex Gara at Bounty & Barrel: A Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Dinner Series at Heaven on Seven on April 9, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois.
food + drinkSprinkle Palcohol 'on almost any dish' for 'an extra kick' firm says...
Arts & Entertainment
Shaun Evans as Endeavour interviews a prisoner as he tries to get to the bottom of a police cover up
tvReview: Second series comes to close with startling tale of police corruption and child abuse
Arts & Entertainment
Schwarzenegger winning Mr. Universe 1969
arts + entsCan you guess the celebrity from these British Pathe News clips?
News
politicsLabour launches the 'completely hollow' Easter Clegg
Sport
Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring in Liverpool's 3-2 win over Norwich
sport Another hurdle is out of the way for Brendan Rodgers' side
News
Portrait of Queen Elizabeth-II by David Bailey which has been released to mark her 88th birthday
peoplePortrait released to mark monarch's 88th birthday
Arts & Entertainment
The star of the sitcom ‘Miranda’ is hugely popular with mainstream audiences
TVMiranda Hart lined up for ‘Generation Game’ revival
Life & Style
The writer, Gerda Saunders, with her mother, who also suffered with dementia before her death
healthGerda Saunders on the most formidable effect of her dementia
Arts & Entertainment
Last, but by no means least, is Tommy Cooper and the fez. This style of hat became a permanent trademark of his act.
comedyNot Like That, Like This centres on alleged domestic abuse
Arts & Entertainment
Oxegen in Ireland has been axed as promoters decide it is 'no longer viable'
arts + ents Promoters have axed the event as it is 'no longer viable in current form'
News
The troubled star is set to give fans the biggest insight into her life away from the headlines
people Star made the announcement during the final episode of the programme, entitled Lindsay
Life & Style
YouTube clocks up more than a billion users a month
mediaEuropean rival Dailymotion certainly thinks so
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?

Day In a Page

Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter: The man who could have been champion of the world - and the Bob Dylan song that immortalised him

The man who could have been champion of the world

Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter and the Bob Dylan song that immortalised him
Didn’t she do well?

Didn’t she do well?

Miranda Hart lined up for ‘Generation Game’ revival
The Middle East we must confront in the future will be a Mafiastan ruled by money

The Middle East we must confront in the future will be a Mafiastan ruled by money

In Iraq, mafiosi already run almost the entire oil output of the south of the country
Before they were famous

Before they were famous

Can you guess the celebrity from these British Pathe News clips?
Martin Freeman’s casting in Fargo is genius

Martin Freeman’s casting in Fargo is a stroke of genius

Series is brimming with characters and stories all its own
How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players