• Sweden edition
 
Assange prepares for Sweden extradition fight

Assange prepares for Sweden extradition fight

Published: 11 Jul 2011 07:31 GMT+02:00
Updated: 11 Jul 2011 07:31 GMT+02:00

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will on Tuesday begin his appeal against a UK court ruling to extradite him to Sweden to face rape and sexual assault allegations.

The 40-year-old Australian will take his legal battle to the High Court in London for a two-day hearing, in the hope of reversing the February ruling.

A judge rejected arguments by Assange's defence team that he would face an unfair trial in Sweden that would breach his human rights.

He was arrested in December after two Swedish women accused him of sexual assault, allegations that Assange denies, as his whistleblowing website was in the process of releasing a huge cache of leaked US diplomatic cables.

It was the site's latest dump of American government documents and infuriated Washington.

Swedish authorities want to quiz him over the sex assault claims, although he has not been formally charged.

Scores of journalists attended his previous court hearings as well as celebrity supporters including socialite Jemima Khan and human rights campaigner Bianca Jagger.

After judge Howard Riddle rejected his lawyers' arguments during the extradition hearing at Belmarsh Magistrates' Court in London, Assange lashed out at the decision and blamed the European warrant system under which he was arrested.

"It is a result of the European Arrest Warrant system run amok. There was no consideration during this entire process as to the merits of the allegations against me," he told reporters after the ruling.

Even if he loses this week's appeal, Assange has signalled he is prepared for a lengthy legal battle and could take his challenge all the way to the Supreme Court.

The former computer hacker has been living under strict bail conditions, including wearing an electronic ankle tag and a curfew, at a friend's mansion in eastern England since December.

Despite the restrictions, on Sunday he managed to celebrate his 40th birthday, which was on July 3rd. He held a party to which more than 100 guests were invited, according to Vaughan Smith, who owns the country estate where Assange is staying.

He has claimed his greatest fear is eventual extradition to the United States, where his lawyers argued he could be sent to the Guantanamo Bay detention facility or face the death penalty.

US authorities opened a criminal investigation against Assange in July 2010 but are yet to formally bring any charges against him.

WikiLeaks infuriated Washington with its release of classified documents, including around 250,000 US diplomatic cables and thousands of secret files about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

American soldier Bradley Manning has been accused of leaking documents to the whistleblower site and is in a US military prison awaiting a possible court martial on charges that include "aiding the enemy."

US Vice President Jo Biden has slammed Assange as a "hi-tech terrorist", but he has also won many admirers -- his website is among the nominees for this year's Nobel Peace Prize, due to be announced in October.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

08:29 July 11, 2011 by Luckystrike
Good Luck JA! For your sake, and humanity, i hope the UK courts are less corrupt than Swedens entire administative system / Goverment!
11:53 July 11, 2011 by johnny1939
Wish JA all the luck in the world. The whole thing was very petty and unjust and a waste of everybody's money and it smelled to high heaven. Just think of the Strauss-Kahn situation in New York w/ unreliable witness and who really knows what else.

Happy Birstday JA you share it w/ my son.
12:59 July 11, 2011 by Nemesis
The circus continues.
13:23 July 11, 2011 by GLO
The Terrorist and sex criminal, how proud his parents must be!!!
14:14 July 11, 2011 by SimonDMontfort
Mr Assange's position looks 'dodgy' to me. I think he'll be extradited.

Judge Liddle was angry about the shenanigans of JA's Swedish legal rep, in the original hearing, and a typical UK attitude (which I've come across over there) is: 'I can understand JA's fear of not getting fair treatment in Russia or China, for example - but Sweden?'

Apart from that, surely JA wants to clear his name? (I would) I would have thought there would be many 'young Turk' Swedish lawyers who would relish the opportunity to tear holes in the Swedish case.
14:52 July 11, 2011 by Luckystrike
@Simon

Read more about Sweden and the US "special" relationship and unique extradition treaty. Then come here and i bet my left toe, you'll have a different opinion.
16:00 July 11, 2011 by SimonDMontfort
Hear what you're saying about the 1960s Sweden-US extradition treaty - under which JA could very well be sent onwards from Sweden to the US.

Only saying that I think the British public's perception is that JA will get fair treatment in Sweden.

With the Swedes claiming 'no plans to extradite JA to the US: no negotiations between Sweden-US over the case' (etc) if they THEN agree to extradite him, reckon its going to make Sweden look, well, two-faced?
17:15 July 11, 2011 by jmunro43
As Assange begins his extradition hearings, Bradley Manning is still in jail. Regardless of whether or not you believe he is guilty, he deserves his due process, which he doesn't seem to be getting. I saw an interview earlier with a friend of his who has visited him in prison, and it is obvious that Manning's constitutional rights are being violated, you can watch it here: http://www.democracynow.org/2011/7/11/david_house_on_bradley_manning_secret
17:57 July 11, 2011 by Atlas
The UK high court (or whatever they are called, i don't know for sure) has blocked the extradition of an Albanian wanted for crimes in Albania, on ground of human rights law, section 8...This guy is wanted for a lot of killings in Albania (and was residing in UK under false name and nationality), and yet the UK court decreed he can't be sent home...

Can i recommend to Mr. Assange this guys lawyers!!!
21:02 July 11, 2011 by old git
#7

"Sweden" as you put it, will not look two faced - just play on their usual "naïvety"- sometimes fake as I can imagine would be the case here, some times real as some of their politicians /spokespersons/"people who count" seem to be half the time when it comes to the ways of the world... when you hear/read stories about Sweden and the Swedish "system" in the English (and French ) press etc you would think that all is well and the sun shines out of their dark places, which it obviously doesn't, even in midsommar...
22:10 July 11, 2011 by superturbo
Hang him high, like in the good old days :D
01:08 July 12, 2011 by J Jack
He wont go to Sweden.
01:52 July 12, 2011 by philster61
"Hang him high, like in the good old days :D "

You mean the bad old days...
11:21 July 18, 2011 by actuary
Everybody knows that "condom crime" was punishable by death in the Viking era.
Today's headlines
PM pleads ignorance of Vattenfall's Nuon bid
Fredrik Reinfeldt answers the constitutional affairs committee's questions. Photo: TT

PM pleads ignorance of Vattenfall's Nuon bid

Sweden's prime minister on Thursday said Vattenfall itself, not its owners the Swedish state, had responsibility for the loss-making Nuon deal. READ () »

'Kockums submarine raid may be illegal': lawyer
Photo: TT

'Kockums submarine raid may be illegal': lawyer

A Swedish lawyer says the Swedish military may have broken the law when it raided the Malmö premises of German defence giant Thyssen Krupp. READ () »

Good weather could blight Easter traffic
Easter traffic two years ago on the E4 motorway. File: Jessica Gow/TT

Good weather could blight Easter traffic

Traffic experts have cautioned Swedes heading to the countryside for what should be a sunny Easter, warning that the most serious accidents often take place when the weather is clement. READ () »

Saab offers Gripen lease to Malaysia
Jas Gripen jets in flight. File photo: TT

Saab offers Gripen lease to Malaysia

Swedish defence giant Saab has offered to rent out fighter jets to Malaysia. READ () »

What's On in Sweden

What's On in Sweden

Check out what's happening with The Local's guide to the main attractions and events in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö - in association with DoToday. READ () »

Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off TV
Grossed out Ica woman at Easter dinner. Screengrab from Ica

Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off TV

A Swedish supermarket has decided to withdraw its Easter commercial, after Christians complained it made a mockery of communion - "They crossed the line." Sweden's advertising watchdog will now look into the case. READ () »

Dismemberment killer gets sentence cut
The search and rescue operation in northern Sweden. File photo: TT

Dismemberment killer gets sentence cut

The 22-year-old man convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend in northern Sweden had his sentence reduced on Wednesday, in part due to his "peculiar personality". READ () »

School gas leak sends 25 to hospital

School gas leak sends 25 to hospital

An elementary school in southern Sweden was evacuated on Wednesday and dozens of pupils were taken to hospital after the smell of gas spread through the rooms. READ () »

Swedes vote for country's nicest cock
The Flymen Church weathercock in all its newly gilded glory. Photo: TT

Swedes vote for country's nicest cock

A Swedish churchwarden has reacted with joy upon finding out the parish has Sweden's nicest weathercock. READ () »

Greens push rich tax to finance schools
Per Bolund of The Greens. File photo: TT

Greens push rich tax to finance schools

Sweden's third largest party The Greens revealed its shadow budget on Wednesday, targeting schools and youth employment. High earners would have to pitch in more. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
Advertisement:
TT
Politics
Swedes to give six-hour workday a go
TT
Society
Aussie choir member wows Abba in Sweden
YouTube
Society
Stockholm magic a surprise YouTube hit
Fastighetsbyrån
Society
Gallery: The Local's Property of the Week
Private
Society
Swedes find 200-year-old gravestone in living room
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Deepti Vashisht
Features
Deepti Vashisht dissects the magic of Sweden's personal ID number
Shutterstock
Society
Ten signs you've been in Sweden too long
Society
Jimi Fritze heard every word when doctors discussed taking his organs
Society
A Swedish farmer explains why the new bestiality ban is 'pointless'
Society
'Blondes have more brains': Swedish study
TT
Society
VIDEO: Leaked 'Save Slussen' film goes viral
ESL
Sponsored Article
Learning Swedish the easy way
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

741
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com