Julian Assange

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Assange to go before the British Court today

In a few short hours a British court will begin a two day hearing on a Swedish request to extradite Julian Assange, WikiLeaks founder, to face accusations of sex crimes.

The two-day extradition hearing will begin Monday at the high-security Belmarsh Magistrates' Court in southeast London.

If Judge Howard Riddle is satisfied Assange is wanted for the alleged crimes in question, that extradition would not breach his human rights and there are no other legal bars, then the court will order his extradition. Assange would then have seven days to appeal., the appeal process at London's High Court will need to commence within 40 days, although the court can extend this period in the "interests of justice." If it so wishes.

If the High Court upholds the extradition decision, a further appeal can still be made to Britain's Supreme Court, the highest judicial body in the land, but it only be done on a point of law considered to be of general public interest. Something which Assange’s legal team will doubtless have ready up their sleeve should it be needed. However, the Supreme Court ruling would be the end of the process.

If at any stage in the process the extradition is confirmed and there is no outstanding appeal, somewhat unlikely I would say, then Assange must be extradited within 10 days.

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