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Julian Assange To Be Extradited To Sweden

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the but-it's-so-cold dept.

The Courts 530

An anonymous reader writes "WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has lost his challenge against extradition to Sweden to face allegations of sexual assault. The 39-year-old Australian computer expert, who has infuriated the US government by releasing thousands of secret diplomatic cables on his website, is wanted in relation to claims made by two WikiLeaks volunteers last August."

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Appeal (2)

bbqsrc (1441981) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299052)

It can and will likely be appealed, leading it to drag out for much longer so the US finally has time to enact the SHIELD bill and have him extradited from Sweden. And the soap opera continues.

Re:Appeal (2)

JBMcB (73720) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299180)

You do know that the US has a similar extradition treaty with the UK? If the US really wanted him they could just go after him in Britain.

Re:Appeal (1)

bbqsrc (1441981) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299218)

I am aware of this, but it seems unlikely that they'd do it now due to the fact there's already extradition proceedings to Sweden.

Re:Appeal (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35299242)

The UK does not extradite if they believe the person may be executed.
This is what Assange is fighting for, claiming that Sweden will extradite him to the us, where he will be executed. Therefore by proxy, The UK has gone against their policy.

Re:Appeal (2)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299568)

Extradition is so 20th century. Nowadays we send people on private vacations to Egypt with all expenses paid. Including burial.

Re:Appeal (5, Insightful)

rainmouse (1784278) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299320)

You do know that the US has a similar extradition treaty with the UK? If the US really wanted him they could just go after him in Britain.

After the fiasco of the Enron three being extradited to Texas and charged for crimes done in the UK against a UK bank then sentenced to jail over something that isn't even a crime in the UK, it is not likely to happen again. It is also worth noting that it is a staggeringly unfair, one-way extradition policy set up by a previous government and is likely to be repealed if challenged, especially in another political farce, double-dipped with political corruption like this whole Assange business is.

Re:Appeal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35299558)

It would be political suicide for any politician in Britain to support extraditing him to the U.S.

Appeal (5, Informative)

MrL0G1C (867445) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299054)

He's not lost yet, he will be appealing against extradition.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12564865 [bbc.co.uk]

The fix is in (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299208)

Won't matter. This whole play was written before he even met those women in Sweden.

Re:The fix is in (4, Funny)

dave420 (699308) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299222)

[citation needed]

Re:The fix is in (3, Insightful)

Sechr Nibw (1278786) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299298)

[BSG] This has all happened before, and will all happen again...

Re:The fix is in (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299434)

In 50 years, when all the documents are declassified showing the scummy shit going on behind the scenes on this, I'll be sure and send them along.

But for now, you just keep believing it's a coincidence that a guy who hadn't had a single criminal offense in 39 years (aside from some minor hacking stuff) suddenly turned into a rapist a few weeks after embarrassing the most powerful government in the world. You keep believing that it was just chance that two women willing to press charges against him for unrelated crimes both met him within 24 hours of each other. You keep believing that Daniel Domscheit-Berg isn't a plant who's part of a larger effort to discredit Assange by any means necessary, or that these bullshit charges aren't a part of that effort either. You keep believing that some of us didn't see this discrediting campaign coming [slashdot.org] even as Assange was stepping off that plane in Sweden.

Re:The fix is in (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35299752)

No, it wasn't a chance. Fame tends to both make people stupid and attract parasitic people. Assange got a lot of fame, very quick, and it's both made him stupid and the target of opportunists. I don't see any reason to believe the US government is involved. Why should they? The best way they can discredit wikileaks is by letting Assange continue to self-destruct.

I support the concept of wikileaks. I hope they survive their arrogant twit of a spokesman.

Re:The fix is in (4, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299454)

So those women are guilty until proven innocent? Assange is innocent until proven guilty at least under US law but this seems like mindless hero worship at this point.

He didn't rape them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35299660)

By their own words it was sex not rape. By their own actions they back it up. Yet here we are extraditing him on a rape charge to Sweden with no evidence of rape.

So yes, I agree with parent, this is CIA work.

Re:The fix is in (3, Insightful)

horza (87255) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299718)

That doesn't even make sense. The women are accusing him of rape and so far there is zero evidence apart from their word. Of course he is innocent until proven guilty. The women have a well publicised catalogue of making charges, dropping charges, changing charges, spending the days after the alleged 'rape' with the accusers still Twittering about how happy they were to be with him, etc. To an outsider, it sounds like the women are pawns being used by a corrupt Swedish judicary (with police leaking the case to the press plus the Prime Minister trying incite hate against a victim that hasn't even gone to trial yet) on the behest of the US.

Hardly mindless hero worship when backed by a long trail of evidence, albeit some circumstantial, and incredible 'coincidences'.

Phillip.

Why does he fear Sweden will send him to US? (2)

DuncanE (35734) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299066)

"Assange fears that an extradition to Sweden would make it easier for Washington to extradite him to the US on possible charges relating to the release by WikiLeaks of leaked US embassy cables."

I never got that. He's in England and he's from Australia. Surely these are the 2 biggest allies of the US.

Re:Why does he fear Sweden will send him to US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35299100)

It's just FUD his lawyers are spewing in their desperate attempt to avoid him having to actually face the rape charges, since under the extremely strict Swedish laws there is little doubt he will be convicted if he has to stand trial. Sweden is really no more or less likely to extradite him to the US than the UK. Granted, if he manages to get out from under the rape charges, he'll likely leave the UK for somewhere that's less extradition friendly.

Re:Why does he fear Sweden will send him to US? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35299186)

Actually you are way off base. UK has a storied history of standing against US extradition requests. Sweden not so much. Swedish prosecutors have also substantiated Assange's claim by stating that they would extradite to a foreign nation for a greater crime. Thirdly, although Sweden has very strict rape laws, CONVICTION rates are the lowest in the world. So in conclusion, You have spewed forth words masquerading as facts. You fool no one but yourself. Good luck with your delusions.

Re:Why does he fear Sweden will send him to US? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299304)

UK has a storied history of standing against US extradition requests

You mean like they did with Gary McKinnon [wikipedia.org] ? Give me a break, buddy. If Obama pulled his dick out, David Cameron would be on his knees so fast he'd probably break a leg.

Re:Why does he fear Sweden will send him to US? (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299532)

Why stand against a valid request - just because the guy has aspergers doesn't mean he isn't fit to stand trial.

And the fact that hes become a Slashdot poster boy doesn't alter that either. The guy deserves to be extradited.

Yeah, I'm going to get modded down for this. So what.

SOP (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299606)

Just like they tried to smear Bob Lazar [wikipedia.org] with pandering charges!

Re:Why does he fear Sweden will send him to US? (3, Insightful)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299216)

Sweden also has strict laws against extralegal renditions to countries that torture prisoners, but that didn't help the guy who found himself in Egypt after getting booked by Happy Fun Fun Charter Tours.

This isn't about 'what is likely' to happen... Sure it's unlikely that Sweden will send him off to the US against local laws, what does matter is that the court must be convinced there is no chance at all it will happen. Not just that it isn't likely for some reason like "he's white, not brown like that other guy". Precedent says Sweden is willing to break the law to appease the US, and this seems like a prime candidate for that happening again.

Also it should be obvious why the UK and Australia would want Sweden to do the rendition, as such an action would cause huge political problems. Better to have little Sweden do the dirty work.

Re:Why does he fear Sweden will send him to US? (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299422)

Also it should be obvious why the UK and Australia would want Sweden to do the rendition, as such an action would cause huge political problems. Better to have little Sweden do the dirty work.

Right there is the point of all of this.

Re:Why does he fear Sweden will send him to US? (2)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299384)

>>>there is little doubt he will be convicted if he has to stand trial.

All a woman has to do is say, "He put his penis in me without a condom," and that's enough to CONVICT a person? Really? (1) If it were true, that would make Sweden a dangerous place, where men can be jailed at any time a woman wishes them to be jailed. "He raped me because I say so." -woman. "Okay that's good enough for me - 20 years." - judge.

(2) I don't believe it Sweden's justice system is that shitty.

(3) What exactly would the US execute Assange for? He committed no more crime than did the Newspapers that published the Pentagon papers or the Watergate wiretaps. (If the EU citizens really believe the US sucks that bad, then maybe it truly is time for the US to withdraw from Europe, and return to an 1800s-style neutral policy.)

Re:Why does he fear Sweden will send him to US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35299668)

As far as I know people publicizing the Watergate wiretaps and Pentagon papers scandals have been praised for what they did whereas high-rank US politicians have publicly called for Assange to be executed or at the very least "neutralized" for what he did.

Of course one can hope that the US legal system will not follow that ...

Re:Why does he fear Sweden will send him to US? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35299432)

No charges have actually been raised against him. The UK judge ignored that awkward point, as did you.

Re:Why does he fear Sweden will send him to US? (5, Informative)

Duncan J Murray (1678632) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299108)

I also wondered about this - maybe its something to do with the informal arrangement between the US and Sweden that he leaked before.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/wikileaks/8202745/WikiLeaks-Swedish-government-hid-anti-terror-operations-with-America-from-Parliament.html [telegraph.co.uk]

(sorry for linking to telegraph - came up first on google and I'm lazy!)

D

Re:Why does he fear Sweden will send him to US? (2)

pr0nbot (313417) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299156)

I don't know whether the death penalty would be on the table for whatever crimes the US believes him to have committed, but that could block his extradition from the UK at least.

Wikipedia says: "Many countries and areas, such as Canada, Macao,[1] Mexico, and most European nations, will not allow extradition if the death penalty may be imposed on the suspect unless they are assured that the death sentence will not be passed or carried out. In the case of Soering v. United Kingdom, the European Court of Human Rights held that it would violate Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights to extradite a person to the United States from the United Kingdom in a capital case."

Re:Why does he fear Sweden will send him to US? (4, Informative)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299244)

In addition to the issue with death penalty crimes, Sweden also can't turn him over to the US without the UK's approval anyway, under European Union laws (Various extradition rules under the European Arrest Warrant [europa.eu] acts).

If the UK wouldn't extradite him to the US directly, there's really no reason to believe that Sweden would somehow have the power to do anything, since the UK has a veto on any surrender of him to a third party (at least, a non-EU third party) by Sweden.

Re:Why does he fear Sweden will send him to US? (3, Insightful)

digitig (1056110) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299688)

In addition to the issue with death penalty crimes, Sweden also can't legally turn him over to the US without the UK's approval anyway, under European Union laws (Various extradition rules under the European Arrest Warrant [europa.eu] acts).

FTFY. If Sweden puts him on a flight to the USA then it wouldn't do a whole lot of good if the UK complained about it -- which on current showing they'd be unlikely to do anyway.

Re:Why does he fear Sweden will send him to US? (2)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299164)

Yeah, it's likely easier to extract him from the UK. We have an extradition treaty that is more accurately described as an agreement to allow U.S. law to be enforced in the UK - even when what was done wouldn't be an offence under UK law, and certainly without the need to make a strong case. The U.S. could have Asange if they'd just find something to charge him with. We in the UK are very helpful in that regard.

Re:Why does he fear Sweden will send him to US? (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299448)

We have an extradition treaty that is more accurately described as an agreement to allow U.S. law to be enforced in the UK - even when what was done wouldn't be an offence under UK law, and certainly without the need to make a strong case

Really? That's fucking awful!

Re:Why does he fear Sweden will send him to US? (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299708)

Yes, really. And yes, we know.

Re:Why does he fear Sweden will send him to US? (1)

AccUser (191555) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299168)

IANAL, but I think that the extradition from UK to Sweden does not automatically give Sweden the right to permit an extradition to US.

Re:Why does he fear Sweden will send him to US? (1)

mckinnsb (984522) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299246)

It doesn't, but Sweden has an extradition treaty with the United States (as does the UK), and all the United States would have to do would be to convict Assange of a crime in order to ask for those treaties to be acted upon. It is, however, up to Sweden to either a) try Assange first, then extradite him to the US, b) extradite him to the US, then upon completion of trial or sentence have him returned to Sweden for his trial there, or c) try Assange and simply deny the US extradition request. I would assume there might be diplomatic repercussions for Sweden if they chose c), however.

Re:Why does he fear Sweden will send him to US? (2)

pehrs (690959) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299172)

There is a significant difference between ally and lapdog. You can do a lot with your lapdogs you can't do with your allies.

I don't know if he is guilty or not. But the whole case have been handled in a strange, high profile, way all the way, which hints that there is a lot of political pressure involved. And that is not good for our legal system here in Sweden.

Re:Why does he fear Sweden will send him to US? (1)

Sechr Nibw (1278786) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299346)

You can do a lot with your lapdogs you can't do with your allies.

Does this involve peanut butter?

Re:Why does he fear Sweden will send him to US? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299630)

Funny but I never thought of Sweden as a US lapdog. You really do not see why it is being handled in such a public way? Really? Please Assange loves the spot light. He has a bit of a cult of personality that believes he is their infallible savor. You will even find people saying that even if he is guilty his work is more important that if he is guilty of rape. He ran away from Sweden and he is fought extradition is a very public way.
And you do not understand why this is so public?
As to political pressure I am sure that there is a lot going both ways. Frankly you are exerting political pressure on your own legal system because you do not seem to want him tried. That is the way politics works. I am not sure that there is any political pressure from the US to force this except for a lot of big grins. You probably have a good bit from within your own nation to go after him. I am sure that there is a segment of the country that doesn't like the idea of a big mouth foreigner breaking your laws and then leaving.
There is probably even some that do not like him saying that the US is forcing them to do it.

Re:Why does he fear Sweden will send him to US? (5, Insightful)

mckinnsb (984522) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299194)

It's all about buying time for the United States to attempt to push the SHIELD bill through Congress. Right now, Assange is an Australian Citizen who has committed no crime in the United States or in the United Kingdom or the Commonwealth of Nations. While in Sweden, Assange will be incarcerated or on bail while he awaits and undergoes trial, a process which could take years. This means that Assange will not be able to leave Sweden for a country which does not have an extradition treaty with the United States while undergoing trial in Sweden: see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extradition#Extradition_treaties_or_agreements [wikipedia.org] for a list of them. This would give the United States time either pass the bill, or find *something* they can stick on Assange. (While Assange is no mobster, remember that they got Capone on tax evasion. The powers that be don't always care about *how* you become guilty, just that you are.)

I'm sure they would have preferred to keep him in the UK - they are the provincial spear carrier of the United States, to use Chomsky's words -, but he committed no crime there, and they are trying to make this look as "legal" as possible. The last thing they want to do is make a huge scene over this, or make a martyr out of Assange through "unjust law" (although that still may happen) and spawn copycats. Thus the die down in press on Assange since his first denial of bond; until now of course.

Don't be surprised if the next thing you see on FOX News is Glenn Beck extolling the virtues of the SHIELD Act, while on CNN you have a "balanced debate" about "national security" and the "continuing need" for "tighter safeguards against terrorism".

Re:Why does he fear Sweden will send him to US? (1)

Gandalf1957 (671089) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299426)

It will not be possible to pursue him under the SHIELD act unless he commits an offence AFTER it is passed as the constitution imposes a blanket ban on ex post facto criminal law so it is unlikely that any kind of stalling for this reason is taking place.

Re:Why does he fear Sweden will send him to US? (3, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299462)

Or they could argue that he continued publishing the material by keeping the cablegate website online. You know, making an end-run around the constitution has never been problematic for the government...

Transnational Threat from who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35299594)

Official Summary

12/2/2010--Introduced.Securing Human Intelligence and Enforcing Lawful Dissemination Act or the SHIELD Act - Amends the federal criminal code to expand the prohibition against disclosure of classified information to include:

(1) disclosures of classified information that benefit a transnational threat; and

(2) any classified information concerning the human intelligence activities of the United States or any foreign government or concerning the identity of a classified source or informant of an element of the U.S. intelligence community. Defines "transnational threat" as:

(1) any activity, including international terrorism, narcotics trafficking, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the delivery systems for such weapons, or organized crime, that threatens the national security of the United States; or

(2) any individual or group that engages such activity. link [opencongress.org]

Re:Why does he fear Sweden will send him to US? (1)

Jenming (37265) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299628)

Take off your tinfoil hat.
This is how we feel about Free Speech in the United States.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentagon_Papers

What I find worrisome is people who are more afraid of a vast US conspiracy than the very real possibility that he raped two women. I thought Western Europe was about on par with the USA as far as womens rights go, am I mistaken?

Re:Why does he fear Sweden will send him to US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35299650)

Even considering my like for conspiration theories and my dislike of the National Security Theater, there are two main issues why i think a charge against Assange based on a SHIELD-type law, assuming such a law gets passed, wouldn't stick: (IANAL applies)

1) Question of jurisdiction. Since Assange is not an US citizen, the US would either have to claim Universal Jurisdiction for it's SHIELD bill, and convince Sweden to accept this claim, or somehow prove that Assange perpetrated a crime while on US territory. The US might be able to construct an argument that due to stuff being available on the internet they might or might not be in their rights to claim territorial jurisdiction, but that is going to be interesting in such a high profile case.
2) Article 1 Section 9 US Constitution: Ex Post Facto law, the prohibition of such. Unless the US can prove that a crime relevant to the SHIELD bill was committed after the SHIELD bill went into law this would result in serious constitutional issues.

Absent of a solution to this two problems, there is always the option of breaking international as well as national (as in UK/swedish) law, not to speak of any sense of decency and ethics, and subscribe to that fancy notion of Extraordinary Rendition. But this is an option right now too and would result in giving up even pretending to follow the law.

He can still avoid the SHIELD Act (5, Informative)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299756)

The US Constitution does not permit **any** ex post facto laws. Therefore nothing Assange has done to date is actionable under the SHIELD Act.

If Assange is smart, he'll publicly retire from Wikileaks now. Once he's gone, he won't have any links to it that would make it worthwhile to extradite him because a federal judge would just laugh at the DoJ if they actually try to prosecute him under the SHIELD Act for anything he's done so far.

Re:Why does he fear Sweden will send him to US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35299220)

Yeah, it is not going to happen. That is just utter bullshit because he is afraid that what he did might actually constitute rape in Sweden and he knows it. I'd say its a 50/50 shot that he gets sentenced for rape, kicking and screaming that Sweden is a banana republic and doing US errands. That 50% also includes a 100% chance that he is well cared for, kept in perfect health and not extradited to the US (even in case of potential jail time). The other 50% is that he walks away no problem, it was not rape after all. Sweden has not handled this as well as one could have hoped for, but Assange has been a complete douche throughout.

Either way, he is going to look like a complete idiot after this.

Re:Why does he fear Sweden will send him to US? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299254)

The U.S. has a powerful influence over the whole EU (and much of the rest of the world). And Assange has no power. Guess who most governments will side with.

He would have been smarter to go to a country whose government was actively hostile to the U.S. and their edicts (like Cuba or Venezuela).

Re:Why does he fear Sweden will send him to US? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299402)

Why would someone who stands for free press and free access to information want to go to a country like Cuba?

Re:Why does he fear Sweden will send him to US? (2)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299710)

Because it beats prison, and because Castro would be more than happy to allow him all the freedom he wanted--as long as he wasn't embarrassing Castro or one of his friends.

Re:Why does he fear Sweden will send him to US? (3, Interesting)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299588)

However the safest place for Assange to resist extradition is the country where he is a citizen, especially as there is a political divide in government about whether wikileaks is a good or bad thing. The underdog, the battler http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aussie_battler [wikipedia.org] is very big in Australian culture and Julian versus the whole US government would be extremely popular, especially after http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hew_Raymond_Griffiths [wikipedia.org] and that took more than three years without much public sympathy (and not after being lied into a war in Iraq), something which those diplomatic would have likely exposed.

he ate my spam! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35299072)

gah

I would just like to take this opportunity to say. (5, Funny)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299080)

I'd like to use this opportunity to say how much I love my government, my politicians, the corporations within it, the aristocrats, the bureaucrats, the wealthy and everyone else in power. I wish you all success and long, healthy lives. I would never go so far as to even so much as *voice* dissent, much less act out against or for anything. I love you all and consider myself gloriously privileged to live in this country. Most importantly, I enjoy having access to my bank account, medical records, medical services, government services, utility services, my reputation, my property, my family and friends, and continuing to actually exist and not be abducted and disappeared overnight. I promise my sincere obedience in the hope to retain all of these things, which I know come only *with* said obedience and may be withdrawn from my life at your leisure, if I ever make any untoward movements or noises. Bless you all and may you continue to live long and rewarding lives.

Re:I would just like to take this opportunity to s (1)

enaso1970 (759924) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299344)

Your post is insufficiently slavish. Are we not beautiful? Are we not brilliant? Are our fashion choices not spectacular? Off with your head!

Re:I would just like to take this opportunity to s (1)

Arkham (10779) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299366)

I'd like to use this opportunity to say how much I love my government, my politicians, the corporations within it, the aristocrats, the bureaucrats, the wealthy and everyone else in power. I wish you all success and long, healthy lives. I would never go so far as to even so much as *voice* dissent, much less act out against or for anything. I love you all and consider myself gloriously privileged to live in this country. Most importantly, I enjoy having access to my bank account, medical records, medical services, government services, utility services, my reputation, my property, my family and friends, and continuing to actually exist and not be abducted and disappeared overnight. I promise my sincere obedience in the hope to retain all of these things, which I know come only *with* said obedience and may be withdrawn from my life at your leisure, if I ever make any untoward movements or noises. Bless you all and may you continue to live long and rewarding lives.

TLDR: I FOR ONE WELCOME OUR NEW/OLD GOVERNMENT OVERLORDS.

Re:I would just like to take this opportunity to s (2, Informative)

lxt (724570) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299376)

It amazes me that people here just don't get the fact that Assange has no case. If you actually read the ruling (http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/media/judgments/2011/index), you'll see that not only legally did he have very little to actually complain about, but his own defense lawyer basically lied to the court.

So go ahead, rant about big government and scary oppression all you want, but it's completely irrelevant to this case. Britain and Sweden are members of the European Union. One of the major benefits of the EU is the easing of border restrictions. You can cross from France to Germany, for example, without a passport. Citizens of one EU country can legally work in any other EU country. However, this runs both ways. You can move freely between EU countries as an EU citizen, but so can the law. That's the whole point of a European Arrest Warrant. That's why Assange has no case. It's got nothing about the US, nothing about him...and all about the law.

In case you didn't get it: every single point of Assange's defense was demolished by the judge. Now, you're probably going to say "well, of course, the judge was in on it too", but read the ruling. He allegedly committed a crime in Sweden. He may well be innocent, but that's completely irrelevant. This hearing had absolutely nothing to do about his guilt, and everything to do about whether Sweden is legally able to extradite people in another EU country for crimes they are wanted in connection with. And there's not question that Sweden has that right under EU law.

I'll say it once more: read the ruling I linked to above. Assange's legal defense was very bad, and never stood a chance. It's not about people out to get him, it's about a terrible legal team

.

Re:I would just like to take this opportunity to s (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35299554)

This hearing had absolutely nothing to do about his guilt, and everything to do about whether Sweden is legally able to extradite people in another EU country for crimes they are wanted in connection with. And there's not question that Sweden has that right under EU law.

it's about a terrible legal team

Which is it?

Re:I would just like to take this opportunity to s (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299494)

Doubleplus good response, citizen!

That's 10 stars, so you get to pick a toy out of the chest today!

Re:I would just like to take this opportunity to s (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299512)

So if you get raped in a Swedish prison, do they have to ask real nice first?

Re:I would just like to take this opportunity to s (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299716)

I'm pretty sure the guys with the black helicopters aren't mystified by sarcasm.

Volunteers (1)

KuRa_Scvls (932317) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299084)

The word "Volunteers" seems to be the key.

No US Extradition (2)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299086)

At least it looks like Assange won't be extradited to the US in connection to any Wikileaks related investigation, as Sweden did not ask the UK court for onward extradition.

Re:No US Extradition (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299276)

At least it looks like Assange won't be extradited to the US in connection to any Wikileaks related investigation, as Sweden did not ask the UK court for onward extradition.

Uh, seriously? Once they have him in their hands it's all over. The USA invents some new charges and bingo, extradition.

Re:No US Extradition (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35299330)

They have to go through their sham trial before getting a surprising extradition request from the US that they were not at all expecting.

Phillip.

Re:No US Extradition (2, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299654)

The U.S. wants him in prison. It serves their purposes even better if it's on rape charges (because those charges discredit him and tarnish his martyr status too). They don't just want him just taken out, they want him discredited. That's why they've been stirring up dissent among his former supporters too (some of whom [wikipedia.org] were likely plants sent in for this very purpose).

After all, why make him a martyr by dragging him to the U.S. and charging him with dubious espionage charges when you can send him to prison as a rapist, with many of his "supporters" bad-mouthing him at the same time?

It's a smart move on the CIA's part. I'm actually surprised, as they have a very long history [amazon.com] of fucking up these kinds of operations. Wouldn't surprise me to find out this wasn't their work, but some other U.S. agency (with some goddamn common sense).

I hope he get a fair trial (0)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299090)

And that I can trust my government.

I know I can't but whatever. No-one seem to care. Ruled by the American government, surveillance like Stazi, messed up elections, trying to work against democracy (in the case of Sverigedemokraterna), and then there was the Muslims and fucking around in Afghanistan and what not. Neutral. Yeah right.

Thanks US and thanks retarded leaders of this shit-hole.

At least the people in north Africa fight for their freedom.

Re:I hope he get a fair trial (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35299120)

People in North Africa are fighting for stricter Sharia Law and more power for the Muslim Brotherhood, whose stated goal is to murder and exterminate all non-Muslims.

Re:I hope he get a fair trial (1)

enaso1970 (759924) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299398)

Congratulations! You have floored me with your ignorance and that is hard to do these days. It could very well turn into those kinds of outcomes but the people I met (and yes, I was in Egypt until three weeks ago) and the staff I know there were not fighting for those things. They've lived for decades in a police state. Taking your insightful approach only makes your outcomes likely though. I'm pretty sure the British weren't all that complementary about the motives of them darned, religious American revolutionaries...

Sorry, you are wrong. (1)

Toy G (533867) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299430)

The Egyptian revolt was led, among others, by Coptic Christians tired of being abused by Islamic fanatics while a tyrannical government won't lift a finger to defend them. The Moroccan dynasty is based on Sharia law and Islam, but still people are protesting there. And obviously the Iranian movement is about *less* power to Islamic authorities...

So I guess you don't know much about "People in North Africa" and what they fight for, after all, dear Coward.

Re:I hope he get a fair trial (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35299476)

People in North Africa are fighting for stricter Sharia Law and more power for the Muslim Brotherhood, whose stated goal is to murder and exterminate all non-Muslims.

That's a shamefully bad interpretation of what's going on in North Africa. In Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood was but a minor player in the affair and it's part of the discussion, but to phrase things as you did shows that your opinion means nothing on this matter.

Re:I hope he get a fair trial (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35299128)

I hear you. You're absolutely right: if someone is doing something we agree with, they should be immune from charges of sexual assault. Thanks for articulating this.

Did more for Democracy in the Arab World (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35299102)

...who has infuriated the US government by releasing thousands of secret diplomatic cables on his website...

Maybe so, but I think he did more for moving the Arab World towards Democracy than the US ever did.

I mean think about this: food prices are going through the roof and people see, thanks to WikiLeaks, that their "leaders" are living high on the hog at their expense. I think they've seen (I hope) that their leaders played them for chumps by blaming the US for all their problems and at the same time, taking billions in foreign "aid" for the US so that the despots can fight against terrorism - our retarded Government actually believed that only the despots could fight against terrorism.

And I think the leaks have shown that some of their "revolutionary leaders" who are "standing up to" the US are nothing but liars and cheats.

If the charges are true, I would expect Assange to pay and if they are made up for whatever reason - government intrigue or for attention whoring - I hope that he is exonerated and the people behind the ruse are exposed and punished.

Re:Did more for Democracy in the Arab World (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35299228)

You think it was revelations from Wikileaks and not, say, decades of direct, in-your-face experience with oppression, or maybe their uncle being shot in a prison in Tripoli? The Libyans are saying they're emboldened to act on their anger by what happened in Egypt. The Egyptians said they were emboldened to act on their anger by what happened in Tunisia. But as for what made them angry in the first place, they had plenty of that already, and had for a long time.

Re:Did more for Democracy in the Arab World (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35299388)

There were many reasons (as always) which I didn't mention in the original post. The Leaks along with high food prices ignited the pent up animosity - it was the straw the broke the camels back.

You think it was revelations from Wikileaks and not, say, decades of direct, in-your-face experience with oppression, ...

Which was blamed on the US or Israel most of the time.

Look, I didn't mean to sound like the typical American media explanation where there was one cause for the whole thing. I was merely pointing out that by exposing the hypocrisy and lies of the Arab leadership via the leaked US communications, WikiLeaks did more to motivate the Arab World to stand up to their oppressive Governments than the invasion of Iraq - which was one of the reasons given to the American people for the invasion.

There will probably be a number of books written about the whole chain of events and reason coming out in the next couple of years.

So, don't assume too much or too little about my comments....

Re:Did more for Democracy in the Arab World (5, Insightful)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299248)

Maybe so, but I think he did more for moving the Arab World towards Democracy than the US ever did.

Possibly the U.S. government is angry about that, too. They just can't say it aloud.

Re:Did more for Democracy in the Arab World (2)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299258)

And now _YOU_ can search the documents here [aftenposten.no] thanks to the Norwegian newspaper that got hold of the cables.

Re:Did more for Democracy in the Arab World (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35299354)

So... the limousines, jets and palaces of the ruling class weren't hint enough that the "leaders" were living "high on the hog", and the only way they could know that they were being abused was by reading something on Wikileaks, on a computer they're too poor to afford, over an internet connection that their government strictly controls and they also can't afford? What a dim view you have of the average person in the Middle East.

Never mind the fact that without a government to attack, Assange is just a misogynist with a blog. But yeah, let's build up his messianic image some more. I once witnessed him cure an entire village of lepers, just by breathing on them.

Re:Did more for Democracy in the Arab World (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35299572)

Maybe so, but I think he did more for moving the Arab World towards radical Islamist regimes than the US ever did.

FTFY.

It's an unfair world (1, Flamebait)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299104)

But at least it's good to see that despite Assange being "special" and ostensibly exempt from the rules and obligations that the rest of us must adhere to -- being a douchebag will still bring you unstuck.

Re:It's an unfair world (1)

blue trane (110704) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299658)

when's he going to drop the bank leaks?

On what charges? (1)

srussia (884021) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299132)

TFA says: "to face allegations of sexual assault"

But there are no charges in Sweden against Assange. Why didn't the defence lawyers bring this up? He is not formally accused of anything.

Re:On what charges? (1)

FinchWorld (845331) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299184)

Apparently they are extraditing him with the purpose of prosecuting him, not just to question him.

Re:On what charges? (1)

srussia (884021) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299450)

Thanks for the clue, but I still don't grok how "questioning with intent to prosecute" is equivalent to being charged with an offence.

I followed the Guardian's links and found this: "... the Swedish prosecutor has made it clear that Mr Assange is wanted for trial if he goes back. Unless he can demonstrate his innocence before trial, he will be tried."

WTF?

Re:On what charges? (2)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299446)

Because the case is still in the investigation phase. According to TFA:

In his summary Riddle accused Assange's Swedish lawyer, Björn Hurtig, of making a deliberate attempt to mislead the court. Assange had clearly attempted to avoid the Swedish justice system before he left the country, Riddle said. "It would be a reasonable assumption from the facts that Mr Assange was deliberately avoiding interrogation before he left Sweden."

They are returning him to Sweden, where they will finish their investigation; if the investigation finds that charges are warranted, then he will be formally charged. If the investigation finds that charges are not warranted, then he will be released and returned to the UK. The lack of charges at this time does not negate the validity of the European Arrest Warrant - a warrant is issued for someone on suspicion of having committed a crime. Then there is an investigation (which generally includes interviews/interrogation of the people involved), and then if it does appear a crime was committed, charges are formally filed. Since it appears that Mr. Assange skipped out before the Swedish police were finished with their investigation, he is being returned to Sweden so that they may do so.

"The Genie is Out of the Bottle" (5, Insightful)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299162)

Wikileaks popularized leaks, as Napster did p2p. Legal or not to authorities, the people have approved and adopted it, and it cannot be squashed so easily, short of a legal massacre. There is no going back, the genie is out of the bottle, the cat out of the bag, change is here, either side with progress and change, or with the establishment and status quo. Assange being prosecuted and imprisoned will encourage people, release him and the same will happen.

Re:"The Genie is Out of the Bottle" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35299438)

the guy is a dangerous idiot and should be shot for treason.
only retard dumb hippies here think otherwise.

Re:"The Genie is Out of the Bottle" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35299700)

Only fascist right-wing nutjobs here think as you do. good job, you fascist right-wing nutjob.

Re:"The Genie is Out of the Bottle" (2)

blackfrancis75 (911664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299474)

Assange being prosecuted and imprisoned will encourage people, release him and the same will happen.

Even if that's true, they're probably banking that *fewer* people will be 'encouraged' if they manage to eventually execute him.

Don't care about US, only Women (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35299232)

The US is a government, so so be it if he violated their privates.
Women, on the other hand, are people, and being such,
their privates are sacred gardens which are only
to be sampled by those who appreciate their delectable fare.

Re:Don't care about US, only Women (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35299620)

You are a pathetic delta-male.

Re: Julian Assange To Be Extradited To Sweden (1)

dimethylxanthine (946092) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299264)

Unless he appeals and fights the ruling. For which he has 10 days. Fingers crossed...

From Zero to Zero (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35299282)

Assange is just a glorified troll. He got caught. Now he's going to get his ass banned.

Nothing to see here. Move along.

Re:From Zero to Zero (1)

blue trane (110704) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299702)

freedom to pursue happiness as a troll is a self-evident, unalienable right.

Re:From Zero to Zero (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35299722)

So is murder, paedophilia, and theft if you take that attitude.

Others would disagree.

Doesn't make sense (1)

currently_awake (1248758) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299310)

What I don't get is how they can extradite him to sweden if he's not even facing charges there. It's going to look really funny when his plane arrives and he just walks away to find a hotel. Shouldn't sweden be required to at least say they plan to file charges?

Might turn out better than expected (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35299314)

I think in the long run this will actually turn out to be a good move for him. Sweden has much stronger laws about freedom of the press and against extradition to the US -- unlike the UK, which recently has become little more than an American province (see the McKinnon case).

What Assange really fears is that they'll put him in jail on trumped-up charges and throw away the key, which is a realistic scenario, considering how many unprecedented steps the Swedish prosecutor has undertaken in order to drag him to Sweden... but then again, the UK government has gone well above its duties in helping Swedish authorities, they really wanted to kick him out, so he probably would have got a rough treatment anyway. If anything, he'll be seen more sympathetically by the Swedish press than by Murdoch's tabloids.

Look at the bright side: from now on, every prosecution for sexual assault in Sweden, no matter how small, will be able to ask for an international "wanted" notice, citing this precedent.

Judgement (2)

Martin Spamer (244245) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299336)

The Judgement [judiciary.gov.uk]

Howard Riddle, Senior District Judge: ... "I am satisfied that extradition is compatible with the defendant's Convention rights, I must order that Mr Assange be extradited to Sweden." Assange has seven days to appeal the decision.

He also said that Hurtig (Assange's Swedish Lawyer) is an "unreliable witness".

Ms Ny (Swedish Prosecutor) notified Mr Hurtiq at 0911 on September 27th that she had decided to arrest Assange, he left Sweden the afternoon of the same day ahead of schedule. Hurtiq claimed he was not told until 30th September."

Mr Hurtig said in his statement that it was astonishing that Ms Ny made no effort to interview his client. Judge states "In fact this is untrue", "I do not accept that this was a genuine mistake." and "The statement was a deliberate attempt to mislead the court."

Mr Robertson, (Assenge's British Lawyer) accepted that onward extradition to Gitmo was without merit excluding it from final argument.

Judge final statement "In fact as I am satisfied that extradition is compatible with the defendant's Convention rights, I must order that Mr Assange be extradited to Sweden."

Why would the US government want him now? (1)

morgauxo (974071) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299380)

It would be stupid for the US government to bring him here at this time. Even here in the US there are still enough free thinkers left to make that controversial. If he gets convicted in Sweden then he is out of their hair anyway. Worse than that his reputation is thoroughly trashed and would probably never recover. If he is extradited the opposite could occur, he could become a martyr. If the US got involved at all I think it would be to ensure the outcome of the rape trial, not to extradite him. I'm sure they will be watching the trial closely and extradite him if it looks like he might get off though.

Re:Why would the US government want him now? (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299504)

There are also enough free thinkers left to make the war on drugs controversial, but that has not stopped anyone. There are enough free thinkers who question corporate welfare, but that does not stop the government either. So why would free thinkers have any effect on the government's policies with Assange?

Let justice be served (3, Interesting)

the_real_nugator (767999) | more than 3 years ago | (#35299582)

I'm a swede, I trust our justice system and I'm a bit tired of all the conspiracy theories circling around.

What if Assange actually committed the crimes he's been accused for, shouldn't he face the consequences?

I've got a cousin who is a journalist and met Assange during his time here in Sweden at a party.
My cousin and his colleagues noted that he had a sleazy approach to women. This was before the accusations.
Not saying that he is guilty, just saying that I'm not surprised of the accusations and don't think that Assange should be handled in any other way than you and me.
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