Wikileaks’ Julian Assange Loses Extradition Appeal

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has lost his extradition appeal to the UK Supreme Court and could now face deportation to Sweden on allegations of sexual abuse brought by two Swedish women. His lawyers have been granted two additional weeks to submit fresh arguments as to whether they want to take issue with a central point of the judgement or to challenge the correct interpretation of international treaties — of, specifically, Article 31.3 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.

Assange, who has been on conditional bail and subjected to electronic monitoring, curfew and regular reports to local police, was not himself present for the decision due to being “stuck in traffic” according to his lawyer. Assange tweeted “We got the news not hoped for” after learning of the decision, says the BBC.

The 40-year-old Australian is charged with raping one woman and “sexually molesting and coercing” another in Stockholm and a nearby town in August 2010, when Wikileaks was in the midst of releasing a vast trove of classified United States military and diplomatic documents. The women, who were both Wikileaks volunteers, both made complaints that what had been consensual encounters became non-consensual. Assange was present for an initial interview with Swedish police than fled to London,prior to further questioning could be completed. Swedish authorities issued an arrest warrant for him, leading to him being briefly imprisoned in December 2010.

Assange has insisted on his innocence and his lawyers have spoken of a “honey trap” set for him, to prevent him from releasing more documents on Wikileaks. Assange has railed against Sweden as a “Saudi Arabia of feminism.” His legal battle has been going on for 18 months.

Britain’s highest court ruled by a vote of 5 to 2 to reject Assange’s appeal for extradition. The judgement hinged on whether the Swedish authority who issued the extradition order had the “judicial authority” to do so under the 2003 Extradition Act or whether that power was granted only to a judge or a court, says the BBC. Judge Nicholas Phillips, the president of the court, said that the decision “has not been easy to resolve” but was “lawfully made.” Assange’s lawyers are honing in on a “fine point of European law” in appealing the court’s ruling, namely that the judgement was “based on a point which was neither heard nor argued in the case,” says the BBC’s Dominic Casciani.

As the New York Times observes, this new delay in Assange’s extradition case pushes back “indefinitely” any attempts by the US to extradite Assange on charges for his role in Wikileaks’ release of classified US diplomatic and military documents. The NYT says that there have been “frequent but unconfirmed reports … that a secret grand jury hearing in Alexandria, Va.” is preparing a US Justice Department bid to charge Assange with espionage. A 4-page Wikileaks statement, issued some 12 hours before the British Supreme Court’s ruling, has “depicted the decision in London as a prelude to a much grimmer challenge awaiting” Assange than the sex abuse charges in Sweden. If convicted of the latter, Swedish lawyers say that he faces a stiff fine or, at most, a brief prison term. If convicted of espionage in the US, he could face a life sentence in a maximum-security prison.

Bradley Manning, the US army private charged with leaking massive amount of classified government information to Wikileaks, is seeking dismissal of 10 of the 22 counts he faces. Manning, who is currently being held in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, contends that eight of the counts are unconstitutionally vague and that two others fail to state a prosecutable offense. He faces life in prison if convicted of aiding the enemy, the most serious charge. On June 6, a military judge will hear pre-trial arguments in Fort Meade, Md.; Manning faces a full court-martial in September. A Guardian interview with his aunt, who has been visiting him frequently, says that Manning is “keeping himself in a relatively positive state of mind, buoyed by trust in his lawyers and the support of close family and backers from around the world.”

Related Care2 Coverage

Assange Talk Show: Revolutionary or Pretty Much Propaganda?

Wikileaks Dumps Yet More Data; A Nobel For Manning?

Assange Loses Extradition Appeal: Has Wikileaks Lost Its Way?


Photo of Assange in 2008 by nehavish

34 comments

Yulan Lawson
Yulan Lawson4 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Elliot C.
Elliot C.4 years ago

I support Wikileaks and think that what they do is both brave and important. If there is no transparency in a government, how can the people truly trust it?

The reaction of massive backlash against him just shows that they are trying to cover up exactly what he is exposing.

Frank B.
Frank B.4 years ago

Arild W. You don't seriously think they will let him go do you?
This story about sexual abuse even if it's true is just snow, an attempt to mis-direct the public, a pathetic attempt really when viewed against the leaking of documents.
The guy deserves a medal.
The shitty politicians who put the soldiers in "harms way" are the real villains here.

Frank B.
Frank B.4 years ago

Arild W. You don't seriously think they will let him go do you?
This story about sexual abuse even if it's true is just snow, an attempt to mis-direct the public, a pathetic attempt really when viewed against the leaking of documents.
The guy deserves a medal.
The shitty politicians who put the soldiers in "harms way" are the real villains here.

Arild Warud
Arild Warud4 years ago

What is he afraid of?? They only want to question him and if he's innocent it ends there.

Frank B.
Frank B.4 years ago

I think/feel that Assange should be given a Noble Prize for Peace

Pamela T.
Pamela Tracy4 years ago

If he indeed did coerce the women then he should be tried...women need to remember that there is a fine line between coercion and ok.....though...I am not sure if I trust young women today...in fact I think many young women are misled worse now than many years ago......MEN NEED TO KNOW THAT IF A WOMAN CHANGES HER MIND AT A REASONABLE POINT THAT THEY MUST BE REASONABLE ALSO....THIS IS WHAT MAKES THEM A BETTER MAN AND NOT A PREDATOR.

David J.
David J.4 years ago

Note that most of the comments say what a hero Assange is and/or disparage the women who accuse him. This illustrates the Clinton/Pulaski corallary to the Left/Feminist rule which states that women never lie about a sexual assult. The Clinton/Pulaski corallary states that any woman who accueses someone who is useful to the Left ( Bill Clinton, John Edwards) or who hates the United States (Roman Pulanski, Julius Assange) is automatically suspect. I mean really, you could take some of these comments and match them word for word with defenses for Clarence Thomas. Feminists who attack these women (would that be a "war"?) show for all to see that they are not interested in advancing the interests of women but are simply tools for the Left.

Past Member
Past Member 4 years ago

Bullshit. Even if it is not bullshit, which it is, he is still a world hero and not many people can compare to him. I don't care if he goes on a rape spreee of 10 year old girls. Can't change what he did with a smear campaign. This is what a real man looks like.

Leslea Herber
Leslea Herber4 years ago

I guess the US finally ponied up the funds to have him booted out of the UK huh? There's NO shred of justice in this. It's 100% retribution for leaked documents. Period.