Update: Assange Extradited, 7 Days To Appeal
WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange has seven days to appeal, after a judge ruled he should be extradited to Sweden
Julian Assange, head of the WikiLeaks whistleblowing site, will be extradited to Sweden on charges of rape, but has seven days to appeal against the decision, given today at Belmarsh magistrates’ court.
As predicted, the judge dismissed the arguments against extradition, arguing that Assange would stand a fair trial in Sweden, and was in no risk of being re-extradited to the US, over unrelated allegations to do with WikiLeaks’ release of US diplomatic cables. Today’s brief heqaring follows a two day extradition hearing which Judge Howard Riddle adjourned until today.
Extradition is very likely
The procedural arguments would fail, and the claim that Assange could be re-extradited to the United States to face separate charges over WikiLeaks’ release of the US cables is not credible, Knowles, who has written books on extradition, told the BBC’s Law in Action.
Although US politicians have called for Assange’s extradition there, and even demanded his execution, Knowles described this as a “hopeless argument” against his extradition to Sweden.
Today, Judge Riddle said, as predicted that the Swedish judge does have the power to issue arrest warrants, and the case will face trial if he is extradited, contrary to Assange’s legal argument that this is merely a request for questioning.
The US government has so far been unable to get an extradition case together for Assange, as WikiLeaks merely published information that was taken by others. A US court has asked for the account details of WikiLeaks’ supporters on Twitter, including those for Icelandic parliament member Birgitta Jónsdóttir. Facebook and Google are believed to have had similar requests.
Assange was arrested in Britain in December, and the WikiLeaks site is campaigning in opposition to his extradition. Meanwhile however, some former WikiLeaks members have set up a rival whistleblowing site called OpenLeaks.