Assange wins leave to appeal to Supreme Court

Julian Assange ... fighting extradition.

Julian Assange … fighting extradition. Photo AP

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange last night won leave to appeal to Britain’s  Supreme Court in his battle to avoid extradition to Sweden over sexual  allegations.

Seven justices  will listen to his case in a two-day hearing starting on  1 February. A panel of three Supreme Court Justices last night  said that  seven  would sit because the legal issue he had raised in his appeal was of  great public importance.

Assange’s lawyer had argued in a hearing before the High Court on 5 December  that the European Arrest Warrant issued against him by Sweden was not valid  because it had been issued by a prosecutor, and a prosecutor was not “a judicial  authority”, as was required under European law.

Assange, 40, has spent almost a year on bail fighting extradition  over  claims of rape and molestation by two Swedish women, relating to a visit to that  country in August 2010. Sweden wants him to face questioning but has not  issued any charges against him.

Assange denies the claims and says the sex was consensual. He has claimed the  sex crimes investigation is politically motivated by opponents of his Wikileaks  website. The allegations surfaced shortly after WikiLeaks released secret US  files from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

His lawyer Ben Summers, an expert in extradition and international law,   argued at the earlier hearing that  “the question of whether the  prosecutor can be a judicial authority is debatable.”

He added that “A disproportionately high number of European arrest warrants  found by this court to be unjust, oppressive, or abusive emanate from the  prosecutors.”

Mr Summers said Assange could have been questioned at any time by the Swedish  prosecutors: “It’s not right that a final decision to prosecute can only be  taken after Mr Assange has surrendered.”

Mr Summers said it would be beneficial to the operation of the extradition  scheme if there was a decisive judgment on the question by the Supreme  Court.

If Assange loses this appeal, he might be extradited to Stockholm within 10  days. Alternatively, he might give notice that he wants to appeal  to the   European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, and if he won that right  could apply to stay in Britain until that case was heard.

Assange’s legal advisers are believed to be fighting the extradition partly  because of fears that if he goes to Sweden, he could from there be extradited to  the United States, where prosecutors are considering criminal charges against  him and where he might become involved in the case of Bradley Manning, a US army  analyst suspected of disclosing secret intelligence to Wikileaks.

Karen Kissane

December 17, 2011

Sydney Morning Herald

 

 

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About pagan66

I am Pagan, a Witch, a Healer, Mystic & Dreamer. I live in Service to the One. I will Protect & Respect Her bounties to my last breath. I am a Seeker of Truth, a Reformer, A Historian - an Advocate for Religious Freedom, Tolerance & Human Rights. I am a Protector of Animals & Children & those less fortunate than myself. I am a Reader & a Writer - an Artist. I am a Drummer, Gardener & Cook. I listen to the Wisdom of the Ancients. If you take a copy of the Christian Bible and put it out in the wind and the rain, soon the paper on which the words are printed will disintegrate and the words will be gone. Our bible IS the wind and the rain." Herbalist Carol McGrath as told to her by a Native-American woman. "When one defines oneself as Pagan, it means she or he follows an earth or nature religion, one that sees the divine manifest in all creation. The cycles of nature are our holy days, the earth is our temple, its plants and creatures our partners and teachers. We worship a deity that is both male and female, a mother Goddess and father God, who together created all that is, was, or will be. We respect life, cherish the free will of sentient beings, and accept the sacredness of all creation." Edain McCoy View all posts by pagan66

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