By unanimous decision of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, two weeks from today, on June 28, Sweden can start the bureaucratic paperwork to extradite Julian Assange from the United Kingdom. They have ten days after that to remove Mr. Assange from British jurisdiction, meaning the last flight out would be Saturday, July 7.
The Court rejected the appeal of Assange’s attorneys to reopen the case because it had been decided on a point of law, the only remaining point of law since all the rest of his malarkey had been dismissed by the lower courts. The one remaining legal issue, in the opinion of the Supreme Court, was the validity of the Swedish extradition order, which came from a prosecutor and not from a judge. The Court decided two weeks ago that the extradition request was valid.
Assange could still appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, and must do so by June 28, but legal experts consulted by the BBC said that is “unlikely to block” the extradition.
Assange does not want to return to Sweden, as he had promised when he traveled to Great Britain almost two years ago, to complete the investigation into allegations that he committed acts of sexual assault on two young women. He has not been charged with a crime, but his extreme actions in avoiding the investigation have made it probable that he will be incarcerated for the duration of the investigation and if charged, will not be allowed bail before trial. He has proven himself to be an assured flight risk and has no permanent residence in Sweden, or anywhere else for that matter. Those are the only conditions, under Swedish law, where he would be denied bail.
Though there are apparently a great number of otherwise intelligent women who go wobbly over this man, this is a great day for women. Sweden does have the broadest rape and sexual assault laws in the Western world, something that many of us have tried to get passed in our own countries. This self-involved, self-important person has pleaded in Britain’s courts that he should not be extradited because Sweden’s laws are too broad and don’t allow for “boys to be boys” or “sexist pigs” to do whatever they want. But there are two young women in Sweden who were his victims. One was coerced into unprotected sex in the post-AIDS world by a man who chooses to put himself at risk of STDs and the other awoke from a sound sleep to find him inside her and humping away. By Swedish law, he committed sexual assault, and just calling himself a “sexist pig” in an interview does not exempt him from the law.
If he is tried and convicted he faces around two years in prison on these charges. More importantly, his two year fight to avoid being questioned, his insistence that the United States of America entrapped him with these women and plans to extradite him and put him in Gitmo, have bankrupted WikiLeaks. The fact that WikiLeaks member Birgitta Jonsdottir has been in the United States, suing the US government over the National Defense Authorization Act and was free to come and go put the lie to Assange’s paranoia about America. Jonsdottir, who was a member of the Icelandic parliament at the time WikiLeaks published the Manning data, was a person we could have legally arrested as a member of a foreign government who accessed secret American military documents.