• 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

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)

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
National
Northern Swedes wake up to September snow

Northern Swedes wake up to September snow

Summer has come to a definite end in Kiruna as residents of the northern town were greeted with a blanket of snow on Sunday morning. READ  

Elections 2014
Ex-Prime Minister: Sweden is falling apart
Former Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson. Photo: Leo Sellén/TT

Ex-Prime Minister: Sweden is falling apart

Former Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson has said that the election success of the Sweden Democrats is a "slap" in the face for the Stockholm establishment. READ  

National
Trio prosecuted for hate attack against Somalis
Somali nationals taking part in a demonstration against deportations in Stockholm. File photo:Björn Larsson Ask/SvD/ TT

Trio prosecuted for hate attack against Somalis

Three young men in southern Sweden suspected of attacking Somali refugees with stones and screaming "sieg heil" have been indicted on charges of racial agitation. READ  

National
Swedish airfares to get cheaper in 2015

Swedish airfares to get cheaper in 2015

Sweden is set to buck the European trend of rising air prices with fares expected to drop next year according to a new report. READ  

National
Swede's homemade submarine nets fortune
Eric Westerberg's homemade submarine Isabelle. Photo: PS.nu

Swede's homemade submarine nets fortune

A Swedish submarine enthusiast who spent over 3,500 hours making his own vessel has sold his prized possession for 705,000 kronor ($98,500) in an online auction. READ  

National
Cops reported for making 'Roma' comment

Cops reported for making 'Roma' comment

Police in northern Sweden have been reported to the Equality Ombudsman for describing a wanted suspect as having a "Roma appearance." READ  

Donald Duck and Zlatan get Swedish votes
A political career for Zlatan? Some fans seem to want to see that. Photo: Peter Dejong/TT

Donald Duck and Zlatan get Swedish votes

The Bilderberg Group, the Satanic Initiative and Adolf Hitler all received votes in Sweden’s general election, according to a list released by the country’s electoral authority. READ  

Sport
Stockholm fails bid to host Euro 2020 games
The Swedish team in action. Photo: TT

Stockholm fails bid to host Euro 2020 games

Sweden's capital has missed out on a chance to host any Euro 2020 games, with Copenhagen the only Scandinavian city among the thirteen winning locations. READ  

Vicar: God rejects fans of women priests
Antje Jackelén, Archbishop of Uppsala, is the first woman to head the Swedish church. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

Vicar: God rejects fans of women priests

A Swedish priest has been fired after telling his congregation that people who support female priests would be rejected by God - despite the fact that his own church is led by a woman. READ  

Analysis
Women set to dominate top post-election jobs
Margot Wallström (right) could become Stefan Löfven's new Minister of Foreign Affairs. Photo: TT

Women set to dominate top post-election jobs

Sweden could soon get a female Foreign Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt's ousted Moderate Party is preparing for its first woman leader and the grandmother of actor Hugh Grant's son is being tipped as Parliament's next Speaker. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
The 'black gold' of Sweden's west coast.
National
West Sweden prepares for the 2014 lobster premiere
Society
What's on in Sweden
Politics
How Sweden Democrats went mainstream
Politics
Scandinavia and Scotland: closer links?
Gallery
Property of the week - Eskilstuna
Blog updates

20 September

How a Frog Can Save the Environment (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"What we do we imagine when we think of children enjoying nature? Perhaps it’s fishing, marveling at lightning bugs on a muggy July day or blowing on the wispy petals of a dandelion to make a special wish. But perhaps most iconic of the playful innocence in childhood is hopping after and trying to catch..." READ »

 

19 September

Editor’s blog (The Local Sweden) »

"Happy Friday readers! It sure has been a exciting week in Sweden, where we’re set to get a new Prime Minister after Fredrik Reinfeldt stepped down following Sunday’s elections. The Local blogged live from the key political gatherings across Stockholm. Why not re-visit the action by taking a look at our photos, tweets, videos and analysis? Since the..." READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
How to start a business in Stockholm
Society
How I became a surf blogger when I moved to Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Society
Why is Stockholm's Södermalm so cool?
Gallery
People-watching: September 11th
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Politics
Five possible election outcomes
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Politics
Sweden elections: Who's who?
Gallery
Property of the week - Hornstull, Stockholm
Analysis
Five differences between the UK and Sweden
Welshman Jonny Luck is now a chef in Sweden
Society
How I opened my own restaurant in Sweden's Malmö
Sponsored Article
Stockholm tech fest: relive the magic
Gallery
People-watching September 8th
Photo: TT
Politics
Feminists fight for first seats
Politics
Immigration cut push from Sweden Democrats
Sheryl Sandberg says women have "low expectations"
Tech
Facebook exec talks women's limits in Swedish business
Politics
Left Party calls for justice and equality
Politics
Green Party wants 'better world' for kids
Lifestyle
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

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 Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

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

866
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
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN