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Date set for Assange extradition appeal

Demonstrators support the Wikileaks founder
Thu Apr 07 2011, 10:25

THE DATE HAS BEEN SET for the appeal of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange's extradition over alleged sexual assault.

The hearing will begin on 12 July in the London high court and will last for two days.

Assange is appealing a ruling by Judge Howard Riddle at the Belmarsh magistrates' court, who said that Assange's human rights would not be violated by extraditing him to Sweden, where he faces several charges of sexual assault and one charge of rape.

Assange denies the charges brought by two female Wikileaks groupies. His lawyers said that the Swedish government has presented Assange, who is an Australian national, as "public enemy number one," which they say ensures that he would not get a fair trial. However, Judge Riddle dismissed these contentions.

Assange also claims that the sexual assault charges are a ruse for government intents to make him pay for leaking thousands of private documents and diplomatic cables to the Internet. He said he fears extradition to the US, where he believes he could even face the death penalty for his role in the leaks.

Roughly a dozen supporters of Assange demonstrated outside the courthouse, according to The Guardian, suggesting that perhaps his support amongst the public might be fading. These individuals reportedly wore colourful clothing, costumes, masks and orange boiler suits to mimic Guantanamo Bay inmates. However, if only a handful of people are willing to make a stir for Assange now, maybe it won't be long before the world forgets about him. µ


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