Published on Huffington Post, by Mark Hosenball, August 23, 2012.
Despite claims by Julian Assange that Washington is plotting to extradite and execute him, U.S. and European government sources say the United States has issued no criminal charges against the WikiLeaks founder and has launched no attempt to extradite him.
Moreover, Obama administration officials remain divided over the wisdom of prosecuting Assange, the sources said, and the likelihood of U.S. criminal charges against him is probably receding rather than growing … //
… EMBASSY STANDOFF:
British officials learned that making even vague threats against Assange can energize him and his followers.
During negotiations with Ecuador after Assange took refuge in its embassy, UK authorities privately pointed out to Ecuadorean officials that an obscure British law gave them authority, in extreme circumstances, to strip a foreign embassy of its diplomatic status and enter the premises.
While British officials intended for the diplomatic exchange to remain private and sources said it was not meant as a threat, Ecuador made it public and accused Britain of planning to storm its embassy.
British authorities have said they are determined to carry out the court order to extradite Assange to Sweden, where he faces questioning in a criminal investigation which includes a rape allegation. Assange has denied the charges and suggested they are part of a U.S. plot.
Cecilia Riddseleus, a senior official of Sweden’s Justice Ministry, said Sweden had received no extradition request from U.S. authorities, though she added, “it could come at any point” if U.S. authorities decided to go ahead.
If Sweden took custody of Assange from Britain and then received a U.S. extradition request, Stockholm would have to go back to Britain to seek its permission before acting, she said.
Swedish law, she said, forbids extradition in cases where the accused might face execution or where the alleged crimes could be deemed “political.”
U.S. must renounce its witch-hunt against WikiLeaks,’ says Julian Assange from embassy balcony, on National Post, Canada, Aug. 19, 2012;
Bradley Manning on en.wikipedia;