• Sweden edition
 
WIKILEAKS CONTROVERSY
Assange's 'day of reckoning' approaches

Assange's 'day of reckoning' approaches

Published: 01 Nov 2011 07:57 GMT+01:00
Updated: 01 Nov 2011 07:57 GMT+01:00

The 40-year-old Australian, whose whistleblowing website has enraged governments around the world, has been fighting a bitter legal battle ever since he was arrested in London last December on a European arrest warrant.

The High Court will announce at 9.45 GMT whether it will uphold a ruling in February by a lower court that Assange should be sent to face questioning by Swedish authorities over claims of sexual assault against two women.

The enigmatic WikiLeaks boss has been living under strict bail conditions at the mansion of a supporter in eastern England, including having to wear an electronic ankle tag and observe a strict dusk-to-dawn curfew.

The long-awaited decision, which has been deferred since the High Court heard Assange's appeal in July, is not necessarily the final chapter in the saga, but it will be difficult for either side to lodge an appeal.

Depending on the verdict, either Assange or the Swedish authorities can theoretically take the case a step further to the Supreme Court in London, the highest legal authority in the land.

"If you fulfill certain criteria you may get permission to appeal to the Supreme Court," a spokeswoman for the office of the Judiciary of England and Wales told AFP.

But leave to appeal can only be granted by either the High Court or the Supreme Court, and then only if it there is a point of law of general public importance.

Assange denies the allegations and claims they are politically motivated.

His legal team, led by top human rights lawyer Gareth Peirce, was not available for comment ahead of the ruling.

Assange shot to fame last year when WikiLeaks released tens of thousands of classified diplomatic files allegedly obtained by a US serviceman who is now in prison in the United States.

The move infuriated Washington as many of the files related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, while others contain frank and sometimes embarrassing assessments of world leaders made by US diplomats.

But Assange also achieved a different kind of notoriety when the allegations of sexual assault were made against him by two Swedish women in August 2010.

In the last hearing in July, lawyers representing Swedish prosecutors rejected claims that a rape allegation against Assange, made by one of the women, would not be valid under English law.

Swedish lawyers accused Assange's legal team of "winding English law back to the 19th century" with their definition of consent.

Assange's lawyers have also claimed that the European warrant under which he was arrested was invalid because he is only wanted for questioning and has not been charged by Swedish authorities.

In an autobiography published in September despite his efforts to halt the project, Assange repeated his denial of the rape allegations.

"I did not rape those women and cannot imagine anything that happened between us that would make them think so, except malice after the fact, a joint plan to entrap me, or a terrifying misunderstanding that was stoked up between them," he wrote in the 250-page book.

"I may be a chauvinistic pig of some sort but I am no rapist, and only a distorted version of sexual politics could attempt to turn me into one."

WikiLeaks is meanwhile struggling for survival.

Assange said last month the site had been forced to suspend publishing classified files after its funding was blocked could have no option but to shut down by the end of the year.

It has seen its funding plunge by 95 percent due to an "arbitrary and unlawful financial blockade" mounted by companies including Visa and MasterCard since December last year, Assange said.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

11:45 November 1, 2011 by GLO
ASSange, what a great man, his parents must be proud. Just look at what he is. WOW, where is the out house?
12:43 November 1, 2011 by Coaxen
It's shameful that Sweden takes part in this game against the public interest.
13:43 November 1, 2011 by philster61
He will be in US prison in no time awaiting his execution date.....
16:35 November 1, 2011 by jimfromcanada
Good luck Julien! Hope your court case goes well for you and for justice.

By the way, we need an alternate funding route for wikileaks.
17:22 November 1, 2011 by Frank Arbach
Whichever way the decision goes, one consolation for Mr Assange is that issues have been fully discussed and considered by the British courts.

...would that he could be as confident that the same will happen in the Swedish courts (if it comes to it)?
23:00 November 1, 2011 by Rebel
I am sure Obama has sent Hillary the Laughing Hyena to ready a bed next to Bradly Manning so Assange will never be heard from again.
01:26 November 2, 2011 by sgt_doom
Perhaps, but quite conceivably it could be Sweden's day of reckoning.

Why do they want Assange in Göteborg? Because that's where Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen Systems AB is located and Jeppesen was also referred to in the American and British press as "extreme rendition airlines" -- for good reason!

Perhaps it will also be the UK's day of reckoning, although that may take a bit longer --- but I would definitely not feel too comfortable in Sweden if they unlawfully extradite Wikileaks' Assange......
Today's headlines
Swimrun
Record win at Sweden's tough island race
Photo: Jakob Edholm/ÖTILLÖ14

Record win at Sweden's tough island race

Two Swedes crushed last year's course record at the Swimrun world championship in Stockholm's archipelago on Monday. READ  

Sweden reveals Academy Award submission
Swedish director Ruben Östlund on set. Photo. TT

Sweden reveals Academy Award submission

The movie set to represent Sweden at the 2015 Academy Awards was revealed on Monday, a film that has already won awards abroad. READ  

Amphetamines
Hidden forest drug stash leads to prosecution

Hidden forest drug stash leads to prosecution

A 53-year-old man has been prosecuted after police in western Sweden made one of their largest drug seizures in the area. READ  

Man shot dead in hunting accident
Photo: Hunter Desportes/Flickr

Man shot dead in hunting accident

UPDATED: Police in northern Sweden say a man was killed on Monday morning after what they described as a "hunting accident". READ  

Pirate Bay Swede's trial set for final stage

Pirate Bay Swede's trial set for final stage

The mother of Swedish Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg has told The Local about her son's "suffering" in jail ahead of the final stages of his trial. READ  

Suspected Ebola case ruled out in Sweden
Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Suspected Ebola case ruled out in Sweden

UPDATED: Officials at a Stockholm hospital reported that they had found a suspected case of the Ebola virus on Sunday night. But the case was dismissed on Monday. READ  

Murderer on the loose after breakout

Murderer on the loose after breakout

A 34-year-old man who killed a child is on the run after he broke out of a psychiatric ward in central Sweden. READ  

Skåne floods
Huge clear up underway after Skåne floods
A Malmö bus under water. Photo: Stig Åke Jönsson/TT

Huge clear up underway after Skåne floods

Flood waters subsided in the southern Sweden region of Skåne on Monday, after flash flooding saw chaos on roads and trains at the weekend. READ  

Elections 2014
Sweden's Alliance reveals full manifesto
Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Alliance reveals full manifesto

UPDATED: Leaders of the Moderate Party, the Centre Party, the Liberal Party and the Christian Democrats have announced their complete list of election promises in Stockholm's Nacka. READ  

Zlatan scores hat trick in PSG thrashing
Photo: AP

Zlatan scores hat trick in PSG thrashing

Champions Paris Saint-Germain thumped Saint-Etienne 5-0 as Bordeaux saw their 100 percent record at the start of the Ligue 1 season ended on Sunday with a 1-1 draw against Bastia. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Tech
Sweden's highest peak to lose title next year
Politics
How immigration became a key election issue
Society
Brit's life in Sweden becomes BBC radio show
Gallery
People-watching August 27
Gallery
Top ten false friends in Swedish
Blog updates

25 August

Hit och dit, här och där (The Swedish Teacher) »

" Hej igen! A common challenge for Swedish language students are the location adverbs hit/här, dit/där, hem/hemma etc. Some of the location adverbs come in two versions. We should use one type of location adverb when we use a verb describes where we are, and we should use the other type of location adverb when we the verb..." READ »

 

25 August

The Dollar Store (Blogweiser) »

"A dollar store in Sweden. Blog post: http://t.co/tNuuvcP1q0 #USD #greenbacks #sweden #sverige pic.twitter.com/RHFAYf7U1k — Joel Sherwood (@joeldsherwood) August 23, 2014 There’s a chain here in Sweden called The DollarStore. This name always stood out to me in a country where they don’t use dollars. I went there for the first time this weekend. They actually accepted greenbacks..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Roma advocate scoops Wallenberg prize
Society
Meet the man who made a Swedish store recall its high heels for kids
Business & Money
'How I came to run my own business in Sweden'
Politics
Expert explains why Sweden's election oozes uncertainty
National
City plays Schindler's List theme at Nazi rally
Society
For Stockholm Fashion Week, here's the A-Z of Swedish fashion
National
'Amnesiac' man avoids deportation for ten years
Gallery
Princess Estelle through the years
Business & Money
Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial
Business & Money
Five golden rules for the Swedish job hunt
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Gallery
People-watching August 22-24
National
Armed royal guards caught (very) drunk on the job
National
Sweden orders textbook on Roma discrimination
Gallery
Violent anti-Nazi demonstrations in Malmö
Society
A closer look at Sweden's five official minority languages
Gallery
See the destruction from the southern Sweden floods
Politics
'Sweden Democrats hold the key to elections'
Society
Swedes celebrate first day of smelly fish season
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
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

747
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