Friday, January 14, 2011

Assange 'faces death penalty' in US

Last Modified: 12 Jan 2011 12:53 GMT

Lawyers for WikiLeaks' founder say he could face death penalty or torture if he is extradited to the US via Sweden.

Defence attorneys for Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, has said he could end up facing the death penalty in the US if the UK extradites him to Sweden, where he is accused of sex crimes.

The lawyers fear that Sweden will in turn hand him over to the US.

Following Assange's appearance in a London court on Tuesday, his attorneys published an outline of the defence he will use at a full extradition hearing scheduled for February 7.

"There is a real risk that, if extradited to Sweden, the US will seek his extradition and/or illegal rendition to the USA, where there will be a real risk of him being detained at Guantanamo Bay or elsewhere" according to a legal memo on the website of the law firm Finers Stephens Innocent.

"Indeed, if Mr Assange were rendered to the USA, without assurances that the death penalty would not be carried out, there is a real risk that he could be made subject to the death penalty."

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