London High Court Rules Assange Can be Extradited to Sweden

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has lost his appeal to the High Court in London.  The High Court ruled that Assange can be extradited to Sweden to face questioning on charges of sexual assault and rape.   Assange, who was in court to hear the verdict can appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.  If there is no further appeal, Assange can be taken to Sweden within two weeks.

The 40 year old Assange is being accused of having unprotected sex in August 2010 with two women against their will.  Unprotected sex can be seen as rape in Sweden.  Assange denies any wrongdoing and asserts that he has not been charged and the arrest warrant only wants him in Sweden for questioning.  He contends that the sex was consensual.  He says the allegations are politically motivated and that the extradition would clear the way to have him extradited to the US, where he could face the death penalty on charges of releasing secrets.  Assange is accused of releasing secret U.S. government documents, including embassy cables,  stolen by Private Bradley Manning, a former intelligence operator in the U.S. Army.

Assange’s lawyers had argued that the decision by Swedish prosecutors to seek Assange’s extradition was disproportionate, a notion the High Court rejected.

“In any event, this is self evidently not a case relating to a trivial offense, but to serious sexual offenses,”said the High Court. “There can be no doubt that if what Mr. Assange had done had been done in England and Wales, he would have been charged,” the ruling said.

Assange did not answer questions from the press as he left the courtroom.  He made a short statement and referred the audience to the website swedenversusassange.com if they wanted to know what was going on.

Assange has lived on the estate of a befriended journalist under close supervision and conditions.  He is required to wear an ankle bracelet and must report to police daily.     Assange’s website has run into financial problems recently and is in danger of stopping operation by the end of the year if financial donations don’t roll in.

Read the High Court Judgment

 

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Karl Gotthardt - Politisite Managing Editor Maj. Gotthardt is a Retired Military Officer with 35 years service in the Canadian Armed Forces. He spent most of his time in the Military in Infantry Battalions. Karl took part in training for Afghanistan as an Operator Analyst with the Canadian Maneouvre Training Centre. Karl is a qualified military parachutist and military free fall parachutist. He earned his U.S. Master Jump Wings in Fort Benning, Georgia. Karl enjoys working with horses for the last 24 year. He owns six. He has experience in breeding, training and of course riding.Karl was born in Germany and is fluent in both English and German and he speaks enough French to "get in trouble". Karl has written or writes at NowPublic, All Voices, Tek Journalism and many others.

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