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Supreme Court Rules Julian Assange May Be Extradited 289

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the pack-your-bags-for-gitmo dept.
sirlark writes with an update on the protracted legal proceedings regarding Julian Assange's extradition to Sweden: "Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has lost his Supreme Court fight against extradition to Sweden to face accusations of sex offenses. The judgement was reached by a majority of five to two, the court's president, Lord Phillips, told the hearing. Mr Assange's legal team was given 14 days to consider the ruling before a final decision is made, leaving the possibility the case could be reheard." This may, however, not be the end. From the article: "Lord Phillips said five of the justices agreed the warrant had been lawful because the Swedish prosecutor behind the warrant could be considered a proper 'judicial authority' even it they were not specifically mentioned in legislation or international agreements. This point of law had not been simple to resolve, said Lord Phillips, and two of the justices, Lady Hale and Lord Mance, had disagreed with the decision. But Ms Rose immediately indicated she could challenge the judgement saying that it relied on a 1969 convention relating to how treaties should be implemented. She said this convention had not been raised during the hearing. " This led to the court staying the order until June 13th to give Assange's lawyers time to argue this avenue.
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Supreme Court Rules Julian Assange May Be Extradited

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  • I'm confused (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Squiddie (1942230)
    What are they extraditing him for? Is he charged with any crime? This smells like bullshit to me.
    • Re:I'm confused (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @08:57AM (#40154137)

      What are they extraditing him for? Is he charged with any crime? This smells like bullshit to me.

      It's total bullshit. The entire point here is that the United States wants to get him out of the UK so that he'll be easier to legally extradite back to the US so he can be tortured.... err, prosecuted, to the fullest extent of the law.

      • Re:I'm confused (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @09:00AM (#40154159)

        "to the fullest extent of law."

        Really?? since when does the extent of law matter in post-9/11 US ?

      • Actually I disagree, while I do believe that US wants him to be extradited to their jurisdiction. However, there is something that is bugging me, why go through all that trouble ? I mean he has to go through a lengthy process just to be sent to Sweden where he will be interrogated and might face charges of rape ( I am not arguing the validity of those charges ) and go to prison, and after he finishes his term then and only then the US might ask from "SWEDEN" for him to be extradited, and will take time. If
        • by Dunbal (464142) *

          and will take time

          If there is one thing that governments do have, it's time.

        • Re:I'm confused (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Vanderhoth (1582661) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @09:44AM (#40154555)
          *tinfoil hat on*
          I believe the Swedish cases against him is just a smear campaign meant to degrade his reputation, which in turn would degrade the reputation of Wikileaks. Most of the population isn't as well informed or cynical as we are here, and they do make associations such as head of organization is bad therefore organization must be bad too.

          Once Assange has been sufficiently dragged through the mud he will be extradited to the US. At that point it won't matter what the US does to him most people won't care or will see it as a rapist getting what they deserve. It also won't matter what's posted on Wikileaks in the future because most people will pass it off as bad person spreading lies and discontent.

          Of course none of us can actually see the future and this is entirely speculation and conspiracy theory. Only time will tell.
          *tinfoil hat off*
        • Re:I'm confused (Score:5, Insightful)

          by kingramon0 (411815) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @11:05AM (#40155299) Homepage

          It will be more like this:

          Extradite to Sweden to interview him on allegations of rape and decide whether to press charges.
          "Oh, I guess the accusations were baseless."
          While still in custody, Justice Department requests extradition to the U.S.

          They won't have to wait long.

          • by Americano (920576)

            While still in custody, Justice Department requests extradition tot he US.

            At which point Sweden must go back to the UK and request a UK justice minister's approval to extradite on to a third party non-EU state.

            European Arrest Warrants do not allow a state to "pass along" a person who's been extradited to them to a third party, especially a non-EU third party, without the express approval of the rendering state (in this case, the UK).

            Which means that for the US to extradite him from Sweden, they have to get

      • Re:I'm confused (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @09:16AM (#40154279)

        I really don't get these comments:

        Why is Sweden easier to influence than the UK?
        Why is Sweden more likely to extradite to the US?
        What does the US want to extradite him for (specifically)?

        Why does the US want him in Sweden given that:
        1. there is clear evidence of the UK being complicit to some extent in extraordinary rendition cases to the US, yet - to my knowledge - no evidence of Sweden being involved.
        2. the US has a much deeper intelligence and defence relationship with the UK than Sweden
        3. the Swedish legal system is as, if not more, transparent and subject to due process and appeal as the UK one.

        Have you ever been to Sweden or the UK? I have.

        • Re:I'm confused (Score:5, Informative)

          by Dr. Evil (3501) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @09:35AM (#40154485)

          It's on the Internet:

          "1) Julian Assange has not been charged with any offense. 2) Sweden has a bilateral agreement with the United States which would allow it to surrender Julian Assange without going through the traditional tests and standards of regular, lengthy ’extradition’ procedures."

          http://justice4assange.com/US-Extradition.html [justice4assange.com]

          • by joe545 (871599)
            Except you cannot always extradite someone who you have had extradited to your country. The first country normally adds caveats to prevent that
            • Re:I'm confused (Score:4, Insightful)

              by cpu6502 (1960974) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @10:17AM (#40154827)

              Since Julian is not a UK citizen, those caveats don't apply. There's nothing to stop the Swedes from handing-over Julian to the United Soviet States as soon as they get him into a prison.

              Frankly I'm surprised Obama didn't just order him assasinated. He's done it before with other criminals (including American citizens and a 16-year-old boy).

              • Re:I'm confused (Score:5, Informative)

                by maroberts (15852) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @11:59AM (#40156065) Homepage Journal

                Actually, those caveats do apply. Assange will be transferred under a European Arrest Warrant, and under the terms of the Warrant he cannot be transferred to another country without the permission of the country from which he is originally extradited (the UK in this case). Given the degree of opprobrium such a move would bring the UK Government, given that extraditions to the US are already a sensitive subject, then this would be extremely unlikely to happen.

            • The UK will 'forget' to do it in this case.

          • by Americano (920576)

            1) Which is why he's being extradited under a European Arrest Warrant. You know that your arrest can be ordered so you can answer questions as part of an investigation, especially if the court has ordered you to appear, and you fail to do so, right?

            2) Completely false. European Arrest Warrants, as 'federal' documents governing the extradition of Mr. Assange from the UK to Sweden, also come with the stipulation that the receiving country (Sweden) may not pass along an extradited individual without the ex

        • by AHuxley (892839)
          Sweden is thankful to the GCHQ and NSA - bilateral elint agreements, airborne elint.
          i.e. the FRA (Swedish National Defence Radio Establishment) was very happy to have nice crypto friends in the UK and USA as a trusted third party.
          It takes a long time to make the US "third party" list outside Canada, Australia, the UK ect. and very little to drop from the list.
          So really " transparent and subject to due process" is just window dressing.
          Sweden has generations of political types who enjoyed deep intelligenc
      • by Elldallan (901501)
        it typically seems easier to get somone extradited to US from the UK rather than Sweden so that seems unlikely.

        No he has not been charged with a crime yet, he is however a suspect fro 2 counts of rape and the Swedish police wants to further interrogate him but Assange refused to return to Sweden so the Swedish authorities requested him to be extradited from UK in accordance with EU regulations which led to the current legal battle.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Joce640k (829181)

          No he has not been charged with a crime yet, he is however a suspect fro 2 counts of rape

          Um, no he isn't. Only the tabloid press has used the word "rape" (probably as part of a government organized campaign to ruin his credibility).

          Rape victims rarely tweet about their experience and organize a party for their friends to meet the rapist so a charge of "rape" seems unlikely (although you never know...it wouldn't be any more absurd than the rest of this case).

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Maybe you should actually read up on what is considered rape according to Swedish law?

            • Re:I'm confused (Score:4, Informative)

              by Joce640k (829181) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @10:27AM (#40154917) Homepage

              Why don't you save us all some effort and supply a simple citation?

              Oh, wait, you can't. I'm guessing that's why you post A/C.

              Me? I'll provide all the cites you want.

              What they're trying to charge him with is sex by surprise [aolnews.com]. Nobody's quite sure what that is but we know the maximum penalty for it is a $715 fine.

              This fine is why the whole Interpol warrant and extradition is a farce - it simply doesn't happen for a crime as minor as that (in fact it's against Interpol's charter to get involved with this - the crime is too minor and it only happened in a single country).

              • by TheSpoom (715771)

                Once he's in the US he can be labelled an enemy and locked up forever. That's the point.

      • by Dunbal (464142) *

        err, prosecuted, to the fullest extent of the law.

        Considering that the "fullest extent of the law" includes assassination, sorry, "targeted killing", no no, "extrajudicial killing" by the US in certain countries like Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia, and which everyone is quiet about because we are "told" it's happening to "bad people"; Assange could be in a world of trouble.

      • by AHuxley (892839)
        They like to call it aggressive, unpleasant and fear inducing interrogation methods.
        Don't ask for the tapes.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by crazyjj (2598719) *

      What are they extraditing him for?

      For fucking with the U.S. government.

      1. A cryptoanarchist creates an organization whose purpose is to help whistleblowers release information.
      2. A soldier from the United States uses his access to military computers to leak documents and videos related to the US war effort in the middle, through the above whistleblower organization. This same soldier also leaks US diplomatic cables. This soldier is later betrayed by a hacker and is arrested.
      3. The cryptoanarchist goes to Sweden; while in Sweden, he has sex with women who have connections to the CIA.
      • What CIA connection do the women have?

      • by Sarten-X (1102295)

        And from this, we can learn the following valuable lessons:

        1. Don't release confidential information.
        2. If you feel you must, don't trust someone who's already demonstrated lax ethics with their hacking activities.
        3. If you must trust someone untrustworthy, at least realize that you'll be pissing off one of the most powerful governments on Earth, and you should make yourself practically untraceable first.
        4. If you're making a business of releasing confidential information, don't be the only spokesman/target.
        5. Don't get
        • by cpghost (719344)

          Don't get caught releasing confidential information.

          There, fixed that for you.

          Don't get romantically or sexually involved with anyone while you're a target, regardless of how long a time they say they'll love you.

          While true in general, it wouldn't matter if your opponent is a State that will always find/pay some people ready to make false allegations for a smear campaign (I'm not saying that this is the case with Assange, even though something's fishy there). It's the oldest trick in the book, really.

      • 3.The cryptoanarchist goes to Sweden; while in Sweden, he has sex with women who have connections to the CIA.

        There is absolutely no proof of this wild allegation.

        Most likely, it is simply a case of two jilted women who are pissed off that Assange slept with both of them in the style of a rock star.

        This bullshit about "CIA connections" with the ladies is paranoia and really unrelated to reality. It's tinfoil hat bullshit.

        Folks, women get pissed of about shit like this *ALL THE TIME*, the difference in this case is the *target* is famous.

    • by kiwimate (458274)

      It is the very first sentence of the linked BBC article:

      Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has lost his UK Supreme Court fight against extradition to Sweden to face accusations of sex offences.

      I realize you asked about being charged with a crime and this mentions facing accusations. But that at least gives you the broad rationale.

  • I don't see what he and his attorneys hoped to gain from fighting the extradition. The merit of the case in Sweden is another matter, but that isn't something an extradition court will decide. They don't try the case, they just decide if the request for extradition is a legal one, meets the standards for whatever agreement there is with said nation and so on.

    In the case of the UK and Sweden there's a pretty strong extradition treaty so there really wasn't any way there's be another outcome.

    Even if he manage

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      There are no charges. He's only wanted for questioning.

      • by Joce640k (829181) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @09:37AM (#40154495) Homepage

        So...why can't he answer the questions from the UK - as he's offered to do since the very beginning?

        Extradition is for serious crimes, not "questioning".

      • by a90Tj2P7 (1533853) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @09:42AM (#40154531)

        There are no charges. He's only wanted for questioning.

        Which is pretty much irrelevant, to both the GP's post and the court's decision. You don't have to be charged with a crime to be extradited, normally being wanted for questioning as a suspect is good enough. It's all up to their extradition treaty with Sweden. The GP's point was that the court's responsibility was to make sure the request complied with their extradition treaty, and that's it. Whether or not the accusations are sound, whether or not charges are filed, whether or not he's guilty - that's all between Assange and the Swedes.

        • by AmiMoJo (196126)

          Which is why much of his argument has been about the validity of the extradition request. The other big point is that if he were extradited his human rights may be breached if he is then extradited/rendered to the US.

          • by phayes (202222)

            Not from what I've heard from the man. He's been screaming that he shouldn't be extradited because:
            - It's all a plot by the USG
            - The USG will extradite him from Sweden once he leaves the UK (never ind that extradition to the US would be easier from the UK)
            - He claims he's innocent so he shouldn't be extradited.
            - Leaving the UK would be an enormous hardship for him.

            On the merits of the case: "does the Swedish extradition request meet the requirements for an extradition" he's been well nigh silent as the cour

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @09:14AM (#40154263)

      Probably just to draw attention to how ridiculous, trumped-up and politically-motivated these nasty allegations against him are. Assange knows that the people behind this are hugely powerful and are not fighting fair, his only weapon is publicity. Fighting every little thing tooth and nail, with press releases all along the way, is about all he can do.

    • by niftydude (1745144) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @09:16AM (#40154283)

      It really has gotten to the point of rather silly. He's going to have to go and face the charges in Sweden.

      It's sillier than you think: as yet there are still no charges he has to face in Sweden. My understanding is that he is wanted for questioning only. The first prosecutor in Sweden tossed the case because there was no evidence. Somehow, a second prosecutor has gotten involved, and has put in this unprecedented request for extradition for "questioning" while there still have been no civil or criminal charges laid against him by the Swedish police.

      And let's also not forget that while Assange was in Sweden, he tried to comply with police requests as much as possible, to the point of saying to the Swedish police, "OK, I'm leaving the country now, is there anything else I have to do to help sort this out?" He left Sweden thinking that this was all over and done with.

      • by dkleinsc (563838) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @09:25AM (#40154371) Homepage

        And let's also not forget that while Assange was in Sweden, he tried to comply with police requests as much as possible, to the point of saying to the Swedish police, "OK, I'm leaving the country now, is there anything else I have to do to help sort this out?" He left Sweden thinking that this was all over and done with.

        In addition, Assange offered to answer questions by Swedish police over video chat or telephone while he was in the UK. He was refused, lending strong evidence to the idea that the purpose of the extradition request was not actually to answer the Swedish charges against him but instead to have him in physical custody so he could be shipped to the United States.

    • by crazyjj (2598719) *

      I don't see what he and his attorneys hoped to gain from fighting the extradition.

      They know the fix is in in Sweden. They know that if he goes to Sweden, he's fucked. Either Sweden is setting him up for a bogus prison sentence there or, more likely, extradition to the U.S. for "indefinite detention."

      • Libertarians think they're getting freedom by eliminating the government. They're just getting corporate slavery.

        As opposed to people like Assange?

        You haven't a clue about what slavery really is.

    • by Joce640k (829181)

      I don't see what he and his attorneys hoped to gain from fighting the extradition.

      We all do know that the extradition is a crock of poo, the accusations are obviously trumped-up, and that there's something else going on.

      Whatever it it is, it's probably the US government behind it's probably very bad for him. Anybody with any sense would fight it.

    • by pipatron (966506) <pipatron@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @09:44AM (#40154561) Homepage

      I'm really not sure what they were going for, other than just a delaying tactic.

      If you fear for your life, delaying is what you would do too.

      Assange and his lawyers are probably not that scared of the crimes he could potentially be charged with in Sweden. It is more likely that he is afraid that Sweden will in turn find a way to export him to the U.S., where he could be accused of being some sort of terrorist. We have recently seen somewhat too close ties between the U.S. embassy and the judges here, when the case about The Pirate Bay took place, so I don't think one has to be too paranoid to fear such a chain of events.

    • by dbIII (701233)
      It was delaying action until hopefully somebody in Sweden that actually respects the rule of law kicked the entire bullshit of extraditing someone that hasn't even been charged to the curb.
    • what if the state is wrong and you are more correct to actually avoid such a state?

      more and more, this is the reality. governments are becoming the bad guys and regular people are being targeted by corrupticians.

      I wonder if your premise does make sense. I'm not sure it does make any sense, in truth. maybe its better to allow 'runners' to leave what they consider bad domains and find safe haven elsewhere.

      I can name plenty of bad regimes where it would be quite morale to 'run away' from them. isn't it a c

  • And (Score:5, Funny)

    by BigSlowTarget (325940) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @09:04AM (#40154185) Journal

    I'd just like to be the first to say welcome to the U.S. Mr. Assange. How was your brief visit to Sweden?

    • If the goal was indeed to get him to the US, it would be easier to extradite him from the UK due to the special extradition treaties in effect between the US and the UK.

      • Julian has never been to the US. His extradition to the US from the UK would not be possible, even with the "special relationship" status we have.

        I wouldn't be surprised if US officials aren't at the airport in Sweden waiting for him, with a page of trumped up waffle with a scary looking TLA agency seal on the top of the page.
      • by Joce640k (829181)

        If the goal was indeed to get him to the US, it would be easier to extradite him from the UK due to the special extradition treaties in effect between the US and the UK.

        You'd think so...but there's obviously something deeper going on that nobody knows about.

        I guess we'll find out what it is in the next couple of weeks.

        • by berashith (222128)

          lets have fun. Who wants to bet that while Assange is in flight to the US, there is a "plane crash" over the ocean. No bodys can be recovered, and no one knows about this guy spending the rest of his days being taught about what happens when you mess with the wrong crowd, as he is obviously "dead".

  • by Grayhand (2610049) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @09:05AM (#40154195)
    If the government can't get you on what they want they settle for anything that puts you behind bars even if it's something dicey like this lame charge. It's one of the reasons for search warrants or my favorite is searching your car when they pull you over for a dead tail light. If you look hard enough you can usually find something to bust people on. Translated if they want to put you in jail they can probably come up with something to bust you on.
    • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @09:31AM (#40154445)

      Apparently, the CIA's 21st century equivalent of assassination is the rape charge. Just ask Dominique Strauss Kahn. A few months after he began criticizing [guardian.co.uk] the value of the U.S. dollar as international currency, he became a rapist.

      • As if this is a new tactic? Convincing everyone that your enemy is a sexual predator or deviant is the oldest trick in the book.
        • by Yaruar (125933)

          That's not the US, Dominique Strauss Kahn happily admits to being a sexual predator (he is French after all) it's just that he claims his conquests are consensual whereas some of the women involved don't. I'm pretty sure Julian has said similar.

      • What could Kahn do that Nixon didn't do already [wikipedia.org]? And why wasn't Nixon charged with rape?

        Having a national currency be an international currency also has always been a liability for the country involved. The only reason the American dollar held that position for so many decades was because of stupidity and national pride on the part of American negotiators at Bretton Woods. If you allow it to happen, even informally like today, it becomes very, very, difficult to manage the value of your own currency, you

    • by Serpents (1831432) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @09:37AM (#40154497)
      A Soviet prosecutor, Andrey Vyshinsky [wikipedia.org] once said "Give me a man and I'll find an article." I think this is a clear example of this principle being used against a political enemy. It was a standard practice of totalitarian regime to charge someone with some relatively minor crime [wikipedia.org] and then sentence them to death or life in prison. In this case Assange could just be sent to Guantanamo and "await further decision" till hell freezes over.
  • by Alain Williams (2972) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @09:56AM (#40154647) Homepage

    This alleged rape case has meant that rape is what people think about when they hear about wikileaks - rather than the crimes/... that wikileaks has exposed. Wikileaks itself has also taken its eyes off the ball.

    As a way of diverting attention from the real issues the rape case & extradition has been very successful.

  • by sgt_doom (655561) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @02:17PM (#40157985)
    http://boingboing.net/2012/05/30/julian-assange-loses-extraditi.html [boingboing.net]

    From the above:

    From the Wikileaks statement released in advance of the ruling:

    * The US Grand Jury reportedly possesses a sealed indictment, which could be used to extradite Assange to the United States.

    * Secret subpoenas have been served on ISPs and online services for the private data of WikiLeaks staff and supporters.

    * Special task-forces have been setup by various various US intelligence agencies, including the Pentagon, CIA, FBI, and the US State Department.

    * Associates of WikiLeaks have been detained and interrogated at US and UK airports, their equipment confiscated, and attempts have been made to turn them into informants.

    * If the indictment is unsealed upon Assange's extradition to Sweden he faces further removal from Sweden to the United States.

    * Meanwhile, an unprecedented extralegal denial of service by Visa and Mastercard has cut off funding to WikiLeaks, almost shutting down WikiLeaks' publishing activity.

    * If the extradition to Sweden is quashed in the outcome of the court judgement, he faces extradition from the United Kingdom.

    * Both Swedish and UK governments have been coordinating with the US, taking steps to facilitate a US extradition request in either eventuality. Assange cannot take steps to avoid either risk. For 539 days he has been detained without charge in the UK under house arrest.

    * Under US pressure the Australian government has relaxed its own extradition law, smoothing any possible extradition from Assange's home country. The Gillard government has also amended legislation to give Australian intelligence agencies powers of surveillance over WikiLeaks supporters.

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