28 Oct 2011

Julian Assange could be extradited within days

Julian Assange’s supporters will hold a demo outside the High Court next week as the WikiLeaks founder finds out if he has won or lost his latest fight against extradition to Sweden.

Julian Assange could be extradited within days. (Getty)

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will find out on Wednesday 2 November if he has won or lost his High Court bid to stay in the UK.

The court must decide whether to uphold a ruling made in February by District Judge Howard Riddle at Belmarsh Magistrates’ Court.

Lawyers for the 40-year-old Australian say his removal would be “unfair and unlawful”. The Swedish authorities want Mr Assange to answer accusations of raping one woman and sexually molesting and coercing another in Stockholm in August 2010.

Assange denies the allegations and says they are politically motivated. Speaking outside court in February, he said: “It comes as no surprise but it is nonetheless wrong.”

His supporters have announced they will hold a demonstration outside the High Court, urging others to “come on down and support Julian with your voice, banners, posters”.

The WikiLeaks website gained world notoriety with its huge Afghanistan war files leaks followed by the Iraq war logs and a mass data dump of diplomatic cables between the US and other nations.

On Monday Assange revealed that the site is at risk of closure, and is suspending its publishing operations to concentrate on fighting a financial blockade and raising new funds.

It is running on cash reserves after an “arbitrary and unlawful financial blockade” was imposed by Bank of America, Visa, MasterCard, PayPal and Western union last December, said Assange.