Assange ignores extradition notice

In this February 1, 2012 photo, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange leaves the Supreme Court in London.   | Photo Credit: Kirsty Wigglesworth

Julian Assange on Friday ignored the extradition notice served on him ordering him to report to a central London police station as a prelude to his deportation to Sweden to answer allegations of sexual assault.

The WikiLeaks founder remained at the Ecuadorian embassy where he sought political asylum a week ago after the Supreme Court dismissed his final appeal against extradition.

Mr. Assange said he had been advised to ignore the notice on grounds that the asylum law took precedence over extradition law.

“Our advice is that asylum law both internationally and domestically takes precedence over extradition law so almost certainly not,” he told the BBC on phone from the embassy.

Mr. Assange repeated his fears that if extradited to Sweden he may be handed over to Americans who have threatened to prosecute him for publishing secret diplomatic cables.

He claimed he had evidence that American authorities had secret plans to force him to face trial.

“In the US, since at least the beginning of 2011, a U.S. grand jury has been empanelled in Washington. It has been pulling in witnesses, forced testimony from those witnesses, subpoenaed records from Google, from Twitter,” he said.

Denying allegations of sexual misconduct made by two Swedish women, Mr. Assange said: “I am simply not charged. That’s all. That’s all that is important in this matter. What has been said to date is sufficient.”

He was served with the extradition order on Thursday for breaking his bail conditions that required him to stay at a designated address — friend’s house outside London. Police said the notice was “the first step in the removal process”.

“He remains in breach of his bail conditions and failure to surrender would be a further breach of those conditions and he is liable to arrest,” Scotland Yard said.

A group of leading American public figures have delivered a letter to the Ecuadorian embassy in Washington supporting Mr. Assange’s request for asylum. Signatories include academic Noam Chomsky and filmmakers Michael Moore and Oliver Stone.

Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa said his government would take into account Mr. Assange’s fears over extradition.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2021 12:10:44 PM |

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