SEARCH

News » International

Updated: November 3, 2011 19:32 IST

Assange loses appeal against extradition

Hasan Suroor
Comment (5)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
The founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, arrives for a hearing at the High Court in London on Wednesday.
AP The founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, arrives for a hearing at the High Court in London on Wednesday.

Rights activists outraged; WikiLeaks founder considering next step

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Wednesday lost his appeal in the High Court here against attempts to extradite him to Sweden over allegations of sexual assault brought by two women.

The court upheld a magistrate's ruling in February this year that he be extradited.

The verdict was greeted with outrage by rights activists, who had gathered outside the court in large numbers to demand his freedom. They had fixed to the court's iron railings banners reading: “Free Assange! Free Manning! End the wars.”

Mr. Assange, who denies the allegations and believes that the case is politically motivated, said he was considering his “next steps.” He would remain on bail under the same highly restrictive conditions that were imposed when he was arrested in November last year on a European-wide Swedish warrant.

14 days to appeal

His lawyers indicated that they would approach the Supreme Court on the grounds that the case raised issues of general public importance. They have 14 days to appeal, but would need the High Court's permission.

Mr. Assange fears that if he was extradited, the Swedish authorities might hand him over to Americans who have threatened to prosecute him for leaking classified and confidential documents.

Unruffled

Dressed in a navy blue suit and wearing a Remembrance Day poppy, Mr. Assange sat impassively through the proceedings and looked unruffled as he emerged from the court amid a media scrum. Asked by reporters whether he was disappointed, he appeared to smile at the absurdity of the question.

In a brief statement, he said: “I have not been charged with any crime in any country. Despite this, the European arrest warrant is so restrictive that it prevents U.K. courts from considering the facts for a case. We will be considering our next steps in the days ahead. No doubt, there will be many attempts made to try and spin these proceedings as they occurred today but they are merely technical.”

Mr. Assange declined to answer questions and directed the media to go to his website, www.swedenversusassange.com, if they wanted to know what was “truly going on in the case.”

As he walked to a waiting taxi, he was surrounded by hundreds of supporters, who raised slogans, while some took his photographs and tried to shake hands with him.

“Assange is probably the most amazing person in recent history, who's upset so many powerful people in such a short space of time so it's obviously not a level playing field,” said Ciaron O'Reilly, who spent the entire morning outside the court.

Earlier, the judges rejected the plea that the extradition would be “unfair and unlawful.”

Mr. Assange's defence team had argued that the warrant was invalid because it had been issued by a prosecutor, and not a “judicial authority.” The judges said the prosecutor's action was subject to the independent scrutiny of Swedish judges, “which, as judges of another (EU) member-state, we must respect.”

They also dismissed the argument that the descriptions of the offences were not a fair and accurate account of the conduct alleged against Mr. Assange.

More In: International | News

I fail to see how some people have already judged Mr Assange innocent of the charges leveled against him. Just because he is a whistle blower he cannot be allowed to escape the due process of law. The arrest warrant issued by Swedish authorities isn't a joke, it carries a lot of weight indicating that the case against him has a lot of legal merit. In other words these people who see an injustice in the present ruling claim to have some piece of evidence that the Swedish prosecutors don't? You must remember that the judiciary are independent of the executive and that the Judges are also human beings. They too understand the pro and cons of all collateral matters in the lawsuit. The case he's fighting is one of sexual assault, not related to W/L. That is a separate case, related to the Official Secrets Act. The two lawsuits must be kept separate, since the inter-relation is circumstantial and cannot be the main plank of the defense arguments.

from:  Aritra Gupta
Posted on: Nov 3, 2011 at 18:34 IST

L'Affaire Assange is getting murkier and murkier particularly with the Court rejecting his appeal against extradition.The timing of the "spurious" cases filed against him leads one to infer that his "Wikileaks" are facts and for which the various Governments whose underhanded dealings and tactics and sleazy deals and shabby and sneaky behavior of their spying ambassadors,have all ganged up against him to give a message to others too who may dare to indulge in such exposes,not to buck odds that are not only too heavy but dangerous.

from:  Raj Kumar
Posted on: Nov 3, 2011 at 06:39 IST

While The Hindu largely avoids partisan journalism, in cases of such articles, it is very easy to see where its sympathy lies. It may be that the Editors truly believe in the Wikileaks cause but in that case, this effort seems a bit muted to be frank. Of course the world knows what is truly happening and shying away from it either by the papers or by its readers is only going to undermine the efforts put in by Mr. Assange in extolling the ideas of the so-called democracies around the world.

from:  Navneet
Posted on: Nov 3, 2011 at 04:22 IST

The possibility to extradite Mr. Julian Assange to Sweden over allegations of sexual assault brought by two women is very dangerous because Swedish authorities might hand him to Americans who have threatened to prosecute him for leaking classified and confidential documents. is lawyers intend to approach the Supreme Court on the grounds that the case raised issues of general pubic importance. But the hurdles for a further appeal at the Supreme Court are high. Should the Supreme Court reject his appeal he would have to be extradited to Sweden within 10 days. If extradited to Sweden and handing him over to the United States there would no fair chance for him he could be sentenced and spend a long time in prison.
Mr. Julian Assange is a defender of freedom of speech and information and million of people around the world appreciate that WikiLeaks released significant documents. And I would like to mention The Hindu accessed and published The India Cables. No other Indian newspaper accessed or published anything.

from:  Kurt Waschnig
Posted on: Nov 2, 2011 at 21:49 IST

asanje has done a greate service to world . as he shows the real face of political person to entire nation .till I am concern i support whole heartly to him. a great conspiracy is framed by such person & political authorty who have dual face.

from:  s.k.maurya
Posted on: Nov 2, 2011 at 21:13 IST
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

National

Business

Cricket

Sport


O
P
E
N

close

Recent Article in International

Bangla SC to hear appeal on verdict against 1971 war criminal

The government subsequently also filed an appeal seeking the capital punishment for Azam for "masterminding" the 1971 genocide, siding with the then Pakistani junta. »