Assange faces extradition ruling


WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is to find out if he will be extradited to Sweden

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is to be told whether he will be extradited to Sweden for alleged sex offences.

The 39-year-old Australian faces three charges of sexually assaulting one woman and one charge of raping another during a week-long visit to Stockholm in August.

During a two-and-a-half-day extradition hearing earlier this month at Belmarsh Magistrates’ Court in south London, Assange’s lawyers argued that if he is sent to Sweden he is likely to face a “secret” trial held behind closed doors.

They have also claimed extradition would breach his human rights and say he could ultimately be taken against his will to the United States and executed.

District Judge Howard Riddle will deliver his judgment on whether the whistleblower should be forced to return to the country to stand trial.

But his ruling is unlikely to mark the end of the saga.

If the decision goes against him, Assange is expected to appeal to the High Court.

And if it goes in his favour, lawyers acting on behalf of the Swedish authorities are expected to do likewise.

Assange denies committing any offences and his supporters claim the criminal inquiry and extradition request are unfair and politically motivated.

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