Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Assange In London Court Fighting Extradition Day 1 : Video

By Jerry Smith Feb 8 2011

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange finished his first of two days in a London court fighting extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning but has not been charged by Swedish police for accusations made against him by Sofia Wilen and Anna Ardin of rape and sexual molestation, which Assange denies.

Assange and his lawyers feel he 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.

Prosecuting attorney Clare Montgomery rejected accusations that Sweden was in cahoots with the U.S. to hand Assange over to U.S officials if they decide to charge him.

A document submitted by Assange's lawyers states:
“There is a real risk that, if extradited to Sweden, the US will seek his extradition and/or illegal rendition to the USA, where there will be a real risk of him being detained at Guantanamo Bay or elsewhere…there is a real risk that he could be made subject to the death penalty.”
Assange told reporters gathered outside the Belmarsh magistrates court:
"For the past five-and-a-half months, we have been in a condition where a black box has been applied to my life. On the outside of that black box has been written the word 'rape'. That box is now, thanks to an open court process, being opened."
Former appeal court judge Brita Sundberg-Weitman, called as a defence witness, told the court:
"Marianne Ny has a rather biased view against men. I can't understand her attitude here. It looks malicious."

"I think she is so preoccupied with the situation of battered women and raped women that she has lost balance."
When Geoffrey Robertson QC asked Sundberg-Weitman if she thought Ny wanted "to get [Assange] into her clutches and then arrest him no matter what?", Sundberg-Weitman answered:
" Yes. It might be her attitude to have the man arrested and maybe let him suffer for a few weeks to have him softer [for interrogation]."
Sundberg-Weitman also said that in Sweden:
"Most people take it for granted that he's raped two women"
A campaigner for the reform of Swedish sex crimes laws and the defence's second witness, Goran
Rudling said:
"I have given evidence on the facts that one of the accusers I have seen have deleted comments and Tweets that suggest that she was friendly with Julian Assange about 20 hours after the alleged crime."

"I have also seen that 48 hours after the crime - the alleged crime - she volunteered to become Julian Assange's personal press secretary."

"The story given to the police does not bring up those instances."

"I reported my findings to the police on the 15th of September. It doesn't seem like they have investigated if there may be a false allegation."

"It seemed obvious that the story told to the police and these facts just didn't go together."

The extradition request can only be refused if it would violate a suspect's human rights or if the warrant was drawn up incorrectly.

News clip from ABC news in Australia featuring statements by Julian Assange, defence witness Goran Rudling and former judge Brita Sundberg-Weitman:

Euronews clip featuring Assange leaving the court house and making a statement:

News clip from BBC News featuring Assange and his lawyers heading into court:

News clip with Brian Thompson reporting for World News Australia featuring Assange getting into a car.:

Clip from the AP featuring Assange arriving at a London court:

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