Saturday, February 26, 2011

Assange Lawyer Says We Will Appeal

By Jerry Smith Feb 26 2011

Jennifer Robinson, a member of the Julian Assange legal team spoke with Tony Eastley of Australian morning show AM.

They discussed the verdict in the extradition case, the judge's claim that Assange's Swedish lawyer deliberately misled the court, their next step and more.

Here are some excerpts from the interview.

Tony Eastley: Was the verdict a surprise?

Jennifer Robinson: It wasn't completely unexpected Tony. European arrest warrant cases are notoriously difficult to defend. In 95 per cent of them the person requested is indeed extradited to the country that has requested them.

Tony Eastley: The magistrate did say however that Mr Assange's Swedish lawyer deliberately misled the court by claiming that local authorities had not first tried to interview his client. Can you explain that?

Jennifer Robinson: I think that's a simplification and I think the criticism that Mr Hurtig received today was somewhat in my humble view unfair.

We have to remember that the authorities did have some communications with Mr Assange and Mr Hurtig prior to him leaving Sweden and we acknowledge that.

Mr Assange had offered himself for interview. Indeed he was interviewed on the 30th of August.

He then suggested a number of other dates and the prosecutor denied those on the grounds that a police officer was sick. Of the 20,000 strong police force in Sweden that was a reason to deny him an interview.

Then subsequent to that it was only in the week of 21 September that the judge was speaking of, the prosecutor made one or two attempts, one via text message and one telephone call with Mr Hurtig to arrange an interview. He was unable to contact Julian at that time.

Tony Eastley: What's the next step?

Jennifer Robinson: We will be appealing. We have seven days to appeal from the day of the decision which was today. So we'll be filing that appeal to go before the High Court in this matter.

Tony Eastley: In the meantime where does Julian Assange live?

Jennifer Robinson: His bail conditions have been renewed as before. So he is residing in Ellingham Hall up in Norfolk with Vaughan Smith in the manor.

Unfortunately we made submissions today to have his tag removed but the judge declined to do so.

So we have to remember he is under very strict bail conditions and unusually strict. If he had been charged for rape in this country, and let's remember that he hasn't even been charged in Sweden yet, if he had been charged here he would not have a tag. He would have to report once a week to a police station and that would be it.

Instead he is under virtual house arrest. He has an electronic tag 24/7. He has to report to the police station every single day.

This is completely outrageous. And I think when you compare it to the bail conditions that you see alleged murderers, people facing trial for murder, multiple rapes in this country, Julian has it far worse. And I think it's just a sign that he is not being treated in the same way that others are.

For the whole interview go here.

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