Sweden Will Imprison Assange When Extradited

Julian Assange will be imprisoned after he is handed over to Swedish authorities when he is extradited and will have a court hearing four days after extradition from the United Kingdom to decide if he will stay in custody, the Swedish government announced Friday.

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom decided not to reopen Assange’s appeal and upheld the decision that the WikiLeaks founder should be extradited to face sex crime proceedings in Sweden.

The UK Supreme Court has ordered that Assange won’t be handed over to the Swedes until June 28. After that date Assange will be brought to Sweden within 10 days, according to European Arrest Warrant rules, Sweden’s Office of Public Prosecutions said.

Within four days of his arrival in Sweden, a court hearing will decide whether or not Assange should be remanded in custody for questioning by prosecution. Any decision by court can be appealed, according to the Swedish prosecutors.

Assange will be brought to Sweden by the country’s Department of Corrections, which will also take him into custody. Since Assange is considered to be a flight risk, he will be kept in prison while waiting for the remand hearing.

However, the Prosecutor’s Office says Assange won’t be kept in isolation and will be able to watch TV, read newspapers and associate with other inmates.

Since December 2010, Julian Assange has been under house arrest in Britain while appealing decisions by UK courts to extradite him to Sweden. He fears Sweden will hand him over to the United States, where he may face a secret indictment on charges of espionage because of WikiLeaks publishing confidential State Department cables.

Swedish authorities have arrested Assange in his absence on suspicion of unlawful coercion, two counts of probable sexual molestation, rape and other lesser crimes against two women. Assange says the encounters were consensual.

Director of Public Prosecutions Marianne Ny will be in charge of Assange’s questioning when he arrives in Sweden. No further information will be given by her office so as not to disturb the investigation or hurt people affected by it, officials said.