Britain arrests WikiLeaks founder Assange

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been arrested by British police on a European warrant issued by Sweden.

Britain arrests WikiLeaks founder Assange

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange handed himself in to British police on Tuesday after Sweden issued a warrant for his arrest over allegations of sex crimes, London's Metropolitan Police said.

Assange is at the centre of a row over the release of secret U.S. diplomatic cables.

The 39-year-old Australian handed himself in to a London police station at about 09:30 GMT on Tuesday, where he was detained under a European Arrest Warrant.

If a judge is satisfied his extradition is warranted and will not breach his human rights, then he will order the WikiLeaks founder to be extradited, but Assange can appeal against that decision to higher courts.

Assange is due to appear before City of Westminster Magistrates' Court in London later on Tuesday when a date for an extradition hearing is likely to be set. This must take place within 21 days of his arrest.

"He is accused by the Swedish authorities of one count of unlawful coercion, two counts of sexual molestation and one count of rape, all alleged to have been committed in August 2010," London police said in a statement.

Assange has spent much of his time in Sweden and earlier this year was accused of sexual misconduct by two female Swedish WikiLeaks volunteers.

This led Swedish prosecutors to open, then drop, then re-open an investigation into the allegations. The crime he is suspected of is the least severe of three categories of rape, carrying a maximum of four years in jail.

Assange's Swedish lawyer has said his client would fight any extradition and believed foreign powers were influencing Sweden.



Related news reports:

WikiLeaks founder Assange "to meet British police"

Last Mod: 07 Aralık 2010, 13:56
Add Comment