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posted by janrinok on Monday June 20 2022, @04:27AM   Printer-friendly

Julian Assange's extradition from UK to US approved by home secretary

Priti Patel has approved the extradition of the WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange to the US, a decision the organisation immediately said it would appeal against in the high court.

The case passed to the home secretary last month after the supreme court ruled there were no legal questions over assurances given by US authorities over how Assange was likely to be treated.

While Patel has given a green light, WikiLeaks immediately released a statement to say it would appeal against the decision.

"Today is not the end of fight," it said. "It is only the beginning of a new legal battle. We will appeal through the legal system; the next appeal will be before the high court."

Also at NYT.

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  • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Monday June 20 2022, @05:23PM (1 child)

    by DeathMonkey (1380) on Monday June 20 2022, @05:23PM (#1254674) Journal

    They wouldn't need to frame him if they already had an indictment!

    So what you have provided is actually evidence AGAINST the claim there was a secret indictment already in place already for Assange.

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  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday June 20 2022, @07:28PM

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 20 2022, @07:28PM (#1254710) Journal

    They wouldn't need to frame him if they already had an indictment!

    You have it backwards. The frame needs to be in place first before the indictment. Notice also this was during the same time span as the Swedish rape accusations. My take is that they attempted to discredit Wikileaks in 2010 by having Assange accused of rape by Swedish prosecutors. Assange immediately contested the extradition on the grounds that it was prelude to extradition to the US. If the US had then indicted and issued an extradition request at that time, the optics would have looked bad and may have scuttled both extradition requests.

    Further, this wasn't a theoretical concern because then US Attorney General Eric Holder had stated [] (November, 2010):

    The Justice Department will prosecute anyone found to have violated U.S. law in the leaks of classified government documents by online whistleblower WikiLeaks, Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday.

    "This is not saber-rattling," said the attorney general, who declared that the Obama administration condemns the leaks.

    Holder said the latest disclosure, involving classified State Department documents, puts at risk the security of the nation, its diplomats, intelligence assets and U.S. relationships with foreign governments.

    "To the extent that we can find anybody who was involved in the breaking of American law, who put at risk the assets and the people I have described, they will be held responsible; they will be held accountable," Holder said at a news conference on another topic. He called the WikiLeaks probe "an active, ongoing criminal investigation."

    Incidentally, that announcement came two weeks after the international arrest warrant issued by those Swedish prosecutors.

    My take is that the Iceland adventure in 2011 came about (the FBI incidentally is under Holder's control) because the extradition to Sweden took so long. And after Assange sought political asylum with Ecuador, there was no opportunity to deliver said indictment/extradition request until he was kicked out in 2019.

    That's the thing that gets missed. Strategically, it made no sense to issue a public indictment at any point during that eight years prior to Assange's department from the Ecuador embassy. Prior to the Swedish rape charge, Assange's reputation was solid enough to endanger an extradition request. Prior to the final resolution of the Swedish extradition request, an indictment would have backfired, confirming Assange's narrative in court. Prior to Assange getting kicked out of the Ecuadorian embassy, an indictment would have politically confirmed Assange's narrative of being a political refugee. The US couldn't have revealed an indictment any sooner than they did.

    And of course, there's been no change in the US tactics here despite yet another transition to the Biden administration. Sure, if you wish to continue to believe that the Obama administration had some respect for the First Amendment, that's your choice. None of the rest of us need to be that gullible.