September 3, 2012 - 16:55 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Britain has assured Ecuador that Julian Assange has a double guarantee that he cannot face extradition from Sweden to the U.S. if he were to face the death penalty or his human rights were to be breached, The Telegraph reports.
In a written statement to MPs, the foreign secretary William Hague said it is a "matter of regret" that the government of Ecuador has decided to offer asylum to Assange after Britain offered a series of assurances to Quito.
Britain is seeking to extradite Assange to Sweden where he is facing of allegations of sexual misconduct. The WikiLeaks founder, who sought protection in the Ecuadorean embassy in London in June, has been granted asylum by Quito on the grounds that he could face extradition from Sweden to the U.S. where, it is feared, he could face the death penalty for his role in publishing hundreds of thousands of leaked U.S. government documents.
Hague told MPs that the double guarantee means that Assange could only be extradited to the U.S. from Sweden if both Britain and Sweden believe that he would not face the death penalty and his human rights would not be breached.
The foreign secretary said: "Both the United Kingdom and Sweden are signatories to the European Convention on Human Rights and the British government has complete confidence in the independence and fairness of the Swedish judicial system. As we have discussed with the government of Ecuador, the United Kingdom and Sweden robustly implement and adhere to the highest standards of human rights protection.
"The suggestion that Mr Assange's human rights would be put at risk by the possibility of onward extradition from Sweden to a third country is also without foundation. Not only would Sweden – as a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights – be required to refuse extradition in circumstances which would breach his human rights, but the authorities in Sweden would also be legally obliged to seek the United Kingdom's consent before any extradition to a non-EU member state could proceed."