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Julian Assange Loses Extradition Appeal 311

judgecorp writes "Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, has lost his appeal in the British High Court against extradition to Sweden on charges of rape. His team has 14 days to appeal to the Supreme Court — but would have to show a 'wider issue of public importance' to justify such an appeal. Meanwhile, WikiLeaks has suspended publication because it says a 'banking blockade' has cut off its sources of funding."
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Julian Assange Loses Extradition Appeal

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @09:03AM (#37918808)

    Assange has, unfortunately, been very bad for wikileaks. I think a lot of people support the idea of wikileaks, but his involvement and his serving as the public face of the group has been a huge problem for the organization. If wikileaks survives (which seems unlikely right now) it will be despite him, not because of him.

    Julian, for the good of the cause you've championed, please step down from wikileaks.

  • Re:Good. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Xest ( 935314 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @09:17AM (#37918972)

    He wasn't trying to escape justice. He hasn't even been charged yet, he's argued all along that the Swedish prosecution could question him in the UK and then if there's a case for him to be charged they could go ahead and do that and try and extradite him based on the charges.

    What he's trying to avoid is being extradited to Sweden without charge, and then being passed on to America. Particularly when in Sweden the case has already become too politicised because even their PM has basically pre-judged him in TV interviews.

    Your assumption is simply that he'll get a fair trial in Sweden, but as with the TPB trial which was overseen and the outcome determined by a judge who was a member of a content industry political lobbying organisation, who was good friends with the content industry lawyers in the prosecution and was pushed forward at the behest of American pressure as demonstrated by leaked cables we know that Sweden isn't capable of ensuring that this will be the case.

    This isn't a job well done by any measure but I'm not suprised, we in the UK are as much a puppet state of the US as Sweden is. When we can't even protect our own people like Gary McKinnon from extradition to the US even now, with a coalition government in which both leaders previously stated they were against his extradition though it's far from certain he wont be extradited still then frankly, Assange, a foreign citizen, had no hope- that much has been clear all along.

    If Sweden just questioned him here in person, or via video link, and then charged him I'd be far more supportive of this, but extradition for a case with massive politicisation in the country trying to extradite when they haven't yet even been willing to produce solid enough evidence to charge him hence based entirely on an accusation? Fuck no, that's not justice.

    Would you like to be extradited to a country like China because of nothing more than some random person there claiming you raped them when you went there on holiday despite a complete lack of evidence and no charge being put forward by Chinese authorities? Sure the US isn't China, well, for most people, but for someone like Assange whom the US makes exceptions to it's supposed love of liberty, justice, and free speech, it really is that draconian a situation.

  • Political actions (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @09:31AM (#37919186)

    Every time somebody says or does something not in favor with other political forces, there is always some sort of sex alligation to destroy their reputation, job, finances, moral, etc. etc.

    The accusation against Julian came right after some big cable releases. I have no doubt it is nothing more than an attempt of the United States government to get him out of the way or to get ahold of him.

    If for any reason he were to end up in US custody, it should be assumed they will hold him and try to imprison him without just cause. If Julian is smart, he has set aside some money for a rescue plan.

  • No, BAD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Required Snark ( 1702878 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @09:34AM (#37919238)
    This is not about Assange and alleged criminal behavior, it's about silencing someone who made powerful figures look stupid.

    The "crime" that he is accused of is almost never prosecuted in Sweden. This may be the first time in the history of the Swedish judicial system that anyone has been extradited for this class of offense. One of the accusers has left the country and is not available for either the prosecution or defense.

    There is little chance of justice in this circumstance. He is being railroaded. The international banking system has shut down WikiLeaks. How is he going to be fairly defended? By some junior public defender? If you believe that you must also still believe in the tooth fairy.

    The US is pulling every string they can to destroy Assange and WikiLeaks. I think they are planning to extradite him to the US or, if they think that they can get away with it, Guantanamo. Even if he ends up on US soil, they will give him the same treatment they gave Manning, which is real torture. Sleep deprivation, using the pretense of a suicide watch to keep the subject unclothed and with no bedding, multiple day interrogation by rotating teams of unaccountable "contractors", no real access to legal assistance. You don't have to inflict direct pain to effectively torture someone.

    Just watch for Sweden to get some sort of sweet economic deal from the US as a reward of they get Assange. A new military base, some sort of co-development in the artic, joint mineral development. whatever. That's how the CIA got secret prisons in Poland. The Polish government got the promise of the anti-missile bases, which would have put a big long term chunk of US dollars into their economy. It's called bribery, and it works (at least in the sort run).

    I almost can't believe that you expect "justice" in this relentless pursuit of Assange and WikiLeaks. Are you really that stupid? You really should spend more time over here in the real world, as opposed to whatever fantasy you seem to be inhabiting.

  • As planned (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mrquagmire ( 2326560 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @09:35AM (#37919254)
    It looks like things are proceeding exactly as planned...
  • Re:Good. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @09:42AM (#37919346) Homepage

    And you know this how?

    I've met rape victims, that's how.

    It's not something they brag about next day on Facebook. They also don't usually throw a party and invite their rapist over so they can present him to their friends.

    Calling him a rapist is an insult to all rape victims everywhere and doesn't make you look too bright.

  • by Barefoot Monkey ( 1657313 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @09:58AM (#37919582)

    The justice system is based in the Western world on the belief that he will get a fair trial in Sweden and other similar countries - you should not be able to escape unpleasantries by crossing borders. It's not Iran he's being extradited too.

    However, you should be able to "escape unpleasantries" by cooperating with the authorities as you are detained for a month at your own expense during the investigation until you are exonerated and informed by the prosecutor that the case against you has been dropped and that you are free to leave the country.

    If, after all that, they try to force you back to defend yourself against the same charges all over again then you fight tooth and nail against extradition, because you have pretty much no expectation of a fair trial anymore.

  • by cavreader ( 1903280 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @10:00AM (#37919616)
    The messenger in this case has did a better job harming himself by his own actions and behavior than any 3rd party could possibly do.
  • Re:Awww..... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by inviolet ( 797804 ) <slashdot@i[ ] ['dea' in gap]> on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @10:02AM (#37919648) Journal

    Coward? He left Sweden legally, after asking whether there were any objections or challenges that would have prevented this. He was told that he was free to go.

    He was also told, and agreed to, make himself available for future questioning if necessary. When it became necessary, he decided to refuse to return for questioning, a warrant was issued, and he began fighting extradition.

    Yes, because by then it was apparent that a frame job was in progress. Do you know that one of the two original accusers has already tried to back out?

    In other news, I would like you to consider the following question: What do you suppose would happen to the world if, tomorrow, we invented a foolproof way to stop all whistleblowing?

    Don't hate Mr. Assange because he has the courage to do what you do not. Be thankful that there is somebody out there who is willing to shine the light into dark castles.

  • by mmcuh ( 1088773 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @10:06AM (#37919714)
    You could also say that Wikileaks has been very bad for Assange. Do you think that anyone serving as the public face for an organisation that has embarrassed the US military, diplomats and government would not have been made to look as bad as possible?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @10:12AM (#37919790)

    It's not even the accusation of rape. It's his entirely anti-government stance. The man seems to want the world in flames. Wikileaks needs someone who expresses genuine concern for both people and governments and really wants them to improve, rather than roll over and die.

  • by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @10:15AM (#37919820)

    If he steps down, then the US government wins. If you've been paying attention, the whole thing smacks of government conspiracy. There mysteriously wasn't enough evidence to justify his being questioned while he was still in Sweden, there wasn't enough to justify him being required to stay in the country, but suddenly when he leaves there's enough evidence to justify abusing Interpol to get him arrested and extradited back to Sweden.

    What I'm curious about is, what sort of a person could Wikileaks find that is completely impervious to this sort of obvious character assassination? The fact that so many tools around here have turned on him is pretty indicative that anybody that takes that job is probably going to suffer a similar fate.

  • Re:Awww..... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by darjen ( 879890 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @11:20AM (#37920770)

    It is almost certain that anyone who exposes the political establishment's corruption is bound to be railroaded by bogus accusations. They WILL find a way to get you.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @12:17PM (#37921544)

    China and India have been the true 99% because they work far more for what they get in return while the US has been the 1% of the world. Ironically, now that things have shifted and Chinese and Indian workers are getting a bigger slice of the pie, OWS people are out in the streets. Like I said, the previous situation was a bubble and not the normal.

    The OWS-movement is not about "THE Pie", it's about the nationally isolated pies all around the world, and how they are distributed to their respective subset of people. Yes, it is harsh times, and harsh times has a way of highlighting when a few people in your country runs off with the majority of your country's pie, thus the outrage. People don't complain as long as they're fed and have a certain degree of freedom and safety compared to their fellow citizens, but when you go below that limit you automatically start to think about how some people can afford a private chauffeur by being a Hollywood-camwhore or by just spending the day moving imaginary numbers around and calling them money.

    Appreciate that people are pulling their ass away from the TV and trying to do something about things to make it better, it's a Good Thing(tm)

  • Re:Good. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Estanislao Martínez ( 203477 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @12:18PM (#37921552) Homepage

    I've met rape victims, that's how. It's not something they brag about next day on Facebook. They also don't usually throw a party and invite their rapist over so they can present him to their friends.

    Your experience is insufficiently broad, and suffers from a terrible selection bias. How much experience do you have, for example, with women who are raped by their own husbands and don't report it? How many women do you estimate will admit to you that they had unwanted sex with a man who used alcohol and a little bit of physical force to overcome her resistance?

  • Re:Focus (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DavidTC ( 10147 ) <<moc.xobreven> ... .vidavsxd54sals>> on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @12:22PM (#37921614) Homepage

    Yeah, but you'll never know this in the US, where apparently Obama is pulling out of Iraq. Both the left and the right seem to think this is true (For better or for worse), and it's rather astonishing the level of ignorance the media is promoting on this issue.

    Guys, we got kicked out of Iraq at the end of 2011 in 2008.(1) Under Bush. Neither he nor Obama 'decided' to leave. The deadline has been Dec 31, 2011 for years. This is not some debatable fact. Yes, Obama campaigned on getting us out, but, um, he didn't voluntarily do that.

    I've had like a dozen people present their opinion to be, about how Obama 'ending the war' is right, or wrong, or how Bush deserves credit, or whatever. And each time I just want to shake them and say 'Are you a total idiot? Iraq ended the war.'.

    Iraq probably did this almost certainly because they got tired of our bullshit routine of killing civilians and then lying about it, but that is a debatable opinion. But it is indisputable that they did end it, not us. They held a vote, told us to leave by 2011, we asked them to reconsider, they did not.

    1) Yes, I'm aware that, technically, troops can stay, and it's only immunity that's being revoked...but without immunity, no one can actually 'fight a war' in any sense, because they can't legally kill people, or detain people, or anything, without getting hauled into Iraqi court. So Obama has four choices for the troops: a) bring them home, b) pay them to stand around doing nothing, c) have them continue what they're doing, then get locked in Iraqi prisons, d) have them continue what they're doing, then fight off the police and military sent to arrest them, aka, declare war on Iraq.

  • by Fned ( 43219 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @01:35PM (#37922776) Journal

    So, the post-bubble situation is normal? What the fuck ever.

    "I don't have money but other people have money, that's unfair!" is bullshit spin and you know it. People are complaining that they have less money than they used to, and that the people with money are at fault, which is, in every meaningful way, true.

    Worker productivity has been going up steadily since the Industrial Revolution, but the same workers' wages, in real dollars, have leveled off and stayed flat for the past thirty or forty years. The country is getting richer, but the people actually doing the work to make it so haven't been. And look, the whole time, the people RUNNING the country have been getting richer FASTER THAN THE COUNTRY HAS. Gee, wherever shall we point the finger of blame?

    Meanwhile, recent college grads haven't been able to get jobs regardless of their degree, because companies are only hiring people whoalready have jobs. Companies run by those aforementioned People With Money.

    In short: "I don't have money because powerful people took it from me." Sounds like a legitimate gripe to me. You can try to prove it's not true, but you can't just dismiss it out of hand.

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982