On Thursday, British authorities dragged the Australian native from the embassy, and USA authorities announced charges against him of conspiring to break into a Pentagon computer, setting up what is expected to be an epic legal and political battle over whether to extradite him to the U.S. Assange's lawyers said the WikiLeaks founder will resist the USA extradition request which sets a "dangerous precedent where any journalist could face U.S. charges for publishing truthful information about the United States", The Guardian report says. The case was subsequently dropped in 2017 because it could not proceed while Assange was in the embassy.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been arrested in London, after 7 years of political asylum at the Ecuadorian Embassy.
Extradition lawyer Ben Keith said the court will not assess the evidence against Assange to determine his guilt or innocence but will scrutinize whether the offence he is accused of in the US would be a crime in Britain.
"Testimony usually weakens with time, and it's now been 10 years", he said, adding that, considering Assange is not "about to volunteer to come to Sweden", a new global arrest warrant for him must be issued.
The rape allegation has a limitation period which expires in August 2020, it adds. According to the MPs letter, the Swedish victim's lawyer requested for the case to be reopened, but Stockholm authorities have yet to decide whether to satisfy the demand.
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Extradition can be blocked to countries where the death penalty may be used, but human rights lawyer Karen Todner, who represented Mr McKinnon, said the United States was likely to give assurances that capital punishment would not be on the table in Assange's case. The Australian was arrested "on a warrant issued by Westminster Magistrates' Court on 29 June 2012, for failing to surrender to the court", before being "further arrested on behalf of the United States authorities, at 10:53hrs after his arrival at a central London police station". He spent Thursday night in custody and is facing up to 12 months in prison for that conviction.
"Other allegations are already time bound because of the unavailability of Mr Assange".
Being the lawyer of Edward Snowden, one of the world's most famous whistleblowers, who has resided in Moscow for nearly six years now, Tibbo said that Assange's case is "extremely different" from his. She said it set a "dangerous precedent" for journalists publishing information about the US.
The UN has called for his right to a fair trial to be respected during any extradition process.