It is apalling that Julian Assange has been refused bail following his arrest in London today.
The Daily Mail explains the likely fortcoming legal complexities:
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Assange will appear before the City of Westminster Magistrates Court on December 14 when his lawyers are expected to outline their case against extradition and make a renewed bail application.
The WikiLeaks founder has indicated he will fight all the way to the High Court which could take over a year.
Legal sources believe he may argue to stay in Britain on the grounds that any trial in Sweden would be prejudiced because of his political notoriety.
He could take his case to the High Court and even the Supreme Court on 'a point of law of general public importance' which could take around two years to resolve.
If that fails, he could take the case to the European Court of Human Rights.
If he were to be extradited to Sweden what would happen?
Assange is likely to be immediately charged with rape. He would face a trial by a judge as Sweden does not have a jury system for criminal cases. If convicted he faces up to six years in jail. On release he could face the prospect of extradition to other countries.
Can the US extradite him from Britain?
His detention yesterday on a European Arrest Warrant means that Sweden's request would take precedence over any extradition bid from America. Only if a district judge refused Assange's extradition to Sweden, could the US apply to have him extradited there.
Can the US extradite him from Sweden?
US Attorney General Eric Holder claims to be taking 'significant steps' in a probe into the leaks, but it is unlikely that America will ever get its hands on Assange. The US has had an extradition treaty with Sweden since the 1960s, when the nations agreed to 'make more effective the co-operation of the two countries in the repression of crime'.
But extradition is likely to face a number of obstacles, not least the fact that the likely charges facing Assange in the US - under the Espionage Act or other legislation protecting national security - are not included in the exhaustive list of offences set out in the law.
Extradition is barred for military or political offences, under Swedish law.
There may also be issues of jurisdiction, since the offences Assange is alleged by the US to have conducted did not take place within the country.
Any extradition from Sweden to other countries could take place only after the current rape proceedings have been concluded.
We note that the Extradition case involving Gary McKinnon, who is accused of hacking in to US Military NIPREnet systems has lasted over 8 years now. This is another case involving US government pride and computer system incompetence, which has resulted in plenty of political pressure from the US Government.
See FreeGary.org.uk for the full panaoply of Extradition Hearings, Submissions to the Home Secretary, Appeals to the High Court, Judicial Reviews, Appeals to the House of Lords (now to the UK Supreme Court), Appeals to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. etc.
It looks as if Julian Assange will also now fall foul of the hated previous Labour governmet's controversial Extradition Act 2003, which prevents even incomplete prima facie from being heard and cross examined by defence lawyers in a British court, if the Extradition request is from a European Arrest Warrant country like Sweden or from the USA.
Gary McKinnon has been free on bail throughout his Extradition case, but others facing Extradition to the USA, such as British born computer techniocian Babar Ahmed have been locked up in high security prisons, without trial for even longer.