Extradition Judgment: Julian Assange and Swedish Prosecution Authority, November 2, 2011

November 2, 2011

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has lost his appeal against extradition to Sweden. In its Judgment today the High Court held that Mr. Assange should be extradited to Sweden.

Julian Assange -v- Swedish Prosecution Authority summary

Julian Assange -v- Swedish Prosecution Authority approved judgment

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Why Julian Assange Might Be Better Off In Sweden

November 2, 2011

Forbes on November 2, 2011 released the following:

By: Andy Greenberg, Forbes Staff

“Throughout the 11-month legal process to determine whether Julian Assange will be extradited from the United Kingdom to Sweden to face questioning over alleged sex crimes, Assange’s lawyers have argued that a trip across the North Sea would be the first leg in a journey that ends in an American prison.

But as a second London court denied the WikiLeaks’ founder’s appeal against extradition to Stockholm Wednesday and brought the WikiLeaks founder one step closer to a trip to Stockholm, the effect may not be so clear. (See the judge’s full ruling against that appeal here.) In fact, lawyers I’ve spoken to say the real result of sending Assange to Sweden may be to put the decision of whether to allow him to be prosecuted in the U.S. into the hands of unpredictable Swedish leaders rather than leaving it to Britain’s U.S.-friendly laws, a situation that may represent another barrier to the U.S. Justice Department’s barely secret ambitions to indict him.

Assange’s relocation to Sweden for trial could end up complicating the process of charging him with crimes in the U.S., says Douglas McNabb, a lawyer with the firm of McNabb [Associates] who specializes in cases of international criminal law and extradition. “If Assange is going to be extradited, he’d much rather be extradited to Sweden than to the U.S.,” says McNabb. “In fact, the U.S. would get him much more quickly from the U.K. than from Sweden.”

McNabb points to Britain’s Extradition Act of 2003, a controversial law passed in the wake of 9/11 that gives the United States special privileges in seeking the extradition of prisoners in the United Kingdom. He argues the act’s “accelerated extradition process” means Britain would likely pose little resistance to American prosecutors seeking Assange’s extradition. That same law is currently being used to extradite hacker Gary McKinnon to the United States despite his British citizenship, and a U.K. judicial review upheld the statute in October.

Frank Rubino, an international defense lawyer who has represented Panamanian general Manuel Noriega and Lockerbie bomber Abdelbasset Al-Megrahi, calls Assange’s argument that Sweden is more likely to extradite him to the U.S. than Britain “ridiculous.” “Short of Iran, they could move to extradite him from pretty much anywhere,” says Rubino, “From London as much as from Stockholm. But if Sweden doesn’t recognize whatever the U.S. charges him with as a violation of Swedish law, they might not extradite him at all.”

Extradition from Sweden, after all, requires determining “dual criminality”–that whatever Assange has been charged with in the United States is also a crime in Sweden. The grand jury that has convened in Alexandria, Virginia to decide whether Assange will be indicted in the U.S. has yet to make public any charges against him, but some have speculated on and called for his indictment under the same Espionage Act once used to prosecute Daniel Ellsberg for leaking the Pentagon Papers.

If Assange is in Sweden and the U.S. presses charges, it might need the cooperation of both the United Kingdom and Sweden to achieve its own extradition on top of Sweden’s, as the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s legal activist Trevor Timm has pointed out. The judge in the original February decision on the extradition case wrote:

“If Mr Assange is surrendered to Sweden and a request is made to Sweden for his extradition to the United States of America, then…In such an event the consent of the Secretary of State in this country will be required, in accordance with section 58 of the Extradition Act 2003, before Sweden can order Mr Assange’s extradition to a third State. The Secretary of State is required to give notice to Mr Assange unless it is impracticable to do so. Mr Assange would have the protection of the courts in Sweden and, as the Secretary of State’s decision can be reviewed, he would have the protection of the English courts also.”

Sweden, it’s important to note, be able to circumvent those restrictions on traditional extradition. The Assange support site SwedenVersusAssange.com argues that Sweden will use a clause in its extradition treaty with the United States that allows a “temporary surrender” of a prisoner to the U.S. by “mutual agreement.” That clause, Assange’s backers fear, means Assange could be passed on to the U.S. without either the usual extradition hearing under Swedish law or the consent of the U.K. government.

But McNabb argues that even in spite of that potential loophole, Assange has a better shot of staying out of American hands in Sweden than he would have in the United Kingdom, where the Extradition Act practically pre-ordains his trip to America. “It would be almost certain in the UK,” says McNabb. “In Sweden, it’s a toss-up.”

Prior to Wednesday’s hearing, WikiLeaks’ Twitter feed was full of descriptions of Sweden as America’s lapdog, calling it “the Israel of the north” and writing that its “ subservience to the US [is] now on naked display.”

But setting Assange’s sex crime charges aside, Sweden has yet to apply the same political pressure to WikiLeaks that U.S. leaders have to American WikiLeaks partners. Even as Senator Joe Lieberman successfully influenced American companies like Amazon, PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, and Western Union to cut their services to the secret-spilling group in early 2011, Swedish hosting companies PRQ and Bahnhof have both continued to serve WikiLeaks at the height of its controversy without threats from the Swedish government.

Whether that government will provide the same haven for WikiLeaks’ leader as it has for WikiLeaks’ data may soon be put to the test.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Judgment due next week in Assange extradition case

October 27, 2011
Wikileaks' Julian Assange
© Jillian Edelstein For Forbes

Associated Press (AP) on October 27, 2011 released the following:

“By DAVID STRINGER

LONDON (AP) — WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will learn next week of the verdict in his fight against his extradition to Sweden to answer allegations of sexual misconduct, the organization said Thursday.

WikiLeaks staffer Joseph Farrell said that Britain’s High Court had informed Assange it will deliver judgment on his appeal on Nov. 2,

“The court told us. We have no further details,” Farrell said in a text message.

In February, a judge ruled that Assange should be extradited to Sweden to face allegations of rape and sexual molestation against two women. Lawyers for Assange filed an appeal at the High Court, and insist the activist would not receive a fair trial.

Britain’s Royal Courts of Justice could not immediately be reached to confirm details of next week’s hearing.

Allegations against Assange date back to a visit to Sweden in August 2010, shortly after the activist’s organization had released secret U.S. files on the war in Afghanistan. Assange became involved with two women — one of whom later accused him of coercion and molestation, another of whom alleged that he had had sex with her as she slept.

Swedish prosecutors have not charged Assange with any crime, but have demanded that he returns to Scandinavia to face questions about the case.

Assange, who was briefly detained in prison custody, has been living under curfew at a supporter’s rural mansion in eastern England while he has contested the demand for his extradition.

The activist has been made the subject of an overnight curfew, must wear an electronic tag and report to police daily.

Assange has claimed the Swedish case is being politically manipulated following his organization’s disclosure of classified U.S. documents.

At an appeal hearing in July, Assange’s lawyer Ben Emmerson said that the women involved in the case may have found sex with his client “disrespectful, discourteous or disturbing,” but added that it had been entirely consensual.

Emmerson told that hearing that Assange’s actions wouldn’t be illegal in the context of English law. “The conduct that is complained of would not constitute a crime in this jurisdiction,” he said.

Assange had previously vowed to take his case to Britain’s Supreme Court or the European Court of Human Rights if his appeal is rejected by the High Court.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


U.K. Grants Sweden’s Extradition Request for Assange; The Arrest Warrant Controversy

February 24, 2011

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 mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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