Assange extradition case could last many months

Written by: Anita Nair
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London, Dec.8 (ANI): WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will fight his extradition to Sweden in a case that could be dragged out for months, costing the British taxpayer tens of thousands of pounds.

According to The Telegraph, lawyers for Assange have suggested they will contest the legal proceedings, on human rights grounds and because their client has not been formally charged with rape.

They will also highlight fears that Swedish authorities could hand him over to America, where senior politicians have called for him to be executed.

The "fast-track" European arrest warrant system is based on the concept that all the participating countries have legal systems that meet similar standards, and fully respect human rights.

It is assumed a person will get an equally fair trial in any of the included European countries and, if the accusation from the requesting state is valid, the grounds for opposing extradition are limited.

However if a judge orders Assange is to be extradited at a formal hearing next week, he can appeal at the High Court and then at the Supreme Court.

In a recent case, it took 19 months to extradite Ian Griffin, a British businessman, to France to face accusations that he killed, Kinga Legg, his lover at a Paris hotel.

British authorities, including the Crown Prosecution Service, meet the costs of the extradition process.

When asked at court yesterday if he was willing to return to Sweden, Assange said: "I do not consent." (ANI)

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