In November 2010, a request was made by Sweden to have Julian Assange extradited from the UK to Sweden, to face charges of rape brought against him.
Julian Assange turned himself in to the UK police and was held for 10 days, before being released on bail. In August 2012, he sought and was granted asylum by Ecuador. He has lived in the Ecuadorian embassy in London from August 2012 until April 2019, when his asylum was revoked by Ecuador, after which he was arrested by the UK for breaking the terms of his bail. The investigation by Sweden had already been dropped in May 2017.
It has been stated, both by Assange and his followers, that they fear the charges against him and the accompanying extradition request, may be used to have him extradited to the USA, via Sweden.
Regardless the validity of the charges and the veracity of the victims' statements, why would a detour through Sweden be necessary? The USA and the UK have much closer relations than the USA have with Sweden.
Why couldn't Assange have been extradited to the USA directly from the UK?
I have no doubt the USA would like to get their hands on Assange, but is there something in international law that I'm overlooking?
Does he need to be convicted in Sweden first, before the USA are able to get him extradited to them? I can't really imagine Sweden getting him convicted first and then deliver him to the USA, wrapped up and tied up with a bow.
Is there something to be gained from a Swedish detour?