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Updated: June 12, 2012 15:56 IST

Julian Assange loses extradition appeal

Hasan Suroor
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In this February 1, 2012 photo WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange leaves the Supreme Court in London. Britain's Supreme Court backed the extradition of Mr. Assange to Sweden on Wednesday.
In this February 1, 2012 photo WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange leaves the Supreme Court in London. Britain's Supreme Court backed the extradition of Mr. Assange to Sweden on Wednesday.

Britain’s Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s appeal against extradition to Sweden to face allegations of sexual assault, but gave him 14 days to seek a review after his lawyer argued that the court’s decision appeared to have been made on points not raised during the appeal and that her client might wish to have the case reopened.

Mr Assange would, meanwhile, remain on bail.

Experts said the case could drag on for months as Mr Assange could appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in case the Supreme Court review went against him.

Claes Borgstrom, the lawyer for the two Swedish women who accuse Mr Assange of sexual assault, sounded frustrated with the British judicial process.

“I think they should have resolved this earlier,’’ he said.

Much to the disappointment of his supporters who had gathered outside the court, Mr Assange did not turn up. His lawyer said he had got "stuck in traffic’’.

Earlier, by a majority of five to two, a special seven-member bench of Britain’s highest court rejected Mr Assange’s plea that the Swedish extradition warrant was "invalid and unenforceable’’ as it was issued by a public prosecutor who was not a ``judicial authority’’ under the 2003 Extradition Act.

The court, endorsing a previous High Court verdict, ruled that the warrant was "lawfully made’’ and Mr Assange could be extradited.

Lord Nicholas Phillips, president of the Supreme Court, acknowledging that the case “has not been simple to resolve” said:

"The majority has concluded that the Swedish public prosecutor was a proper judicial authority both within the meaning of the Framework Decision and the Extradition Act. It follows that the request has been lawfully made and his appeal against extradition is accordingly dismissed.”

Dinah Rose, QC, representing Mr Assange immediately rose to argue that the majority of the court members appeared to have based their decision ``either principally or solely on the interpretation of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, a point which was not argued during the appeal and to which we were not given an opportunity to address’’.

"We are therefore currently considering our position whether or it would be necessary, with great regret, to make an application to the court that this matter should be reopened so that we have an opportunity to address this point,’’ she said.

In a statement, the Court said: "The Supreme Court has granted Ms Rose 14 days to make such an application. If she decides to do so, the justices will then decide whether to re-open the appeal and accept further submissions either verbally through a further hearing, or on paper on the matter."

In a sign of the interest the case has aroused, the judgement was delivered in the largest courtroom in order to accommodate the large number of people who turned up for the hearing.

The case has dominated international headlines for nearly two years with Mr. Assange claiming that the allegations against him are politically motivated. He fears that, if he is extradited, Swedish authorities might hand him over to the United States, which has threatened to prosecute him for leaking classified and confidential documents.

Mr. Assange, who was arrested in December 2010, is on bail under conditions that his supporters have likened to house arrest.

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If accusations moved against him are wrong(he does know it), why should he extradited?

from:  principio
Posted on: May 31, 2012 at 17:16 IST

The following philosophy of WikiLeaks is an eye opener to both the economic powers and religious fundamentalists: "To radically shift regime behaviour we must think clearly and boldly for if we have learned anything, it is that regimes do not want to be changed. We must think beyond those who have gone before us and discover technological changes that embolden us with ways to act in which our forebears could not." This noble thought alone makes Julian Assange a founder of a new political era. All the world countries should support Mr. Assange for the benefit of their own future. Mr. Assange points out a path to reduce the international conflicts, by some degree of openness among warring political entities.

from:  Mouli
Posted on: May 30, 2012 at 18:58 IST

This guy is a friend of this paper also.He may have his following.I welcome the decision of the supreme court of UK.

from:  kirubakaran
Posted on: May 30, 2012 at 18:49 IST

in fact no man or woman is absolutely clean as improprieties are possible if one attempts to study each and every case from improprieties angle. today i find any upcoming person(s) are chased by wrong doers by using all kinds of tricks, including easy virtue women and girls too even in work environment as the object to sabotage the good work is being done which affects a lot of politicians. so one need to examine any such sabotage, that need to be brought about in logical arguments before any court as such issues are indeed covered under human rights. so courts are need to look from that angle too! today all twists are there. Assange revealed documents of very serious nature that need to be exposed in public interest. that is my view!

from:  dr. g. balakrishnan
Posted on: May 30, 2012 at 17:56 IST

Though Julian Assange has lost his extradition case to Sweeden , but still he has 14 days to reopen the case or can venture into the premises of EU Human Rights Commission. It is in public domain that the cases were concocted by US government in the wake of the expose of classified US documents by Mr. Assange . Even if he is extradited to Sweden he should expect a transparent trial on the charges of sexual assault and rape . As the two Swedish lawyers have sounded that he will be exculpated . The world community should stand up in this cause to make sure that no other Assange becomes victim of witch-hunt or retribution because he has irked the powers-that-be. The US and Britain should stop feigning as self-appointed guardians of freedom of expression and democratic values- granting asylum to Chinese and other countries' dissidents would not make it better- when they themselves are inimical to criticism and investigative journalism , exposing the murky and fly-by-night deals of governments.

from:  Shivnarayan
Posted on: May 30, 2012 at 17:44 IST
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