Sweden files to detain Julian Assange for rape charge

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange being taken from court where he appeared on charges of jumping British bail seven years ago in London Wednesday

"Ecuador is committing a flagrant violation of the most basic norms of the institution of asylum by handing over all the asylee's personal belongings indiscriminately to the country that he was being protected from - the United States", one of Assange's lawyers, Aitor Martinez, said in a statement.

"It's disgraceful", WikiLeaks' editor in chief, Kristinn Hrafnsson, said in an interview with The Associated Press.

Assange was evicted from the Ecuadorian embassy in London back in April, after Ecuadorian officials said the Wikileaks founder had finally tested their patience to the limit.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange may prefer to face rape charges in Sweden from almost a decade ago because a provision in that nation's extradition treaty with the US protects him from being sent to Washington to answer for conspiracy charges, according to Judge Andrew Napolitano. He was then immediately arrested by British police on April 11 and is now serving a 50-week sentence in Britain for jumping bail in 2012.

Wikileaks and Assange's defense team say they are trying to block the effort, telling The Guardian and other media outlets that neither Assange's lawyers nor independent United Nations watchdogs have been asked to be present at the turnover of Assange's belongings, and that the effort by Ecuadorian officials to supply the USA with Assange's personal effects amounts to an illegal search and seizure. "We expected this to happen and protections have been in place for a very long time".

It was begun in 2010 but dropped in 2017 after Assange took refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London.

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A group of Assange's supporters gathered outside Ecuador's Embassy in London to protest the judicial proceeding.

Moreno's actions immediately were celebrated by the Trump administration, which was key in helping Ecuador secure a $4.2 billion credit line from the International Monetary Fund and has provided the tiny South American country with new trade and military deals in recent weeks.

The Swedish prosecutor heading an investigation into a rape allegation against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has filed a request for his arrest, the Prosecution Authority said.

The WikiLeaks founder had skipped bail to avoid extradition to Sweden in connection with sexual assault allegations levelled by two women in 2010. Citing information from United Kingdom authorities, she said Assange would serve 25 weeks of his United Kingdom sentence before he could be released. Assange has denied wrongdoing, claiming the allegations were politically motivated and that the sex was consensual.

According to the request for a detention order obtained by The Associated Press, Assange is wanted for "intentionally having carried out an intercourse" with an unnamed woman "by unduly exploiting that she was in a helpless state because of sleep".

The 47-year-old whistleblower is already facing moves to extradite him to Sweden on rape charges.

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