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Assange Will Be Extradited to Sweden

Assange Will Be Extradited to Sweden

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange will be extradited to Sweden to face allegations of rape and sexual assault. The BBC reports that District Judge Howard Riddle ruled that Assange’s human rights would not be ‘breached.’ Assange will appeal the losing, his lawyers say; he will be sent to Sweden in ten days if they lose.

Wikileaks has garnered attention world-wide following the release of numerous US embassy cables with top-level, and top secret, information.

According to the BBC , the judge ruled that:

  • The allegations against Mr. Assange were extradition offences
  • The prosecutor who issued the European Arrest Warrant for Mr Assange had been suitably qualified
  • The warrant was issued for the purpose of prosecution and not simply for questioning

The text of the ruling can be read here.

The Guardian summarizes some of the arguments used by Assange’s lawyers and the judge’s response:

The defence had argued that the allegations against Assange were not offences in English law and therefore not grounds for extradition. But [Judge] Riddle said the alleged offences against Miss A of sexual assault and molestation met the criteria for extradition, and an allegation made by Miss B if proven “would amount to rape” in this country.

In his summary Riddle accused Assange’s Swedish lawyer, Bjorn Hurtig, of making a deliberate attempt to mislead the court. Assange had clearly attempted to avoid the Swedish justice system before he left the country, Riddle said. “It would be a reasonable assumption from the facts that Mr Assange was deliberately avoiding interrogation before he left Sweden.”

Assange, who denies three allegations of sexual assault and one of rape last August in Stockholm, blamed the European arrest warrant system as one that is running ‘amok.’ European arrest warrants were introduced in 2003 with the ‘aim of making the process swifter and easier between European member states.’

Some have raised concerned about the use of such warrants, pointing out that are ‘sometimes’ used before a case is ready to prosecute and have been extended far beyond their original purpose of fighting terrorism.’ 700 people were extradited from the UK under the system in 2010.

Assange and his supporters have repeatedly stated that, should he be extradited to Sweden, he could then be extraddited to the US where he might face separate charges related to Wikileaks and even face the death penalty. According to the Guardian:

There had been no consideration of the allegations against him, Assange said. His extradition would thrust him into a legal system he did not understand using a language he did not speak.

Assange said the US government by its own admission had been waiting to see the British court verdict before determining what action it could take against him.

“What does the US have to do with a Swedish extradition process?” he asked. “Why is it that I am subject, a non-profit free speech activist, to a $360,000 (£223,000) bail? Why is it that I am kept under electronic house arrest when I have not even been charged in any country, when I have never been a fugitive?” Assange had earlier heard the chief magistrate, Howard Riddle, dismiss each of the defence’s arguments.

Assange was arrested and released on bail in December of last year and has since been fighting extradition. In Sweden he will be held in custody, as there is no system of bail there until a possible trial or release.

Might it be possible that Assange is overstating what might happen to him if extradited to the US?


Previous Care2 Coverage

Extradition Hearing for Wikileaks’ Julian Assange Begins [VIDEO]

Assange Fears He’ll Be Sent To Guantanamo

Assange, Manning, and the Rosenbergs: Is nothing secret anymore?


Read more: , , , ,

Photo by Espen Moe (originally posted to Flickr as IMG_4739) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons.

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2:15PM PDT on Apr 19, 2012

Good luck Julian thanks for getting us the truth, we deserve to know.

5:40AM PST on Mar 6, 2011

Wikileaks has terrified the covert groups around the world,namely the CIA and no doubt many others!They don't want the common people knowing what their governments are really up to-it's an ugly scene,believe me!All Julian Assange has been doing is passing on information,via the Internet,just a messenger,yet he has made many enemies and they will do anything to silence him and his organisation.I sincerely hope Wikileaks keeps going as the people need to be forewarned about events that will ultimately affect them.What is happening to Bradley Manning is designed to "break"him,so torture is alive and well in the USA!?The citizens should be very very concerned about what is happening in their country!The fact that the Australian government appears to have abandoned its citizen,Julian Assange,speaks volumes about who is running Australia,and it's not the Australian voters!Shame on the gutless Gillard government,shame!!!!!!!

8:46PM PST on Mar 3, 2011

1:17PM PST on Mar 1, 2011

Assange's release of documents embarrassed and exposed the truths we all need to hear and read.

THIS IS A WITCH-HUNT, manipulated by those who want to imprison the messenger, even though he was correct in doing so. Governments do not appreciate having their private messages and thoughts exposed, because they want us to think they are perfect - which, of course, they're NOT.

I think our government is orchestrating this whole thing to get him into our clutches. It's wrong, and we should stand up for his rights, even if we didn't like what he made public.

11:15AM PST on Feb 28, 2011

I'm absolutely terrified for him!
And have no words for the on-going torture of Bradley Manning.
John E.'s comment - exactly!!

10:04AM PST on Feb 28, 2011

Well said Alastair L.!!! Totally agree!

5:58AM PST on Feb 28, 2011

"Might it be possible that Assange is overstating what might happen to him if extradited to the US?"

Well this is what a former Reagan administration offical Paul Craig Roberts thinks. Us behind a trumped up smear campaigne and if that does get him the CIA will make a hit on him, "that's what they do…"

Might it be possible you have no freaking idea about the things you blog about, Ms Chew?

Might it be that you're trying to back-peddle your smear campaign on Assange with stupid rhetorical questions instead of straight out smear like you usually go in for?

Might it be you have no claim to be blogging for a major website at all given your naivety and willingness to repeat anything you read in the NYT or Guardian? It's called scrapping and your 'work' scraps the bottom of the barrel.

4:10AM PST on Feb 27, 2011

Kristina Chew says
"Might it be possible that Assange is overstating what might happen to him if extradited to the US?"
You can answer this one Kristina ...
bearing in mind that we are talking about the nation that has operated Guantanamo Bay now for years (outside of the US jurisdiction for some reason), has Bradley Manning incarcerated in conditions which many people equate to torture , (despite not having been convicted of anything at this time), developed the "innovative" policy of "extraordinary rendition" with obligatory stopover in Egypt or elsewhere for a bit of torture ... I could go on.
Perhaps the Aust govt might put a word in on Assange's behalf? In answers to letters re threats of assassination / murder from US (and other) political leaders and media types, the Aust govt had this to say ...
The Aust govt has received a letter from Mr. Assange's lawyers (re threats mentioned above) which has been sent to the Australian Federal Police. The govt has responded to Mr.Assange's lawyers and will not engage in a running commentary on this matter.
Reminds me of when the UK and most other nations were doing their best to get their nationals out of Guantanamo Bay some years ago ... notably quiet, once again, was the Aust. govt.

So Kristina ... what do you think ?

2:58AM PST on Feb 27, 2011

Truth ,Justice ,and the American way ,(our way or else) In God we trust , people are to be treated accordingly.Now I,m not saying America is all bad ,some good things come from there, give me a minute and I will think of it.Got it, "Apple ipad, Freedom of speech"

7:58PM PST on Feb 26, 2011

No, this isn't global totalitarianism at all. Naaah!

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