Swedish prosecutors issued a formal detention order Monday against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is currently jailed in Britain – a first step in the country seeking his extradition.
Sweden’s deputy director of public prosecutions Eva-Marie Persson said she had filed the request with the Uppsala district court to have Julian Assange detained in absentia.
“If the court decides to detain him, I will issue a European Arrest Warrant concerning surrender to Sweden,” Persson said in a statement.
Persson added that once the court had granted the request, which comes after last week’s reopening of a 2010 rape probe, she would then ask British authorities to transfer Assange to Sweden.
The development also sets up a possible face-off between Sweden and the US over who gets to try Assange first. He faces a US extradition warrant for allegedly conspiring to hack into a Pentagon computer.
Persson said that British officials will decide any conflict between a European arrest warrant and a US extradition request for Assange, who was evicted last month from the Ecuadorian Embassy where he had been holed up with political asylum since 2012.
He was then immediately arrested by British police on April 11 and is now serving a 50-week sentence in Britain for skipping bail in 2012.
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