Swedish court to decide on Assange's fate

2014-07-16 10:38
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange speaking to the media inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. (Anthony Devlin, AFP)

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange speaking to the media inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. (Anthony Devlin, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Stockholm - A Swedish court will hold a public hearing on Wednesday to determine if an arrest warrant against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for alleged sexual assault should be dropped.

A decision to cancel the warrant would be a step towards enabling the 43-year-old Australian to walk out of the Ecuadoran embassy in London, where he has been holed up for the past two years in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden.

The Stockholm District Court will open at 1100 GMT to review the arrest warrant, issued in late 2010, for incidents of rape and sexual molestation that allegedly took place that year - claims Assange denies.

Assange sought refuge in Ecuador's embassy in Britain in June 2012 after having exhausted all legal options at British courts to avoid being extradited to Sweden.

He has said he fears that being sent to Sweden would be a pretext for transferring him to the United States, where WikiLeaks sparked an uproar with its publication of thousands of secret documents.

WikiLeaks repeatedly drove the global news agenda with startling revelations of the behind-the-scenes activities of governments around the world.

From confidential assessments by US diplomats of Chinese leaders to revised body counts in Iraq, the WikiLeaks documents provided the public with an unprecedented look under the hood of international politics.

Pending prosecution

Assange's legal team has argued that Swedish prosecutors have dragged out the case unreasonably long by not interviewing him at the embassy.

"We are confident about the hearing," Assange's lawyer Thomas Olsson told AFP. "We think we have very strong arguments for the court to overrule the original decision."

Camilla Murray, chief administrator at the court, said a decision in favour of Assange would mean that a European arrest warrant against him will be immediately cancelled.

"The charges will not be dropped just because the court cancels the arrest warrant. But I cannot answer for the prosecutors and what they will do. They are the ones leading the investigation," she told AFP.

Assange has acknowledged that even if the Swedish prosecutors decide to drop the case, it is only one part of the legal battle that keeps him marooned at the embassy.

"I still have the larger problem, which is that of the United States and its pending prosecution, and perhaps extradition warrant," he told reporters in a conference call in June.

Olsson, his lawyer, was also cautious about stating what will happen if the Stockholm district court drops the arrest warrant on Wednesday.

"What he will do when that occurs is up to Julian Assange. We're going to have a hearing... and we hope to get a decision overruling [the arrest warrant] and then we will take it from there."
Read more on:    wikileaks  |  julian assange  |  us  |  sweden  |  espionage
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
7 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
5 crucial questions to ask before you take that job 2014-10-30 08:00

You choose your employer just as much as they choose you. Here are 5 of the most important things you should find out about a company before you sign up.

/News
 

10 facts about swimming you didn't know

This will make you want to jump right into the pool.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Snors with a cause - creating awareness of male health
Inspiring: Rock climbing with just one leg
Watch! Skateboarders racing cyclists
Exciting new zipline for Cape Town!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R2100 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

TV Series – 2 for R299

Loads of hot titles to choose from. Shop now!

Hot offer: Up to 50% off irons

Save up to 50% on all Philips irons. While stocks last. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be doing the work and playing the game, but your innovative mind is on a far away planet planning the next big thing....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.