Wikileaks' Assange extradition appeal fails at UK's High Court

Wikileaks' Assange extradition appeal fails at UK's High Court

Summary: Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, has lost his appeal to be extradited to Sweden to face rape and sexual assault charges.

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LONDON -- Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, is to be extradited to Sweden to face sexual assault charges, after his High Court appeal in London failed.

Assange will have two weeks to lodge a further appeal with the Supreme Court, the UK's highest judicial body, but only should officials believe that the case is in the public interest.

(Source: CBS News)

Assange was arrested under a European Arrest Warrant in December 2010, but resides currently in east England under strict bail conditions.

Arguing earlier in the proceedings, Assange's legal team said that the arrest warrant he was arrested under was "not fair and accurate", according to the Guardian.

The warrant itself, argued the prosecution on behalf of Sweden, was "deliberately vague", but maintained that clear allegations were made using "unmistakable language".

Assange's legal team has made it clear time and again that if he were to be extradited to Sweden, it would be far easier for the United States to extradite him further -- needing residence in the United Kingdom to remain out of U.S. hands.

A U.S grand jury is still deliberating whether to indict Assange on espionage charges.

As Sweden's criminal justice system does not have a system for bail, Assange will be detained immediately upon his arrival.

The Wikileaks founder had angered the U.S. government after 'Cablegate', where 250,000 diplomatic cables between embassies were leaked and published by various co-ordinating media organisations.

The U.S. diplomatic cables release last year was the largest cache of classified documents released by the whistleblowing website, Wikileaks.

The cables sparked an international outrage at both governments and Wikileaks, and set to spark the 2011 Arab Spring, which led to revolutions across the Middle East and North Africa.

Last month, Assange told reporters at a press conference in the British capital that Wikileaks would suspend operations, amid a 'financial blockade' of donations by major U.S. banks, including PayPal, Visa and MasterCard, to instead focus on fundraising.

The blockade, which began in December 2010, caused Wikileaks to lose 95 percent of its revenue, the founder said, forcing the organisation to use cash reserves for the past 11 months.

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Topics: Government US, Government

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18 comments
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  • RE: Wikileaks' Assange extradition appeal fails at UK's High Court

    Good, I hope he comes to understand why his games with wikileaks were a bad idea.
    slickjim
    • Supposedly...

      @Peter Perry
      ...the extradition order has nothing to do with Mr. Assange's Wikileaks activities. He has alleged that this extradition is retaliation for Wikileaks, but if he's right, that would be a miscarriage of justice, not something to celebrate.

      Personally, I think the courts should do impartial justice and not allow laws to be used as weapons. Hopefully, that is what is happening.
      John L. Ries
    • RE: Wikileaks' Assange extradition appeal fails at UK's High Court

      @Peter Perry

      Yeah, how dare anyone expose government wrongdoings?! They should remain secret.
      Michael Alan Goff
      • RE: Wikileaks' Assange extradition appeal fails at UK's High Court

        @Michael Alan Goff Do you honestly believe that is all he exposed for the world to read? Tell that to the poor schmucks that had their covers blown and identities revealed.
        mepallow
      • RE: Wikileaks' Assange extradition appeal fails at UK's High Court

        And he's the only one who has exposed people who were under cover? If he's wrong for that, and needs to be arrested, what about when the undercover agent was outed by somebody in the Bush Administration?
        Michael Alan Goff
      • RE: Wikileaks' Assange extradition appeal fails at UK's High Court

        @mepallow
        Can you point to a single "poor schmuck" who had their "cover blown."?

        Were you aware that, when Assange agreed to publish the cables with The Guardian, The New York Times, El Pais etc., there was an agreement to redact any cable that might result in reprisals?

        The only "schmucks" I know of who have suffered as a result of WikiLeaks operations are those helicopter machine-gunners who whooped and yee-hawed as they murdered a journalist and some innocent arabs who stopped to help. Actually, I'm not certain even <i>these murderers</i> have suffered. Have charges been filed against them?
        StandardPerson
    • RE: Wikileaks' Assange extradition appeal fails at UK's High Court

      @Peter Perry
      Yes! I agree. He is finally finding out that when you mess with the folks that build the gallows, you run the risk of an easy hanging!
      eargasm
  • RE: Wikileaks' Assange extradition appeal fails at UK's High Court

    It's awfully convienent that as soon as WikiLeaks started embarassing the governments of the world that these sex crime charges came up against Assange.

    POLL: Are the allegations of sex crimes against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange trumped up?
    Vote: http://www.wepolls.com/p/4581702
    zadocpaet
    • RE: Wikileaks' Assange extradition appeal fails at UK's High Court

      @zadocpaet - the puppet women that came up with this conveniently timed nonsense; one is a confirmed militant feminist, who threw a party for Assange the day after the supposed "assault"; the other only went along with the report after being contacted by the first.

      The Swedish government should be utterly ashamed of bending to the self-covering whim of the US government. Swedish law also makes a mockery of the word "rape".
      Psdie
      • And what evidence do you have...

        @psdie
        ...that Sweden pressed charges at the bidding of the U.S. , or any other foreign power? Do you even have a plausible motive for the Swedish government doing so?

        I suspect that nobody posting here knows enough about the case to even make an educated guess as to Mr. Assange's innocence or guilt, so I think it best to let the courts do their job.
        John L. Ries
      • RE: Wikileaks' Assange extradition appeal fails at UK's High Court

        @John Ries
        "Do you even have a plausible motive for the Swedish government doing so?"

        In rape cases, I imagine the testimony of the alleged victim is key; the government is required to file charges if someone claims that they have been assaulted.

        In the Assange case, at least one of the alleged victims was a member of the "Free Cuba" movement, which has close U.S. government/CIA ties, which is suspicious in itself.

        Secondly, the police and the first prosecutor told both alleged victims that Assanged had no case to answer; the investigation only took on fresh vigor when the elected, parliamentary Attorney General decided to pursue the charges.

        I have been following the case closely and, from what I have read, if this is a rape case then the alleged victims - and the Swedish government - have behaved in a bizarre & suspicious way. In contrast, Assange has not.
        StandardPerson
    • RE: Wikileaks' Assange extradition appeal fails at UK's High Court

      @zadocpaet, there is (or was) a remarkable YouTube video of one of the alleged "rape victims" - Wil??n - that was taken just hours after the alleged rape. In the video the smiling Wil??n gives Assange a glowing introduction before ceding the podium to him for his talk.

      Odd behaviour.
      StandardPerson
  • RE: Wikileaks' Assange extradition appeal fails at UK's High Court

    Typo: I've never heard of a financial service called PayPay before...
    masonwheeler
    • RE: Wikileaks' Assange extradition appeal fails at UK's High Court

      @masonwheeler Good catch -- thanks!
      zwhittaker
  • Julian Assange

    As Mr Assange???s case now seems to hinge solely on points of law, here is an interesting EAW precedent:

    First Lieutenant Stefan Michnik, a Stalinist judge in postwar Poland, has been accused of participation in several cases of judicial murder of Polish anti-Nazi resistance fighters. He now lives in a small town of Storvreta near Uppsala (Sweden).

    On 25 February 2010 Military Garrison Court in Warsaw issued an official arrest warrant for Stefan Michnik. In October 2010 Polish prosecutors issued a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) on the same basis.

    On 18 November 2010 the court in Uppsala (Sweden) refused to extradite Stefan Michnik back to Poland explaining that his criminal acts committed in Poland fall under the statute of limitations in Sweden.

    This is a clear precedent showing that (at least in Sweden) the laws of extraditing country (in this case Sweden) take precedence over the laws of requesting country (in this case Poland).

    As Mr Assange???s alleged offence is not a criminal offence under UK laws, this precedent should be applied to Mr. Assange???s case, as (at least some) consistency in EAW based decisions may be expected ??? unless the whole affair is politically motivated.

    Sebastian Nowakowski
    zsnlegal
  • RE: Wikileaks' Assange extradition appeal fails at UK's High Court

    As Mr Assange???s case now seems to hinge solely on points of law, here is an interesting EAW precedent:

    First Lieutenant Stefan Michnik, a Stalinist judge in postwar Poland, has been accused of participation in several cases of judicial murder of Polish anti-Nazi resistance fighters. He now lives in a small town of Storvreta near Uppsala (Sweden).

    On 25 February 2010 Military Garrison Court in Warsaw issued an official arrest warrant for Stefan Michnik. In October 2010 Polish prosecutors issued a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) on the same basis.

    On 18 November 2010 the court in Uppsala (Sweden) refused to extradite Stefan Michnik back to Poland explaining that his criminal acts committed in Poland fall under the statute of limitations in Sweden.

    This is a clear precedent showing that (at least in Sweden) the laws of extraditing country (in this case Sweden) take precedence over the laws of requesting country (in this case Poland).

    As Mr Assange???s alleged offence is not a criminal offence under UK laws, this precedent should be applied to Mr. Assange???s case, as (at least some) consistency in EAW based decisions may be expected ??? unless the whole affair is politically motivated.

    Sebastian Nowakowski
    zsnlegal
  • RE: Wikileaks' Assange extradition appeal fails at UK's High Court

    he is definately being tried by a kangaroo court,his supporters are running for cover as fast as they can,no one can tell the truth in the world today,unless you have permission of the big five,and then it would be severely edited,the common herd must never be told the full story,as it might be embarassing to the powers that be.
    miker10
    • Really?

      @miker10
      So everybody here is "telling the truth" by prior permission (assuming we're not lying)? I take it that you got the permission of the "big five" to post your talkback. How much editing was required to get ZDNet (acting on behalf of the "big five") to accept it?
      John L. Ries