A must read analysis of the Assange extradition case

David Allen Green, legal correspondent of the New Statesman, has in an excellent post, “Legal myths about the Assange extradition”, analyzed the Assange case. It is a must read for anybody that is interested in the case.

Whenever the Julian Assange extradition comes up in the news, many of his supporters make various confident assertions about legal aspects of the case.

Some Assange supporters will maintain these contentions regardless of the law and the evidence – they are like “zombie facts” which stagger on even when shot down; but for anyone genuinely interested in getting at the truth, this quick post sets out five common misconceptions and some links to the relevant commentary and material.

Assange has been afforded more opportunities to challenge the warrant for his arrest than almost any other defendant in English legal history. This is hardly “persecution” or a “witch-hunt”.

A very short summary.

  • The allegation of rape is rape under English law.
  • The best opportunity for the United States for Assange to be extradited is whilst he is in the United Kingdom. It is more difficult to have Assange extradited from Sweden.
  • It is not be legally possible for Swedish government to give any guarantee about a future extradition. By asking for this ‘guarantee’, Assange is asking the impossible, as he probably knows.
  • Whatever the reason for Ecuador granting political asylum to Assange, there is no basis for seeing it as based on any sincere concern for media freedom either in Ecuador or elsewhere.
  • It is difficult to see a sensible and well-based reason why Assange should not now go to Sweden.