Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Julian Assange loses court bid to block extradition to Sweden over 'sex crimes', he will probably appeal decision but lose that as well, he is going!
There are several really interesting stories going the rounds today, Coulson for example, but I am deciding to go with the Juilan Assange story.
The WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has lost his Supreme Court fight against extradition to Sweden to face sex crime allegations.
The argument put forward by his defence is that the European arrest warrant issued against him was 'invalid and unenforceable'.
I have to say, I think that as a defence strategy is risible.
The Supreme Court judges have rightly thrown that argument in the bin and rejected his challenge.
The court dismissed his appeal by a majority of five to two.
I am not up to speed with the merits of the actual case, however, and regardless, a legal process has been started and Mr. Assange should face trial.
Assange has been given 14 days to consider today's ruling before a final decision on his next step in his legal battle.
His team indicated they would reopen the case at the Supreme Court.
What has happened today is obviously a blow, he is a high profile figure but no one is supposed to be above the law, I believe any further appeal will also fail, the merits of this appeal were weak.
Lord Phillips, president of the court, said the point of law which had to be considered had not been simple to resolve.
I would disagree, this is a clear cut matter, Sweden isn’t a third world country with dubious human rights record and a dodgy government; the request is legal.
Swedish authorities want Assange, 40, to answer accusations of raping one woman and sexually molesting and coercing another in Stockholm in August 2010 while on a visit to give a lecture.
It is a highly publicised case, I don’t know the merits; some claim that the Swedish Government want him in Sweden to deport him to America. The reality is that the UK and US already have such an arrangement to extradite him, and without evidence.
Assange is important because his WikiLeaks website has published a mass of leaked diplomatic cables that embarrassed several governments and international businesses.
In truth he has helped expose a lot of evil things but he has also been rather careless and thoughtless but dumping information without realising the consequences of not vetting properly.
Exposing injustice is one thing, putting lives in danger is something else.
His case has become a cause celebre and has hearings have previously been attended by celebrities such as Jemima Khan, film director Ken Loach and former Labour minister Tony Benn.
But regardless of who stands up for him, he has to stand up at some point in court.
He is either innocent or he is guilty, but the place for proving this in a Swedish Court.
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University