Julian Assange extradition could take "months or years"

John Shipton father of Wiki Leaks founder Julian Assange has urged the Australian government to bring his son home

The Daily Mail also picks up the tale, saying he faces decades in a U.S. jail after he was hauled out by eight policemen and put before a judge as extradition proceedings got under way.

Since it launched in 2006, Wikileaks has become renowned for publishing thousands of classified documents covering everything from the film industry to national security and wars.

He spent nearly seven years in the Ecuadorian embassy, where he sought political asylum in 2012 when he failed in his legal battle against extradition to Sweden, where he was wanted over two separate allegations - one of rape and one of molestation.

Media captionHe's been in Ecuador's embassy for seven years - but why was Julian Assange there in the first place? While it is clear that there was a degree of co-ordination between United Kingdom and USA authorities - the U.S. indictment was unsealed shortly after the Metropolitan Police announced Assange's arrest - the Swedes knew nothing of it. "Furthermore, we can not set a timetable for when any such decision will be made".

His fears abruptly turned into reality on Thursday after Ecuador withdraw its asylum and he was charged and promptly found guilty of breaching bail in Westminster Magistrates Court by judge Michael Snow, after originally failing to surrender to the court in 2012.

Ms Massi Fritz said in a text message sent to the Associated Press that "we are going to do everything" to have the Swedish case reopened "so Assange can be extradited to Sweden and prosecuted for rape".

The two other charges of molestation and unlawful coercion had to be dropped in 2015 because time had run out.

He tweeted: "The extradition of Julian Assange to the United States for exposing evidence of atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan should be opposed by the British government". The charge was announced after Assange was taken into custody. "We also do not know why he is under arrest", said Sweden's Chief Prosecutor Ingrid Isgren.

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The official, who asked for anonymity when discussing the case, said USA authorities had already sent Britain a provisional arrest warrant regarding Assange's extradition to the United States.

He said a Grand Jury investigation included charges which could lead to decades in prison or even the death penalty under the Espionage Act 1917, although UK Government policy is to block extradition to countries where suspects might face capital punishment.

Assange's lawyer Jennifer Robinson said they would fight the U.S. extradition request.

Assange's next court appearance was set for May 2 via prison video-link in relation to the extradition case, a process that involves several layers of appeal that could take several years.

Meanwhile in Australia, Foreign Minister Marise Payne said consular officials would try to visit Assange, a 47-year-old Australian citizen, on Friday.

He feared that if he was taken to Sweden, he would be handed to the USA authorities.

If Sweden also makes an extradition request, one legal expert has said it would be for the home secretary to decide which request would take precedence.

Prosecutors in Sweden have since confirmed that, while the investigation has not been resumed, they are looking into the case.

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