Julian Assange to File Fresh Challenge in Effort to Escape Two-Year Legal Limbo

Posted by on June 19, 2014 in Whistleblower with 0 Comments
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Article Source: The Guardian

Two years after WikiLeaks founder took refuge in Ecuadorian embassy, lawyers poised to challenge Swedish detention order

Lawyers for Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder who on Thursday marks his second anniversary holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, are preparing to file a challenge to his detention order in Sweden in a move that could impact the state of legal limbo in which he is trapped.

Jennifer Robinson, Assange’s UK-based lawyer, told reporters that the legal challenge, which is due to be lodged with Swedish courts next Tuesday, was based on “new information gathered in Sweden”. She declined to give any further details until the filing had been made.

News of the challenge was the first indication in months of any possible way out of the legal deadlock in which Assange has fallen since he took refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy on 19 June 2012. Since then, the embassy has been ringed with British police 24 hours a day, at a cost of more than £6m ($10m) to the taxpayer, as the UK government seeks to enforce an extradition order to send the WikiLeaks publisher to Sweden.

The Swedish detention order that Assange is now challenging was issued in November 2010. It requires the founder of the free information website to be arrested and extradited to Sweden to face questioning over the alleged sexual assault of two women in that country.

Assange and his legal advisers have always protested that were he to cooperate with the British and Swedish authorities, he would expose himself to an ongoing criminal investigation by the US Department of Justice. The DoJ is known to have opened a grand jury investigation into WikiLeaks’ publication of a vast tranche of secret official documents leaked by the US army private Chelsea Manning (Bradley Manning at the time).

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