WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is 'very likely' to be extradited to Sweden to face the sexual assault charges, a legal expert has claimed ahead of the ruling expected later today.
Julian Knowles, a barrister at Matrix Chambers, predicted that the extradition will happen despite what Assange's lawyers have put forward.
Assange claims that Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny had no power to issue a European arrest warrant and that he was wanted merely for questioning and not for a trial.
“There is no doubt that a Swedish prosecutor does have the power to issue warrants. And the Swedish prosecutor has made it clear that Mr Assange is wanted for trial if he goes back. Unless he can demonstrate his innocence before trial, he will be tried,” Knowles, who has written several books on extradition law, told The Guardian.
The barrister also dismissed the defence claims that Assange might be re-extradited from Sweden to US, where he could be held at Guantánamo Bay or face the death penalty, saying, "That is, frankly, a hopeless argument."
The US justice department's attache to the American embassy, Amy Jeffress, reiterated that as yet no charge had been brought against Assange in America, though she did confirm that there was an ongoing investigation into the WikiLeaks case.