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Julian Assange, WikiLeaks Founder, Could be Extradited to Sweden
Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, has made an appeal to the Supreme Court of Britain not to extradite him to Sweden. He has asked not to be extradited to the country because he faces accusations of sex crimes. Assange argued that a transfer to Sweden could push his anti-secrecy website to extinction.
Assange was born in Australia and made a name for himself across the globe while also maddening the United States government back in 2010 when he released a secret video and thousands of United States diplomatic cables about the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.
WikiLeaks, ever since the release of those documents, has disappeared from major news headlines across the globe. Reasons for the disappearance include being strapped cash because major credit card companies are not processing online donations made to the site and because of the legal troubles of Assange.
Assange was originally detained in Britain in December of 2010 on a European arrest warrant that was issued by a prosecutor from Sweden. The warrant was issued after two former female WikiLeaks volunteers accused Assange of sexual assault. Assange is wanted for questioning and has yet to be charged with anything.
The lawyers for Assange, from Britain, have argued that the warrant is not valid because it was issued by a prosecutor and not an impartial court or judge. This point is what is being argued in front of the Supreme Court, which said it will not look into the substance or origin of the claims made against Assange. The court will announce its decision a couple of weeks after the case ends, which should take two days.
“He speaks truth to power. He should be considered a national hero,” said Scott Albrecht, a former U.S. soldier who has since become a peace activist.
If the appeal by Assange is rejected by the Supreme Court, his case could be taken to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Should that court agree to hear his case, it can direct Britain to send him to Sweden until the court’s proceedings are complete. If the court in Strasbourg decides to hear the case, Britain could extradite Assange to Sweden as soon as possible.
Assange claims that the sexual allegations against him were an effort to silence him, as they were raised when the world was in a furor over WikiLeaks. Assange is also convinced that United States officials are trying to find a way to retaliate against him because of the revelations in WikiLeaks.
A United States army intelligence analyst, Bradley Manning, is accused of sending WikiLeaks thousands of classified documents. He is facing a court martial for 22 charges that include aiding the enemy and wrongfully causing intelligence to be published on the internet. Assange has been on house arrest for close to a year, living at the country mansion of a wealthy supporter in England.