Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning
As the corporate media weighed in on the Jan. 11 decision to postpone a hearing on the Swedish request that the U.K. extradite WikiLeaks' spokesperson Julian Assange until Feb. 7, Assange's U.K. legal team filed a powerful, preliminary legal brief.
The Assange brief, citing extensive legal authority, not only sets forth why extradition will not lie merely for the purpose of questioning someone who has yet to be even been charged with a crime, but affirmatively alleges an abuse of process that includes duplicity:
- on the part of Swedish prosecutors in releasing Assange's name to the press as a suspect in a rape inquiry in violation of Swedish law;
- in disingenuously asserting that Assange must be extradited for questioning, when such questioning could be, as repeatedly offered, conducted in the U.K. under established international procedures;
- in informing the Australian Ambassador that the evidence against Assange could not be released, even while granting a newspaper unauthorized access to the the prosecutor's files;
- and in refusing to release documents which severely undercut the veracity of the case the Swedish prosecutors presented to the press and in their European Arrest Warrant ("EAW").
This latter allegation calls to mind the infamous McMartin Preschool Trial and the horrific and irreparable harm that can be wrought when irresponsible media fan public hysteria by joining in a public vilification that assumes, as true, volatile allegations of sex crimes.
The brief, citing Sweden's past role in facilitating the Bush regime's extraordinary rendition requests which led to torture, ends with concerns that Sweden's request to extradite Assange is a sham intended to facilitate his unlawful rendition to the U.S. for placement in Guantanamo, or worse...