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The Courts United Kingdom Your Rights Online

Assange Wins Right To Submit Appeal 144

Posted by samzenpus
from the not-so-fast dept.
beaverdownunder writes "Julian Assange has won the right to submit an appeal of his extradition to Sweden on 'public interest' grounds. He now has two weeks to come up with a convincing argument for Britain's Supreme Court. From the article: 'The judges ruled that Mr Assange's case is of general public importance, but the Supreme Court could still refuse to hear his case. Mr Assange now has 14 days to formally lodge an appeal, meaning his stay in Britain, where he has been staying since his arrest in December last year, is certain to stretch into 2012.'"
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Assange Wins Right To Submit Appeal

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  • by ArsenneLupin (766289) on Monday December 05, 2011 @09:34AM (#38265422)
    ... and only then will he be truly safe!
    • by TWX (665546) on Monday December 05, 2011 @09:37AM (#38265462)

      Not really. If he wins his appeal then he's safe in the UK. If he travels anywhere else that has an extradition treaty with Sweden then he's at risk again, including possibly in his native Australia.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 05, 2011 @09:49AM (#38265606)

        If he wins his appeal then he's safe in the UK. If he travels anywhere else that has an extradition treaty with Sweden then he's at risk again, including possibly in his native Australia.

        That does include Australia. If he wins the appeal, the only way he goes home again is if he just goes to Sweden and stands trial.

        http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/F2004C00142

        Sweden also has extradition treaties with the rest of the EU, the US, and Canada. New Zealand doesn't even require an extradition treaty for another country to submit an extradition request. So if Assange ever wanted to live outside the UK again, he wouldn't have many First-world options left.

        • by Zemran (3101) on Monday December 05, 2011 @09:58AM (#38265734) Homepage Journal

          Most countries only extradite criminals. The main point is that he is only wanted for questioning and there has been no suggestion of there being a charge ready. Britain should not have arrested him as there are no valid grounds for that. If there was an charge pending then yes but there is not. The whole thing is just a show to get him to a country that will role over and give him to the US. I am not sure why the UK didn't ???

          • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday December 05, 2011 @10:14AM (#38265938) Homepage Journal

            The whole thing is just a show to get him to a country that will role over and give him to the US. I am not sure why the UK didn't ???

            The US and UK are having disagreements about extradition laws these days. The US recently passed a law saying we would never extradite anyone for a libel case since the UK has fucked up libel laws, for example, but that's hardly the first shot.

            • by tehcyder (746570)

              The whole thing is just a show to get him to a country that will role over and give him to the US. I am not sure why the UK didn't ???

              The US and UK are having disagreements about extradition laws these days. The US recently passed a law saying we would never extradite anyone for a libel case since the UK has fucked up libel laws, for example, but that's hardly the first shot.

              As libel is a civil rather than a criminal matter, it is unlikely anyone would ever be extradited for it anyway.

              By the way, no one from the US has any right to criticize any UK law as "fucked up" while you still have the death penalty. However unfair the outcome of a libel case, at least it can't end in state sanctioned execution.

              • by drinkypoo (153816)

                As libel is a civil rather than a criminal matter, it is unlikely anyone would ever be extradited for it anyway.

                The UK had criminal libel until 2010 [wikipedia.org]. Right now we're behind machinations to have Assange extradited for questioning for a crime which it very much appears he did not commit, so I'd say protecting citizens from extradition is important. What if we should sign an extradition treaty with a country under sharia law?

                By the way, no one from the US has any right to criticize any UK law as "fucked up" while you still have the death penalty.

                That's a stupid thing to say. We can easily criticize each other's bad laws.

          • by RogueyWon (735973) * on Monday December 05, 2011 @10:22AM (#38266036) Journal

            We Brits do have a legal process and it is being followed to the letter in this case. That the case now looks likely to go to the Supreme Court is pretty good evidence of that (implying, indeed, rather more scrutiny than you might get around a "normal" extradition case). The thing with a legal process is that it will sometimes produce decisions you like, and sometimes produce decisions you don't. That's normal - not evidence of a conspiracy at work.

            There are elements of the case that are worrying (though more in general than wikileaks-specific terms), but both the Swedish and UK legal systems do seem to be "working as intended".

          • by Phreakiture (547094) on Monday December 05, 2011 @11:07AM (#38266724) Homepage

            If I were him, I'd be concerned about any travel, even if the destination fits your description. The reason is that the people he has pissed off are powerful enough that they may well trump up an emergency landing in some country that would extradite him. I don't even think they would work much at hiding it . . . something like a flight from London to Paris making an emergency landing in Oslo . . . the idea being that the emergency landing isn't anywhere near a straight line between points A and B.

            • If they're done with the subtle, the London-Paris flight may as well make an emergency landing in Washington DC and save a trip.

          • by ScentCone (795499)

            The whole thing is just a show to get him to a country that will role over and give him to the US. I am not sure why the UK didn't ???

            Why? Because your entire premise is wrong in the first place.

          • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 05, 2011 @11:19AM (#38266886)

            Most countries only extradite criminals...

            Actually, countries generally are required by treaty to extradite anyone for whom the requesting country has issued a valid arrest warrant regarding a crime so they can be held over for trial--you don't have to have a conviction in hand to request extradition, just a warrant. And once presented with a valid arrest warrant, the country receiving the warrant is required by treat to arrest and detain the accused to ensure that extradition occurs. For logistical and political reasons it doesn't always work out that way, and most countries don't even bother requesting extradition unless the crime in question is a pretty serious felony; but that's the letter of the law in most cases.

            Also note that, under some treaty provisions, an uncooperative person not accused of a crime can be extradited as a material witness to a crime if the crime in question is considered sufficiently serious. And in the US, unindicted suspects who have fled the jurisdiction in which the crime occurred can also be extradicted from another state and held over if indictment is imminent (i.e. the district attorney has declared his intention to indict to the court and now it's just a matter of filing the paperwork). I'm unfamiliar with the intricacies of Swedish law, but something similar might be happening here.

            • by ShooterNeo (555040) on Monday December 05, 2011 @01:39PM (#38269038)

              And 2 women that both admit consenting to sex with him, and maybe sorta possibly having second thoughts during the act is a serious felony? (note that neither women screamed NO or fought or do anything that would CLEARLY tell an aroused male with his penis in the good spot that he had to stop. Whatever the legal requirement is, the human race wouldn't exist if males found it easy to stop having sex)

              Heck, each of them would have let it go had they not met each other and feared STDs that they did not contract, or we would have heard about it. (because once they knew he wasn't using protection with multiple women, they rationally feared disease). They told their story, and it's some prosecutor somewhere that sees an opportunity to make a name for themself.

              And the maximum penalty for the charges he faces (that have not been filed) is 4 years in the world's most pleasant prison system.

          • The whole thing is just a show to get him to a country that will role over and give him to the US. I am not sure why the UK didn't ???

            As you note, the terrible flaw in that conspiracy theory is that the UK already HAS an extradition treaty with the US, and is pretty good buddies with us. If the end goal was to get him into the US, why wouldnt he already be here?

            Most countries only extradite criminals.

            Its hard to extradite a "criminal" when that label requires a trial first, which assange has not had. Hes wanted for questioning to determine if there is a case against him.
            From Wikipedia:
            Extradition is the official process whereby one nation or state surrenders a suspected or co

            • by TWX (665546)

              My understanding is that they need to question him first to determine if charges can be filed or not.

              I don't honestly know how it works in Sweden, but if he has the right to remain silent, I don't see how interviewing him would add to their ability to file a charge. Either the stories of the women involved are compelling enough or they aren't. If they aren't, and if he has the right to remain silent in Swedish law, if he's smart he's going to keep his mouth shut and let their case wither on the vine.

              I wou

              • by Zironic (1112127)

                Sort of. That's what makes the entire thing so weird. If he had just gone to Sweden and done the whole interview thing the whole case would have been dropped ages ago.

                Fighting it just makes him look guilty.

                • by coolmadsi (823103)

                  Sort of. That's what makes the entire thing so weird. If he had just gone to Sweden and done the whole interview thing the whole case would have been dropped ages ago.

                  Fighting it just makes him look guilty.

                  I remember reading that while he was in Sweeden, he asked something along the lines of "do you need me for questioning on this, or am I ok to leave the country?", was told that he was not needed, so left (probabaly thinking that the case had been dropped so he wouldn't hear about it again). Afterwards, they changed their minds (or someone else took it upon themselves to take control of the case). I can see why he might be slightly suspicious at least. You are right, the whole thing is a bit weird.

                  There ar

          • by tehcyder (746570)

            Most countries only extradite criminals. The main point is that he is only wanted for questioning and there has been no suggestion of there being a charge ready. Britain should not have arrested him as there are no valid grounds for that. If there was an charge pending then yes but there is not. The whole thing is just a show to get him to a country that will role over and give him to the US. I am not sure why the UK didn't ???

            I don't know how the law works where you live, but in the UK we do the questining and evidence gathering before we charge or convict someone. Do you think Sweden could or should simply try Assange in his absence without giving him a chance to put forward a defence?

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Joce640k (829181)

        Not really. If he wins his appeal then he's safe in the UK.

        Yeah, but he won't. The whole thing is corrupt from top to bottom.

        • If the USofA loses the proxy extradition to Sweden, expect some kind of Bin-Ladin-esq black helicopter type kidnapping so the can get busy making an example of him!

      • by qbast (1265706)
        How can he be safe in UK? It is pretty much US lapdog.
        • If that was really true, the UK would have just given him to the US via the extradition treaty in place currently. They haven't, so...

          • by Joce640k (829181)

            The UK likes to pretend it isn't in the USA's pocket...if they can get the Sweden thing to work then they look blameless so it's worth a try.

          • by qbast (1265706)
            So maybe US is not actually trying to get him thrown into Guantanamo.
            • by KeensMustard (655606) on Monday December 05, 2011 @03:22PM (#38270966)
              No - character assassination is much more effective. The crucial thing is to ensure that the whole wikileaks story is a story about Assange, and not a story about US gunships gunning down reuters reporters, or casual threats of violence made against Al Jazeera, or the leader of a major US ally and troop contributer calling the situation in Afghanistan a clusterf*ck, or afghan boys being bought and sold for sex to warlords by US companies, and the US government sitting on their hands.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      From the level of paranoia he and his supporters are publicly showing, he's never going to be "safe", someone will always be out to get him...

      For example, the huge fuss made over "number plate recognition cameras" that his supporters claim were "recently installed" near his bail address. Turns out that not only are they bog standard excessive speed warning cameras (which don't even record vehicles breaking the speed limit), but they had been there since 2002 and 2003.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Just Because You're Paranoid Doesn't Mean They're Not Out to Get You.

        The reason why wikileaks failed and keeps on failing, is because they try to detach themselves from politics. It's impossible, everyone is involved willingly or not to some degree.
        That's why the Pirate Party is so incredible.

        • . It's impossible, everyone is involved willingly or not to some degree.

          Its a hell of a lot more credible when you dont insert political commentary into the material you release, then throw huge press conferences whenever said material is anti-US, and refuse for several months to release un-commentaried and edited material.

          • by scot4875 (542869)

            Limecat, here's a tip for you:

            It's possible to have a debate without lying to support your position. If your position can't be supported without lies, maybe it's not a very good position to take?

            --Jeremy

      • I've driven in the UK, I spent the whole time fretfully glancing between my speed dial to make sure I wasn't going over the limit, my periphery looking for a speed camera and very occasionally in front to see where I was going. By the time I left, I was feeling paranoid too.

        If you've got millions of people who can listen to a man like Jeremy Clarkson every week and say "hmm, I think he's got a point", it's pretty safe to say that the status quo must be pretty off balance.

        • really? Because I live in the UK and I only rarely glance at the speedo. And I have never had a ticket. Not very many cameras around, and when they are, they are signposted so you now they are coming up.
        • If you have trouble maintaining a constant speed to the point where you are worried you might be caught for accidentally speeding, then perhaps you should be leaving a healthy margin between the speed you want to maintain and the set speed limit.

          If you really were driving as you suggest, then you were essentially driving without due care and attention - if you cannot drive sensibly without a huge effort, then perhaps you shouldnt be driving.

          Clarkson does have a point, but equally so does the government - yo

        • by tehcyder (746570)

          I've driven in the UK, I spent the whole time fretfully glancing between my speed dial to make sure I wasn't going over the limit, my periphery looking for a speed camera and very occasionally in front to see where I was going. By the time I left, I was feeling paranoid too.

          If you've got millions of people who can listen to a man like Jeremy Clarkson every week and say "hmm, I think he's got a point", it's pretty safe to say that the status quo must be pretty off balance.

          A few points:
          (1) you should be constantly monitoring your vehicle's speed anyway regardless of speed limits
          (2) you see speed cameras in front of you, by the side of the road, not in your peripheral vision, and they are nice and colourful and easy to spot
          (3) Jeremy Clarkson's comedy is a matter of taste, and you'd be unwise to take his words as gospel, he's hardly the fucking Messiah
          (3) fuck you and your paranoid shit, just stick to the speed limits, and teh evil government won't be able to touch you

      • by tehcyder (746570)

        For example, the huge fuss made over "number plate recognition cameras" that his supporters claim were "recently installed" near his bail address. Turns out that not only are they bog standard excessive speed warning cameras (which don't even record vehicles breaking the speed limit), but they had been there since 2002 and 2003.

        Sounds like a typical US slashdot post, no doubt the phrases "it's an Orwellian nightmare in the UK" or "LOL the Brits are using 1984 as a handbook not a warning" were bandied about.

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      Can someone appeal against an appeal? If that's the case, whose legal fund do you think will run out first?

      • Generally decisions can only be appealed to higher courts, and there is a finite hierarchy of courts. If the supreme court agrees to hear his case and then decides in his favor, that particular episode should be done.

        The story won't; something else will be tried. I expect Assange will not be safe anywhere on the planet for a long time, and he's no better off if he hides in the shadows. Extradition from a first-world country is a small concern compared with the relative ease of abduction or assassination in

  • Public interest? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bhcompy (1877290) on Monday December 05, 2011 @09:39AM (#38265484)
    So being famous lets you get another appeal?
    • Re:Public interest? (Score:4, Informative)

      by king neckbeard (1801738) on Monday December 05, 2011 @09:42AM (#38265526)
      If you are famous for political actions and the charges brought against you are clearly part of a foreign country's political agenda.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 05, 2011 @09:46AM (#38265580)

        Yea, God damn those crazy, left wing Swedish liberals, always pushing their ridiculous "anti rape" agenda on the rest of the world.

        • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

          I doubt the Swedes are the puppetmasters here, that role likely being American. And the rape accusation seems very dubious and quite convenient.
          • Yet they have to be dealt with, don't they? Or are we know dismissing such charges based on someones actions in the past? "Hey, that guy criticized $people, he'd never rape someone!"...that also worked for Reiser.
            • by drobety (2429764)
              What has to be dealt with? There are no accusations nor charges you silly. He is just wanted for "questioning."
              • by blueg3 (192743)

                There may not be formal charges, but there are certainly accusations.

                • by drobety (2429764)
                  That's the whole point: It's nonsense to request extradition without formal charges. This is what makes the whole thing highly dubious.
                  • by peragrin (659227)

                    Except the swedish judicial system works differently from the UK . It isnt based on english common law like UK, USA, canada ,australia, etc

                    Of course you are an expert in such differences so my point is wasted.

                    Of course you also realize it is illegal for sweden to then extradite Assange to the USA. He has togo back to the UK first. Saying he is going to Sweden to face false rape charges to just get sent to the USA is ignorant at best.

                    Fact assage stuck his dick in two differemt women, they found out about

                    • by drobety (2429764)

                      Except the swedish judicial system works differently from the UK.

                      Except that he is in the U.K. Except that when he was in Sweden, the then prosecutor didn't see ground for prosecution. Except that "If Sweden were to say sucking toes without washing them first is rape, then would that be an extradition offence?"

                      Of course you also realize it is illegal for sweden to then extradite Assange to the USA

                      Oh ok, if it is "illegal" then no worry [hrw.org].

                      Also any guy in a high profile position(see Clinto, Cain,Spitzer) needs to be fully aware where he sticks his dick

                      Only if they live in places where a pitch-fork-yielding populace is unduly concerned in a creepy way about the sex life of other people (like U.S., Iran, etc.)

                    • Except that he is in the U.K. Except that when he was in Sweden, the then prosecutor didn't see ground for prosecution.......Oh ok, if it is "illegal" then no worry [hrw.org]..

                      Wait, im not getting this. So hes in sweden, and could be extradited-- but the US whispers to Sweden "no, this is too easy, and not illegal enough-- wait till hes out-of country, then extradite him BACK on dubious grounds, THEN extradite him to the US illegally!" So they postpone the charges-- all with this plan in mind, wait till hes in another US-friendly country (with an extradition treaty), and then, instead of extraditing directly to the US, they want to bring him to Sweden so they can them ship him

                    • by drobety (2429764)

                      The whole thing seems ludicrous; the simpler explanation of "he is being brought to Sweden to stay in Sweden and face charges" seems a lot more plausible.

                      Sigh... What "charges"? People keep saying "charges". There are no "charges".

                    • From wikipedia [wikipedia.org]
                      Assange has not yet been formally charged with any offence;[30] the prosecutor said that, in accordance with the Swedish legal system, formal charges will be laid only after extradition and a second round of questioning.

                      Argue with their legal system, but dont blame them for not following it.

                  • BUZZZZ, Wrong.
                    Extradition can happen with a warrant. And for your conspiracy theory to make sense, you need to cleverly explain away the fact that the UK already has an extradition treaty with the US, and is just as cozy with us (if not more) than Sweden. Why hasnt assange been shipped off from Scotland yard to the US yet?

                    • Because there's nothing close to a crime the US can charge him with.
                    • Then what exactly is the conspiracy thats supposed to leap into action when he gets to sweden?

                    • Exactly? I'm not sure. It could be any number of things, ranging from an actual assassination (which would be particularly easy to pull of within a prison system) to merely a dragged out character assassination that draws the attention away from the awful things the government is doing.
                    • by tehcyder (746570)

                      Then what exactly is the conspiracy thats supposed to leap into action when he gets to sweden?

                      The conspiracy states that the notoriously right wing and pro-American Swedish government is far more likely to stick him on a plane to Guantanamo Bay than the practically Leninist and anti-American British government.

                      This does not seem very plausible to many people.

              • If he's received death threats (as I believe has been reported) then why does the questioning need to take place in Sweden? Surely if the Swedes were willing to pay for a (potentially one-way) plane ticket for Assange and a round trip ticket for an officer to bring him to Sweden, they could pay for a Swedish officer to travel to the UK and question him there; if it turns out that they want to charge him after that questioning, then they just need a second one-way plane ticket for the ride back to Sweden. Or

                • Jurisdiction would be an issue, wouldnt it?

                • by coolmadsi (823103)

                  Surely if the Swedes were willing to pay for a (potentially one-way) plane ticket for Assange....

                  I don't think they were. One of Assanges objections was that he asked if he was wanted for questioning, was told he wasn't, so left the country, then was expected to buy another plane ticket to come back for questioning he was originally told wasn't going to happen.

                  Or they could make use of videoconferencing and save themselves the cost of the tickets if there's no reason to bring him to Sweden.

                  This is a very rational point, I believe one that Assanges lawyers made, but was rejected for some reason.

            • The lack of formal charges suggests that it doesn't have to be dealt with, and it reeks of a setup. It's not that Assange would never rape someone, but rather that this seems very suspicious given the timing of it.
        • by Myopic (18616) *

          None of what I've heard has sounded every a tiny bit like rape. What have you heard?

          • by bhcompy (1877290)
            Doesn't matter how you comprehend it. Matters how the law does, and considering the accusation, it would be rape in Sweden.
          • My understanding is he had permission to have sex conditional on his wearing a condom, during intercourse the condom broke or came off which broke the conditions agreed to and the continuation of the sex act became rape.

    • by Xest (935314) on Monday December 05, 2011 @09:51AM (#38265642)

      No the summary is awful, when I read it I thought "Oh god, people are going to completely misunderstand that", and it seems by the second post they have.

      The "public interest" bit refers to the fact that it's within the public interest to determine in British courts whether it's right for a prosecutor for the government to issue a European arrest warrant when such warrants are meant to be issued by the judiciary. It's also questioning whether Assange can even be referred to as the accused, when the Swedish police still to this date haven't yet even actually charged him with anything.

      So "public interest" isn't about Assange, it's about examining the issues Assange's case raises - the public interest is ensuring justice is done, at question because it's not clear that the European Arrest Warrant has been correctly issued not whether the British people have an interest in seeing Julian himself protected.

      Effectively, it would not be in the public interest for someone to be extradited if there is no legitimate legal grounds to do so, whether they're Julian Assange, Abu Hamza, or Gary McKinnon, justice must be upheld regardless of whether they're perceived middle ground, bad, or good.

      • This! I hope this comment gets modded up to 5... way better than the summary!

        This isn't a story about Assange... it's about the validity of the process which has been used in efforts to have him extradited.
        He's just a more polarizing headline, so his involvement will, likely, outweigh coverage of a potentially significant precedent.

      • No the summary is awful, when I read it I thought "Oh god, people are going to completely misunderstand that", and it seems by the second post they have.

        Not really. The second post (...462) [slashdot.org] fell for the first, and only the third post (...484) [slashdot.org] fell for the summary.

      • by bhcompy (1877290)
        Thank you for clearing that up.
  • Pretty biased (oh come on, it paraphrases HIS MOTHER), but nonetheless interesting:

    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3713222.html [abc.net.au]

  • by peter303 (12292) on Monday December 05, 2011 @10:47AM (#38266442)
    Expose names of diplomatic and espionage parties on the web before asking their permission?
    • by forkfail (228161)

      Absolutely. And I'm sure that not only do they have the ability to expose such information, but the corporations and world governments that he's targeted do so all the time.

  • What's this guys beef if he is innocent? The more he fights extradition for questioning, the guiltier he looks.

    I don't buy for one femtosecond the concept that the Swedes are acting as a proxy for the Americans to punish him. (Though I might if it was the British. sorry.)

    Trust me, if the American government wanted him that badly, he would already have been disappeared, Britain or not, by extraordinary rendition with a bag tied over his head, into a black prison and never seen again.

    Assange looks like a man

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