Published: Sun, April 14, 2019
Global Media | By Garry Long

France could offer Julian Assange political asylum

France could offer Julian Assange political asylum

British Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott said it was right that he should face justice if charges are brought.

US government prosecutors had better tread lightly in bringing Assange to the sort of justice demanded by readers of The New York Times - which is to say: lock him up in some SuperMax solitary hellhole and throw away the key. However, much of the coverage focused on the US request for his extradition on a single charge of conspiring with former US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to steal military secrets.

He tweeted: "The extradition of Julian Assange to the USA for exposing evidence of atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan should be opposed by the British government".

It added that "justice has already been denied" in some parts of the investigation because of Assange's unavailability.

"It is therefore of grave concern to us that it appears that the Swedish authorities were not aware of the plans made to arrest Mr Assange yesterday in London, and we would welcome clarity as to what action the United Kingdom authorities took to ensure that the Swedish prosecutors were informed in advance of this decision", it adds.

A law change following the case of accused cyber-hacker Gary McKinnon, who has Asperger's, shifted responsibility away from ministers to the courts after then-home secretary Theresa May intervened to stop his extradition to the USA in 2012.

She said she was "disgusted" the American allegation had been "allowed to eclipse" the sex offence case.

President Donald Trump has consistently shifted his opinions on WikiLeaks and the organization's founder, Julian Assange.

After his dramatic arrest, Assange was taken to Westminster Magistrates' Court and found guilty of a British charge of breaching bail.

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However, relations with his Ecuadoran hosts gradually soured and pro-US President Lenin Moreno on Thursday pulled his asylum, cancelled his citizenship and permitted British police to remove Assange.

The Ecuadorian government had historically been sympathetic to Assange's cause, but a regime change two years ago heralded a less supportive approach.

Mr Marchan said: "He has said that we were spying on him, he has said we were lying, we were agents of the United States". "I thought it was disgraceful the Ecuadorians would go back on their word".

But opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, a leftist stalwart, called for the government to block the extradition. But Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the expected battle over Assange's possible extradition would not involve Australia. In 2012, Assange sought asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2012 in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden, which had issued a warrant for his arrest on sexual harassment and rape charges.

Some Labour members fear their leadership's instinctive support for Assange is an insult to victims of sex attacks who demand their claims be fully investigated.

After news broke that Assange had been arrested, the lawyer for the woman who accused him of rape tweeted that she and her client were shocked, but said they'd been hoping for it since 2012.

In a statement Ms Fritz said: "That what we have been waiting for and hoping for nearly seven years now, of course, comes as a shock to my client".

MPs are putting increasing pressure on Sajid Javid to extradite Julian Assange back to Sweden and face a longstanding allegation of rape.

Sweden's Prosecution Authority said Thursday they were considering reopening the investigation against Assange.

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