The Swedish government will not extradite Assange to the US should he face the death penalty there, as any possible extradition request from Washington is then subject to strict conditions, an official from the country’s Justice Ministry declared.
“We will never surrender a person to the death penalty,” the deputy director of the Service for Criminal Cases and International Cooperation of Sweden’s Justice Ministry said in an interview with the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper on Tuesday.
This means there should be strict guarantees from the US government that “the prisoner will not be executed in any case,” added Cecilia Riddselius. But, she added, so far her country has not received any extradition request from Washington.
In June, Cecilia Riddselius admitted there were opportunities for countries to request different types of guarantees in relation to extradition. Sweden may request that an extradited person will not be sentenced to the death penalty, he or she will not be tortured, should not be prosecuted for offences other than those which he or she was delivered for and not to be charged before a special court. However, Riddselius then stressed, Sweden cannot guarantee in advance that Assange will not be extradited.
The WikiLeaks founder is wanted in Sweden for questioning over sexual misconduct. He and his supporters, however, fear that if extradited to Sweden, he may be further extradited to the United States, where he could then face the death penalty for espionage following the publication of thousands of classified documents, including secret cables of the US State Department.