Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Assange Extradition Hearing To Continue Friday : Video

By Jerry Smith Feb 9 2011

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange finished a second day in a London court in front of Judge Howard Riddle fighting extradition to Sweden. Assange has not been charged with anything but is wanted for questioning by Swedish police for accusations made against him by Sofia Wilen and Anna Ardin of rape and sexual molestation, which Assange denies.

It was thought that the hearing would end Tuesday and that a decision would be made by Friday, but Judge Riddle felt two days was not enough and said the extradition hearing would continue on Friday with lawyers making their closing arguments then.

Assange's lawyers feel he is the victim of a flawed investigation and will not get a fair trial in Sweden, where rape cases are heard in private and that if extradited to Sweden he may then in turn be extradited to the U.S., where he could face the death penalty.

A lawyer for the Swedish government said Swedish prosecutors had to issue an arrest warrant for the WikiLeaks founder after continually failing to interview Assange about the accusations made against him of rape and sexual molestation by Sofia Wilen and Anna Ardin.

Assange's lawyers say their client went underground and became hard to reach after WikiLeaks leaked U.S. military documents that triggered threats of retaliation and official condemnation.

As Assange left the courtroom he told reporters he felt Marianne Ny, the Swedish prosecutor in charge of his case, was afraid to come to court and answer questions and said:
“What we’ve seen is process abuse after process abuse being revealed for hours and hours. What we have not seen, however, is the chief prosecutor . . . she’s refused to come to the proceedings."
Sweden’s prosecutor-general, Anders Perklev, issued a statement defending Ny and the Swedish justice system that said:
“Marianne Ny has acted completely in accordance with her role as a public prosecutor and she obviously has the competence needed for the decisions that have been made."
In front of cameras and reporters after leaving court Assange said of WikiLeaks:
“We continue to publish content around the world and that gives me great heart.”
Assange also criticized the "unlimited budget" being spent by British and Swedish authorities to try and extradite him to Sweden and said:
"Where is the equality of arms in this case? Rather we see the unlimited budget of Sweden and the U.K. being spent on this matter and my rather limited budget being spent in response."

News clip from euronews featuring Assange entering the court house:

News clip from Press Association featuring Assange and his lawyer Mark Stephens speaking in front of reporters after leaving the courtroom:

News clip from the AP featuring Assange and his lawyer Mark Stephens speaking in front of reporters after leaving the courtroom and Brita Sundberg-Weitman:


  1. I hope that judge does not send him to sweden.