Assange to appeal extradition to Sweden
Assange’s lawyers argued unsuccessfully that he would face an unfair trial in Sweden since the press and the public are excluded from parts of sexual assault trials.
Assange voluntarily turned himself in to the police in the UK after Sweden filed a European Arrest Warrant for him.
A widely held view amongst WikiLeaks’ supporters is that the extradition to Sweden is a preface to an eventual trial in the US; and that extradition for the charges against Assange would not be pursued if it was any ordinary citizen.
Assange and his colleagues at the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks have subjected the US government to extreme duress and embarrassment due to its publication of many thousands of US diplomatic cables including: the July 12 Baghdad Collateral Murder Video and other Iraq war documents; material on extrajudicial killings in Kenya, and the Guantanamo Bay files, to name a few.
Julian Assange is an Australian citizen and deserves all the support our government can offer him. Instead he was thrown to the wolves. Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard failed to support Assange and called the leaks “an illegal act” according to an article in The Australian in 2009.
Gillard came under widespread condemnation for failing to give support to Assange. Hundreds of prominent lawyers, journalists, editors, and academics signed a letter to the Gillard government calling for her to support Assange but the government has maintained its hardline stance from the outset.
Assange’s legal team will include prominent human rights lawyers Gareth Peirce and Ben Emmerson, a change from his representitives at the original hearing.
Wikileaks continues its release of over 250,000 US diplomatic cables with 16,068 of the 251,287 cables published so far; and the cables will continue to come out, day by day.