Delivering his ruling at a hearing at Belmarsh magistrates court in London, the chief magistrate, Howard Riddle, dismissed each of the defense’s arguments against Julian Assange’s extradition and granted Sweden’s extradition request.
The British magistrate judge, in disagreeing with Assange’s arguments, held the European arrest warrant (EAW) was in fact valid; the crimes Assange is accused of are extraditable offenses; there is no reason to believe a Swedish court will be influenced by bad publicity against Assange; and, if Swedish proceedings are held in private it is not a violation of human rights.
Assange has expressed his disagreement with the extradition request on several grounds, specifically the validity of the EAW issued against him and his strong belief that he will not receive a fair trial if extradited to Sweden.
Regarding the legitimacy of the EAW, Assange is arguing that the Swedish prosecutor, Marianne Ny, lacked the proper authority to issue the warrant and the EAW was issued for questioning rather than prosecution, which is an improper purpose. Although the judge rejected these arguments, they will most likely be addressed further on appeal.
Assange must file an appeal within seven days or he will be extradited to Sweden within ten days. Assange has already made his intentions to appeal very clear, therefore Swedish authorities will just have to wait.
For a complete reading of the judge’s ruling, please click here.
See the reaction of Assange’s lawyer here.
Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Litigation.
The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or at one of the offices listed above.