MPs sign letter urging government to ensure Assange can be extradited to Sweden where he faces rape allegations

‘We urge you to stand with the victims of sexual violence and seek to ensure the case against Mr Assange can now be properly investigated’

Chiara Giordano
Saturday 13 April 2019 01:36 BST
File image of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange
File image of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (AP)

Support truly
independent journalism

Our mission is to deliver unbiased, fact-based reporting that holds power to account and exposes the truth.

Whether $5 or $50, every contribution counts.

Support us to deliver journalism without an agenda.

Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

Dozens of politicians have urged the government to prioritise action that would ensure Julian Assange is extradited to Sweden where he faces rape and sexual assault allegations.

A copy of a letter signed by 70 parliamentarians and sent to home secretary Sajid Javid was shared on social media by Labour and Co-op MP Stella Creasy.

The message, posted on Twitter, said: “We are writing to request that you do everything you can to champion action that will ensure Julian Assange can be extradited to Sweden in the event Sweden make an extradition request.

“This would be so the formal investigation into an allegation of rape can be concluded and, if appropriate, a charge can be made and any trial can take place.

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

“We urge you to stand with the victims of sexual violence and seek to ensure the case against Mr Assange can now be properly investigated.”

WikiLeaks founder Assange, 47, is facing rape and sexual assault allegations in Sweden.

The rape allegation has a limitation period which expires in August 2020, the letter adds.

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

Assange also faces extradition to the US over allegations he conspired with former army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to hack into a classified Pentagon computer.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn earlier this week called on the government to oppose Assange’s extradition to the US, tweeting: “The extradition of Julian Assange to the US for exposing evidence of atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan should be opposed by the British government.”

Assange spent almost seven years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he sought political asylum in 2012 after failing in his legal battle against extradition to Sweden, where he was wanted over two separate allegations, one of rape and one of molestation.

In May 2017, Sweden’s top prosecutor dropped the long-running inquiry into a rape claim against Assange, which he has always denied.

But his arrest prompted the lawyer for a Swedish woman who alleged she was raped by Assange during a visit to Stockholm in 2010 to say they wanted the case reopened.

Prosecutors in Sweden have since confirmed that, while the investigation has not been resumed, they are looking into the case.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in