Chandrakant Nial | 9:04 AM |
Chandrakant Nial on 9:04 AM
Julian Assange may be holed up at the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he is seeking political asylum, but that hasn't stopped British law enforcement officials from serving him a letter of extradition. According to reports, the letter, penned by none other than Scotland Yard, demanded the 40-year-old Assange visit a police station "at a time of our choosing." "This is standard procedure in extradition cases and is the first step in the removal process," a Scotland Yard spokesperson told the press. "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."
Assange entered the Ecuadorian embassy in London on June 19 after all attempts to fight extradition to Sweden - where the WikiLeaks founder faces charges of sexual assault - failed. Assange, who denies the accusations, is concerned that extradition to Sweden could ultimately lead to his eventual transfer to the United States. Then earlier in this year hacktivist Anonymous stood against the extradition of the Wikileaks founder
He denies the accusations but has lost a string of appeals in British courts to avoid being handed over to Sweden’s judiciary for questioning. Assange says his chief fear is that this would lead to further extradition to the United States, where he could face trial for Wikileaks’ actions. He was under house arrest with an order to present himself daily to the nearest police station when he broke bail and took refuge in the Ecuadorean Embassy. The customary dry statement from Scotland Yard announced that authorities had issued “a surrender notice upon a 40-year-old man that requires him to attend a police station at date and time of our choosing. This is standard practice in extradition cases and is the first step in the removal process.”
The statement added he was in breach of bail conditions and would be subject to arrest if he failed to surrender. On Sunday, Ecuadorean Ambassador Anna Alban flew to her homeland to brief the government there on Assange’s situation. Assange is supported by WikiLeaks fans from all over the world who in the past appeared at Assange’s every public appearance with banners saying “Free Assange, Free Bradley Manning,” the latter a reference to the U.S. Army analyst who awaits trial in the United States on charges of releasing the original discs with the official documents published by WikiLeaks.
“There is a strong likelihood that once in Sweden, he would be imprisoned and ... likely extradited to the United States," they stated, adding: "Were he charged and found guilty under the Espionage Act, Assange could face the death penalty.”
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