Australia expects Sweden to treat Assange justly under Swedish, international law if extradited

February 19th, 2011 - 1:00 pm ICT by ANI  

Stockholm, Feb 19 (ANI): The Australian ambassador to Sweden has written to the country’s justice minister seeking assurances that the Wikileaks founder Julian Assange would be treated justly based on Swedish and international law if he is extradited to Sweden over sexual assault charges.

Assange, the Australian-born journalist, is currently fighting his extradition from Britain over allegations of rape, sexual assault and sexual molestation made by two Swedish women in August last year. Assange has denied all allegations against him, The Guardian reports.

In his letter to Sweden’s minister for justice, Beatrice Ask, ambassador Paul Stephens has conveyed the Australian government’s “expectation that, should Assange be brought into Swedish jurisdiction, his case would proceed in accordance with due process and the provisions prescribed under Swedish law, as well as applicable European and international laws, including relevant human rights norms”.

Assange’s lawyers had earlier accused the Swedish prosecutor of being “illegal or corrupt” for revealing his identity to the media against Swedish custom for accused sex offenders, and issuing a warrant without a charge.

They have also claimed that extraditing the founder of the whistleblower website would be a breach of his human rights, adding that Sweden is likely to come under the pressure of America and send Assange to Washington, where authorities are trying to charge the journalist with conspiracy for leaking hundreds of secret US diplomatic cables that caused controversy across the world.

Assange’s fate would reportedly be decided on Thursday when Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle in the London court will deliver his judgment on the extradition warrant, the paper said.

Earlier this month Assange, who is currently on bail in the UK, urged Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, to “bring me home,” adding: “There have been outrageous and illegal calls to have me and my staff killed, clear cases of incitement to violence. Yet the Australian government has condoned this behaviour by its diplomatic silence.” (ANI)

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