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Court agrees to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julain Assange to Sweden over sex allegations

By Reuters
Thursday, February 24, 2011 8:28 EDT
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LONDON (Reuters) – A British court agreed on Thursday to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to Sweden where he is wanted for questioning over sex crimes, dismissing claims the move would breach his human rights.

Swedish prosecutors want to question Assange about allegations of sexual misconduct, which he denies, made by two WikiLeaks volunteers during his time in Sweden last August.

“I have specifically considered whether the physical or mental condition of the defendant is such that it would be unjust or oppressive to extradite him,” Judge Howard Riddle told London’s top-security Belmarsh Magistrates’ Court.

“I am satisfied that extradition is compatible with the defendant’s (European) Convention rights, I must order Mr Assange be extradited to Sweden.”

Lawyers for Assange, who has angered the U.S. government by releasing thousands of secret U.S. diplomatic cables on his website, said they would appeal against the decision at London’s High Court, putting the extradition on hold.

Mark Stephens, a lawyer for Assange, said the case showed that extraditions under the fast-track European arrest warrant were a form of “tick-box justice”.

“We are still hopeful that the matter will be resolved in this country. We still remain very optimistic about our opportunities on appeal,” he told reporters outside court.

One of the alleged victims accuses Assange of sexually molesting her by ignoring her request for him to use a condom during sex. The second woman has said Assange had sex with her while she was asleep and that he was not wearing a condom.

Prosecutors say the second allegation falls into the least severe of three categories of rape in Sweden, carrying a maximum of four years in jail.

Assange is a controversial and flamboyant character who inspires strong loyalties among his supporters, but his former right-hand man described him in a recent book as an irresponsible, autocratic bully.

Scores of reporters from around the world have covered the court case and celebrities including British film director Ken Loach and Australian journalist John Pilger offered sureties in December to persuade the British court he would not abscond.

FAIR TRIAL

During three days of legal argument earlier this month, lawyers for Assange argued he would not get a fair trial in Sweden and said Swedish prosecutors had mishandled the case against the 39-year-old Australian computer expert.

They argued that he might wind up being sent to the United States where he could face execution for leaking secrets.

Assange’s lawyers also accused Sweden’s Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt of creating a “toxic atmosphere” in Sweden and damaging his chances of a fair trial by portraying him as “public enemy number one”.

However, Judge Riddle dismissed each of the defense’s arguments in turn, even describing Assange’s Swedish defense lawyer as an “unreliable witness”.

The judge said Swedish prosecutors had tried to interview Assange before he left the country but had been unable to do so.

He said the European arrest warrant, under which the fast-track extradition request as made, was valid and the alleged crimes were serious. Publicity surrounding the case was also not a reason to refuse extradition.

“I think it is highly unlikely that any comment has been made with a view to interfere with the course of public justice,” Riddle said.

The Swedish prosecution authority had no immediate comment.

This video is from The Guardian, broadcast Feb. 24, 2011.


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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1046573071 Matt Mosley

    If only they handed out international arrest warrants for real rapists.

    What a crock of shit.

  • ghostof911

    Go ahead, kill the prophet. This is nothing more but a sign of the desperation of the warlords and moneychangers.

  • Anonymous

    I have no doubt that the USA is behind this. They are looking for a big story to take the Protests off the front page of every media outlet. I thought England was not so easy a puppet, but I guess that is no so.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OJ7X4WKOH54GOTXIEOKFE3RXT4 Winnie Gillis

    Wonder how soon we’ll be reading about him being held incommunicado, i.e. subject to rendition by the good ole US of A?

  • tsuki

    This from the country that pull out all the political stops, including the Iron Maiden, to protect Pinochet from prosecution for the murder and rape of Chile.

    Wonder if he’ll disappear en route?

  • Guest

    “I thought England was not so easy a puppet”

    Have you forgotten Tony Blair already?

  • Anonymous

    no surprise… but then, this has everything to do with The Empire exerting control to silence someone who stood up to their hegemony…

    in line with what another poster noted: if only they did this for true and proper criminals… there are gun runners, war criminals, etc. on the lam and enjoy ‘asylum’ in puppets of The Empire…

  • Anonymous

    and we are still waiting for the bank cables

  • http://www.BaltimoreGreenCurrency.org Shrapnel

    What is the point of this ruling? Is it supposed to be a demonstration to the proles that if you upset the ruling elite then the courts will bend to their wishes and allow political persecutions on the flimsiest of pretense. I am no fan of Julian Assange, but this ruling is shameful – an absolute crock.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry, my bad. Brain fart.

  • ghostof911

    Judge Howard Riddle: “Hillary, when to I get my check?”

  • Anonymous

    I think the $$ to stop coverage of the Union Protests is from the Koch brothers. Hillary is in support of the Protests of the Middle Class.

  • nycplayboy78

    AMEN!!!

    That and WAR CRIMINALS!!!

  • nycplayboy78

    Remember everyone he has that big file called “INSURANCE” so if anything happens to him. The cat will be let out of the bag…

  • Anonymous

    He embarrassed the wrong war criminals.

  • Anonymous

    Well, now the shit hits the fan.

    Bank of America is REALLY in for it now.

  • Anonymous

    They had their chance while he was there in Sweden. They let him go.

    This is a TOTAL OUTRAGE.

    To quote an old friend Bob, “Makes you feel ashamed to live in a (world) where justice is a game.”

    Just about any other of his songs will do very well on this one as well. Thanks Bob. A few of mine would do too, if I do say so myself… :)

  • http://twitter.com/Howieisright Howieisright

    Sofia Wilén not to much information about her. Anna Arden on the other hand known to have CIA connections. I find it strange she is hiding in Israel. And what about the text messages between Arden and Assange that diapered. Anna Arden supposedly being the one to coerce Sofia Wilén to come forward. I am positive they’re bank accounts have gotten bigger.

  • ghostof911

    As Assange is aware, Hillary has been relentless in her pursuit of shutting down Wikileaks.

    http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2010/11/who_should_be_the_fall_guy_for.html

    Regarding her support of the middle class, I belive you may be misled. Here’s an article about Mrs. Wally World.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/20/us/politics/20walmart.html?_r=1

  • Anonymous

    Time to flee, Julian….

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JETED5IFXLBHDCPATGS3JUS5HU Dip Stick

    This is what “they” do. First they try to bribe, and if that doesn’t work then they discredit and ruin a persons life. If that doesn’t work, then they will kill him, though it’ll probably be an accident at 3am on a lonely road in the middle of nowhere. Of course it will be blamed on drunk driving.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_N6BJ56PKHQMYMIH3LYCOQC233I Sidd

    Hillary is a hypocrite.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_N6BJ56PKHQMYMIH3LYCOQC233I Sidd

    He’ll be in Gitmo soon. :(

  • Anonymous

    Obama just wiped his ass with the constitution — AND WE LET HIM.

    Fucking WAKE UP America. Protest this like your life depends on it

    – BECAUSE IT DOES!!

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/UR4DHHC3P6RRXIUP4LWX54YN7I hu

    I wonder if the Brits will actually do anything about it – ‘protesting’ – waving a sign and shouting – doesn’t count as doing anything.

  • Anonymous

    O W T H

    The other day, in Amerika, we witnessed one of those extraordinarily rare acts, an act of journalism: Ian Murphy, of Buffalobeast.com didn’t just punk the fascist (never served in the US military or any other public service) governor of the Kochhead state of Wisconsin, but allowed him to incriminate himself multiple times of intent towards criminal conspiracy. OWTH

    Next, we hear of the deputy attorney general of another fascist governor-led state, Indiana, urge the Gaddafi solution to end the protesters’ lives (use of deadly force). OWTH

    And one need not even bother to mention that other fascist pig draft-dodger governor or Ohio. OWTH

    Amerika has too many fascist pig never-served-in-the-US-military, etc., scumbags, and it is highly doubtful this country will exist another ten years before it breaks up into Balkanized regions, as myself, a person capable of mortal violence (a combat vet) and many others cannot and will not tolerate such fascist pig cowards, nor anyone behaving in an unlawful manner (so if the Wisconsin state police should behave unlawfully as enemies of the people, they should be treated as targets and nothing more). OWTH

    There is no legal basis for extraditing Assange under those legal rules covering Interpol and European Arrest Warrants, so I fully expect they will extradite him, just as we Amerikans have witnessed a complete breakdown of any laws being enforced in Amerika; and have witnessed the complete compromising of the legal databases of North America (monopolies held by two multinational corporations) where legal precedents have been fraudulently changed to alter the outcomes of trials — so when there is an appearance of law — it is just that, an appearance.

    We are left with only with one recourse today: OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!!!! (OWTH)

    What is happening in Libya, with the privatization of the US military (today the majority are contractors, and 63% of them are foreign contractors), can be one day expected in the US of A.

    People who know nothing can be made to believe anything.

    (The above phrase was popular on Wall Street in the 90s, when they were creating all those credit derivatives scams and passing predatory legislation and predatory jurisprudence to make it happen. It originated with that sociopathic advertising and PR genius, Edward Bernys, who was the one responsible for promoting women and smoking, the combination of bacon and eggs, the sanitizing of the overthrow of democratically-elected foreign governments by Wall Street-led CIA ops — he was in charge of the CIA’s disinformation bureau during his career.)

  • Anonymous

    http://www.iis.se

    http://www.nominet.org.uk/all

    GlobalJak, Phase I complete.

    GlobalJak, Phase II underway.

  • ThatBostonMan

    The government probably has every single computer who downloaded that file under surveillance. Don’t underestimate the government. They could resort to mass raids.

  • Anonymous

    What else needs to “happen” to him?

  • http://SALON WHITE DRAGON

    Julian is now in the ‘Meatgrinder of Fate”! Every country has donated a gear and they are beginning to grind Assange to a fine powder which will blow away with the first breeze. Too bad, but he is in good company…Thomas Paine…Fredrick Douglas…Norman Thomas….Philip Agee…Jimmy Breslin…and Daniel Ellsberg. He will continue to be around…somewhere in the air.

  • http://SALON WHITE DRAGON

    He won’t really die because the ‘Masters of War’…will always fear another one. Julian shook the tree…its now up to us to collect the bounty.

  • http://SALON WHITE DRAGON

    Blair was unique…he perfected the fine art of bowing and scraping…to include intensive sniveling, and procuring.
    This man is such a total fraud he needs to pause in front of a mirror to check that he’s really him!

  • http://SALON WHITE DRAGON

    …just got that, eh?…..

  • Anonymous

    There is one thing for certain. If there was ever a time Sweden would follow precise protocol for the standards of proof prior to arrest and charges, they better do it in this case. They are under an international microscope of gargantuan proportions.

    Assange could end up a very rich man courtesy of the Swedish treasury if they don’t have a virtual mountain of evidence that will stand up under courtroom scrutiny. Not to mention the fact, they had even waffled twice on the validity of their own case.

    I will make another prediction too. If this ever results in charges and indictment, when this goes to trial I would bet a weeks groceries that the two twin “sting” bitches that were so complicit in conveniently arranging their stories to fit Swedish law will start to decide, maybe we were slightly mistaken after they understand the ramifications of a counter suit.

    Talk about actual and punitive damages for false arrest, intentional infliction of emotional distress and defamation of character. This case is probably in the top ten most watched and written about in the world.

    Better think about it girls, you might have to get a second job. And I have the sneakiest feeling you may realize this wasn’t such a good idea to set him up.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4R2GAHYI74XM526NSJIGZ6LJ4Y Ksecus

    Assange should be getting medals for exposing our corrupt economic and government systems/

    Instead hes the victim of his own effectiveness in exposing these assholes.

  • Anonymous

    Assange’s only luck, that he made himself popular in time. Otherwise this man would have been dead a long time ago, and you’d have never heard of it. I wonder how many Assanges ha s been assasinated in the past ?

  • cannotvote

    We are doomed, most are infact dead to the machinations of the fascist elements at play presently. Though i do believe that come the crunch there will be an uprising of such severity it will result in much ………….., and there will be little anyone in a bunker or safe place can do about it – there will be little left to govern let alone rule.

  • Anonymous

    When will the encryption key be released on the data dump available in Torrent land?
    This could be very interesting. Unless of course it was all a bluff. Time will tell.

  • ghostof911

    I hope you’re right, but the “Masters of War” have a way of eliminating those they don’t like. They do it with patsies.

    Read this by John Whitehead. The way the USG is pursuing Julian Assange is identical to the way that Nixon pursued John Lennon. The only difference is that the extradition Nixon wanted was in the opposite direction. In then end, the USG got what it wanted.

    If Assange is brought to the US, there is no doubt that the “Masters of War” will find a patsy along the lines of Mark David Chapman.

    http://www.rutherford.org/articles_db/commentary.asp?record_id=565

  • Elim

    Yeah, whatever. Is this enough to get you to release all your bombshells now, Julian?

  • Iconoclasm

    It all a lie! From the Founding Fathers pedestal to where we are today.We have all been indoctrinated into the Founding Fathers Matrix only the artificial entity most believe they have been born into isn’t what you’ve been propagandized to believe it is. I hear Patriots chanting “restore the republic!? This is a fully functioning republic. It operates just like all the other ones have and do. It is those that make the laws and those that follow the laws, just like the Republic of China, The Union of Soviet Socialists Republic and the Republic of North Korea, etc., need I say more!? Why would anyone want to live in a republic? The Aristocratic Founders knew just what they were doing, They were the ones that made the laws while the Commoners (citizens) had to follow.

    As shocking as it is to the consciences of all those of you to hear this, it is true.

    They will stop at nothing to shut Assange up, tho I’m not sure he isn’t a shill himself. I have yet to hear anything to substantiate the truth about the Bush Crime Family. Until then, I will reserve judgement.

  • Anonymous

    why doesn’t Assage use a Trojan Horse to escape? oh he tried that already!

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/GCPX7DXZGK2H2CPNYRR5IS5A64 Turnip Mcgee

    Hillary wouldn’t piss on you if you were accidentally on fire.
    If you were on fire on purpose, well, I probably wouldn’t either.

    N
    A
    F
    T
    A

    . . . helllllo . . . ?

  • ThatBostonMan

    They will stop at nothing to get Assange. NOTHING.
    When the US gov is pissed off, they don’t let the Constitution or laws get in the way of what they want.

  • Anonymous

    All the governments, everywhere? Don’t think so…

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/LEUDUVF5EGJZRZETF3KV53P7BQ Thomas

    The next headline about this case is that on the way to a vacation in Hawaii, courtesy of the US government, Assange became violent and while being subdued, he managed to hang himself after he broke all of his fingers, toes, legs and arms. The US government will then tell the public that it regrets what Assange did to himself and will make every effort to ensure that nothing like this happens in the future, but hey, look what happened on “Dancing with the stars” last night. Assange will then NEVER be mentioned on any news report and any search on the name Assange will result in a “No results found, Check your spelling”.

  • Tio Holtzman

    INSURANCE AES256

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    If anything happens to Julian (from the U.S.), I hope this Judge does the right thing and kills himself in his grief.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    doesn’t matter what it’s blamed on. If he dies, the decryption key will flood the internet and the “insurance” file will be opened.

    Not that I think anyone will actually be held accountable from any information gleaned from the files. It’s a documented fact that Dick-n-Bush et. al are war criminals, and the U.S. isn’t doing shit about it. Fox will spin certain cables and ignore everything else, and as they go so will all the corporate owned media. Not enough proles will ever be given enough information to make any significant waves.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/GCPX7DXZGK2H2CPNYRR5IS5A64 Turnip Mcgee

    The living breathing people of this diverse nation should put forth it’s own 10 most wanted criminals, and we should be able to justly indict on the evidence in grand juries of these defendants’ peers.

    If an established institution, group, corporation or party moves to aid and protect or block the peoples justice, the heads of said collectives should be charged, jointly, severally, and fully, under the same war powers act that they use to herd us all into poverty. Heads. Yes. Lot’s of heads.

  • Anonymous

    Both the Clintons have helped screw the middle class, don’t be fooled . .She voted to invade Iraq, they gave us NAFTA, Bill screwed Haiti literally to death, she helped walmart screw it’s workers, Hillary crawls on her belly like a reptile . . .

  • P Matthews

    McLean, Virginia — I know in my heart that this whole case was blown out of proportion by agents of the US CIA. I have absolutely no faith in the UK courts. They have shown what their “legal” decisions are worth. Assange will wind up in a prison very near here soon, and I expect he will be tortured and probably murdered at the US Government’s discretion.

    Sad.

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