Assange to appeal extradition to Sweden

Assange to appeal extradition to Sweden

Summary: The Wikileaks editor plans to appeal his extradition using the same arguments as contained in the skeleton defence case, according to his defence team

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TOPICS: Government, Security
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Wikileaks editor Julian Assange plans to appeal his extradition to Sweden in the High Court using arguments that failed to convince the magistrate who ordered his extradition.

His defence team will challenge chief magistrate Howard Riddle's decision on the basis that Assange will not get a fair trial due to adverse media coverage in Sweden and other points already put before the courts, his lawyer Mark Stephens said on Thursday.

Assange extradition appeal

Assange will appeal his extradition to Sweden to face questioning. Photo credit: BBC

"Yes, [we will appeal] on the grounds of the arguments advanced in the skeleton arguments," Stephens told ZDNet UK outside Belmarsh Magistrates' Court. "They were always the good grounds."

On Thursday, Riddle ordered that the 39-year-old Australian should be sent to Sweden under a European arrest warrant (EAW) to face questioning on allegations of rape and sexual coercion by two women.

In his ruling, Riddle rejected the main props of the defence case, which argued that Marianne Ny, the Swedish prosecutor behind the EAW, is biased against men; that any trial faced by Assange will be held in secret; and that Ny did not have the authority to issue an EAW when Assange is only wanted for questioning.

Stephens said the defence team will lodge the appeal within seven days, and he expects there to be a two-month gap after that before the hearing. If the High Court appeal fails, Assange will apply to appeal to the Supreme Court, under the Lisbon Treaty, he added.

On Thursday, Riddle bailed Assange on the same conditions as he was under during the extradition hearing, including wearing an electronic tag.

The prosecution has asked for court costs to be paid by Assange, but Riddle has declined to make a judgement on costs, saying he will leave it to the High Court.

"It's highly unusual to ask for costs in an extradition case," Stephens told reporters outside Belmarsh Magistrates' Court, adding that the fees in this case for translating documents alone amounts to more than £30,000.


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Topics: Government, Security

Tom Espiner

About Tom Espiner

Tom is a technology reporter for ZDNet.com. He covers the security beat, writing about everything from hacking and cybercrime to threats and mitigation. He also focuses on open source and emerging technologies, all the while trying to cut through greenwash.

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3 comments
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  • 'Appeal against...' surely?
    Manek Dubash
  • Surely if he is only wanted for questioning, surely there are several thousand local police stations in the UK proven suited for the job.

    Is there some special aspect about British Europe that its laws and police are considered so inferior that a suspect has to be extradited for questioning ?.
    L1ma
  • In the frenzy by the United States to prosecute Julian Assange over WikiLeaks, public perception is that the US will try anything - including coercion of the UK and Sweden into facilitating his deportation to the US.

    But move on, US. This naivety in thinking that 'getting' Mr Assange will be the end of the story is wishful thinking. Millions of people want corruption & deception weeded out of government - and he has simply uncorked what's been simmering for a long time.
    Diane108