After confirming the reopening of the rape investigation against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Sweden’s Director of Public Prosecutions Eva-Marie Persson has confirmed that Sweden will seek his extradition to face trial.
The 47-year-old is currently being held at Belmarsh prison in London after he was found guilty of skipping bail and sentenced to 50 weeks in jail.
He avoided extradition to Sweden for some seven years by seeking refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2012, however he was unceremoniously evicted in April.
Kristinn Hrafnsson, Editor-in-Chief of WikiLeaks claimed that “there has been considerable political pressure on Sweden to reopen their investigation, but there has always been political pressure surrounding this case.”
The United States is also seeking Assange’s extradition on charges that he conspired with Chelsea Manning to hack a Pentagon computer and steal state secrets. Persson said that it is up to UK authorities whether the Swedish or US extradition requests take priority.
Hrafnsson added that, in his estimation at least, the “case has been mishandled throughout” after a Swedish prosecutor initially found that “no crime at all” had occurred, after which time the case was reopened.