LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (APRIL 14, 2019) (SOPHY RIDGE ON SUNDAY) – Wikileaks founder Julian Assange would seek assurances that being extradited to Sweden over a sexual assault investigation would not lead to a further extradition to the U.S., his lawyer Jennifer Robinson said on Sunday (April 14).
British police dragged Assange out of Ecuador’s embassy on Thursday (April 11) after his seven-year asylum was revoked, paving the way for his extradition to the United States for one of the biggest ever leaks of classified information.
Assange took refuge in Ecuador’s London embassy in 2012 to avoid being extradited to Sweden, where authorities wanted to question him as part of a sexual assault investigation.
That investigation was later dropped, but Assange fears he could be extradited to face charges in the United States, where federal prosecutors are investigating WikiLeaks for leaking hundreds of thousands of U.S. military reports about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and American diplomatic communications.
Assange’s lawyers say he may risk torture and his life would be in danger if he were to be extradited to the United States.
Robinson also dismissed allegations of Assange’s supposedly inappropriate behaviour in the embassy as “outrageous”, denying a claim made by interior minister Maria Paula Romo that he had been allowed to smear faeces on the embassy walls.
Assange was offered refuge in 2012 by Ecuador’s then-president Rafael Correa, but his relationship with Ecuador soured under Correa’s successor Lenin Moreno, who has said Assange violated the terms of his asylum. Ecuador accused Assange of leaking information about Moreno’s personal life.