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UK Supreme Court Backs Assange Extradition To Sweden …

  • May 30th, 2012
  • Posted by 7thmin

assange-julian.jpgA panel of seven Supreme Court judges in London has dismissed the appeal of Julian Assange against being extradited to Sweden, in a majority vote, 5-2.

It means that the Wikileaks founder is to be taken off to face charges of sexual assault, and run the risk of the Swedish authorities passing him on to the United States.

Two women in Sweden accused him of having assaulted them in 2010; he said it was consensual sex.

A Swedish prosecutor applied for extradition from the United Kingdom under a European Arrest Warrant, and Mr Assange’s defence argued, unsuccessfully that the prosecutor was not a competent judicial authority, as required in the English law supporting such warrants.

The defence lawyers have been given two weeks to consider if they will apply to reopen the case on grounds that they had not had the opportunity to argue a point of law on which the judges’ decision  was based.

They also have the option of considering an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

A London Court decided on the extradition last February.

As reported in EUAustralia Online at the time (“Assange deportation order”, 26.2.12), the Australian former computer hacker was detained in Britain late last year, initially held in solitary confinement, then put into household detention, while going through extradition proceedings.

He has claimed that the Swedish case is part of a strategy to get him to the United States, where he is accused of serious offences against the state, related to his publication of leaked government documents.

“Why is it that I am on $360000 bail?

“Why is it that I am placed under electronic house arrest, when I have not been charged with any offence?”, he said outside the court.

Several powerful figures in the United States have condemned the publication by his organisation of hundreds of thousands of government documents, from the USA and elsewhere, which it obtained from their files.

Some have wanted him put on extreme charges which in theory might attract the death penalty, variously enacted in America by measures including electrocution, administration of a lethal drug, shooting by firing squad, or hanging.

The extra-judicial path, sending Navy Seals to give him a fatal “double tap”, then put him in a body bag and throw it out of a helicopter over the sea, looks to be reserved for fugitive mass murderers – nowhere considered likely in this case.