Wikileaks founder Assange granted appeal

Julian Assange, the embattled founder of Wikileaks, has been granted an extradition appeal by the High Court.

Assange will have a two-day hearing, beginning 12 July.

In February, district judge Howard Riddle approved Sweden’s request to extradite Assange. He rejected arguments that the 39-year old would not get a fair trial in Sweden due to the country’s custom of excluding press and the public from sexual assault trials.

Assange is accused of unlawful coercion, sexual molestation and rape, after incidents with two women last August that he maintains were consensual.

He has not been charged by Swedish prosecutors, a fact his attorneys used to argue against extradition. If he is charged and convicted, Assange could face a maximum of four years in prison.

Assange’s lawyers also suggested during the two-and-a-half day extradition hearing in February that Sweden’s pursuit of Assange was connected to WikiLeaks’ continuing release of some 250,000 secret US diplomatic cables.

Assange’s legal team has seized on comments by US senators including Sarah Palin – who said he should be hunted down with the urgency Amercian forces pursue the Taliban – and has said that if Assange were extradited, Sweden would face intense pressure from the US.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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