How Unusual Would Assange's Extradition to Sweden Be?

Swedish prosecutors lost a small battle Tuesday in UK court in their efforts to seek the extradition of Julian Assange to Sweden to face allegations of rape, when his legal team won an initial judgment that he should be released on £200,000 bail.

The Swedes have vowed to appeal within the next 48 hours. The prosecutors have argued that, despite the media circus, the case has nothing to do with Assange's notoriety as the founder of WikiLeaks, an organization you may have heard is releasing some State Department documents.

But I've been wondering how often Swedish officials go to the effort to get people in Assange's position extradited.

I could only track down statistics from two time periods, calendar year 2005 and business year 2009-2010, but both show that extraditions are not common. In 2009-2010, a mere six people were sent from the UK to Sweden under the rules of the European Arrest Warrant agreement.  In 2005, just a one single person was extradited from the UK to Sweden.

I am still looking for breakdowns of the statistics by charge, but even the aggregate statistics show that extraditions from the UK to Sweden are rare, though not unheard of. It's important to remember, as Howard Weaver pointed out to me on Twitter, that Swedish authorities have not formally filed rape charges against Assange.

In total, the UK surrendered 699 people in 2009-2010 to all countries for all crimes, up from 516 and 415 in the two previous years.

H/T @Dozykraut

Presented by

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Stop-Motion Tour of New York City

A filmmaker animated hundreds of still photographs to create this Big Apple flip book

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open For 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

Video

What Happens Inside a Dying Mind?

Science cannot fully explain near-death experiences.

More in Global

Just In