WikiLeaks founder plans to surrender to British authorities - paper
Julian Assange, the founder of whistleblower website WikiLeaks, will voluntarily meet with British police to discuss a European arrest warrant, the Guardian said Tuesday citing his lawyers.
Assange, who has been in hiding since his website began releasing a huge number of confidential U.S. government documents to the public, is believed to be in the London area, RIA Novosti reported.
"He has not been charged with anything. We are in the process of making arrangements to meet the police by consent," the Guardian quoted Assange's lawyer Mark Stephens as saying.
A court in Stockholm approved a prosecution request in November to detain the 39-year old Australian, who is accused of rape and sexual harassment. On November 20, Interpol circulated a red notice, or international wanted persons alert, for Assange to all 188 member countries of the organization.
Stevens earlier said Scotland Yard initially dismissed the order for violating legal norms, but that the British authorities had now received all the necessary documents from Sweden to make an arrest.
According to the Guardian, "once Assange turns himself in to the police, he will have to appear before a magistrates' court within 24 hours, where he will seek release on bail. A full hearing of his extradition case would have to be heard within 28 days."
His lawyers fear that following Asssange's extradition to Sweden he could be then extradited to the United States where he could face death penalty for violation of the Espionage Act of 1917.
Meanwhile, WikiLeaks has been forced to move to a Swiss host after being dumped by U.S. internet companies, the Guardian reported.
However, it continues to spawn mirror sites around the world despite Washington's strong efforts to stop its activities.