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Assange & UKSC: Why the Wait?
The doyens of Flashback speculate.
STOCKHOLM/LONDON (Rixstep) — The UK Supreme Court hearings for the final instance in the battle of Julian Assange versus Sweden ended 2 February this year. A ruling was announced to be forthcoming in 2-4 weeks. Why the wait? The doyens of Flashback speculate.
From Justice for Assange:
'Julian Assange travelled to Sweden on 11 August 2010 after being informed that the FBI had raided Bradley Manning's family home in Wales. The raid came just after WikiLeaks had released the Afghan War Diaries. By this stage Julian Assange had announced that WikiLeaks was going to release hundreds of thousands of secret documents on the war in Iraq and classified US diplomatic cables. In order to safely leave the UK, where WikiLeaks' work was under threat, a formal invitation was arranged to speak at a conference about the war in Afghanistan in Stockholm, Sweden.'
By 20 August Julian was arrested in absentia, then the warrant was rescinded, then another prosecutor got on the case and reopened it, then this prosecutor played SMS with Assange's legal representative for several weeks and refused to meet with him and hear his side of the story, then she told him to go ahead and leave the country if he wanted, then she issued a secret new warrant for him as he finally left (but without notifying the police as is the custom in such cases).
The prosecutor then turned down a new proposal for Julian to return and meet with her and instead for the same week organised an 'ambush' in Stockholm where he was to speak.
And finally on 18 November her assistant appeared before the district court in Stockholm to have a third warrant issued.
And that's where we are today.
Why the Wait?
The case before the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom is not about allegations about Julian Assange ripping a condom that's never been used. It's about whether authorities that are not per se judicial authorities have the right to issue European Arrest Warrants in the first place. British justice is very clear on this matter, as is Irish justice where a similar case was recently tossed out because the issuing authority was not a judicial authority.
The case seems fairly straightforward, yet it will have shattering ramifications for the EU where the original framework was rushed into law in a panic to satisfy the US.
Still and all: the UK Supreme Court opened a Twitter account and announced that they'd have a verdict in the Assange case in 2-4 weeks. But it's now been fourteen (14) weeks.
Why the wait?
Flashback is the de facto news centre for all things 'Assange versus Sweden'. The doyens there began speculating about the above matter earlier in the week.
The ruling's been delayed. Everything takes time in this affair.
This thread has previously stated that a ruling could be expected within three weeks. Barbara Gunnell said 2-4 weeks and cited a 'court spokesman'.
'Two days after the hearing concluded, the Court joined Twitter under the user name @UKSupremeCourt. A court spokesman said they'll be tweeting the Court's decision which is expected in two to four weeks.
The hearings ended 2 February. It's now been fourteen weeks. Why does it take so long?
1. The judges are in disagreement and want to discuss the matter further.
2. They've already reached their decision. They approve the extradition but are waiting for the right moment to admit it. (Perhaps synchronising with the grand jury in Virginia?)
3. They've already reached their decision. Marianne Ny is not considered a 'judicial authority' and it takes a while to brief the Swedish government before they announce their ruling.
4. They've already reached their decision. Marianne Ny is not considered a 'judicial authority'. The US and the UK and/or Sweden are working on Plan B because they don't want to release Assange.
5. They've reached their decision but everyone involved thinks it's more practical to let Assange remain where he is as long as possible, because right now they have 100% control of his activities.
So what's really happening?
Great Britain's been striving for some time to reduce demands to follow the often idiotic guidelines of the pan-European organisation whose name I forget. Can that have had an effect?
OK the Council of Europe. And the UK got the chair from November 2011 to May 2012.
'Now we would like to use our chairmanship to help progress that work. This is the right moment for reform - reforms that are practical, sensible and that enhance the reputation of the court.'
But where's Assange right now? Can he already have been extradited with everything kept confidential to avoid the uncomfortable gaze of the media? Sweden has a certain tradition of carrying out secret renditions ordered by the CIA (as in the case involving Egypt).
I find that unlikely. It'd be sensational if something like that could happen without an announcement from WL.
It's obvious this case isn't following standard procedure and is being deliberately drawn out. It can be happenstance if it happens a single time but in this case it's systematic. And it's not being caused by JA but by the Swedish and British judicial systems. The delays are obviously not happenstance and this shows there's a reason for it all. But who is behind it and why?
No politician in Europe wants to be held responsible to the voters for JA ending up in the US. That's absolutely certain. The question is whether Obama wants JA in the US before the US national elections. We don't know the answer to that.
It's most likely a political impossibility to render JA to the US. The cost is likely a lost election in three countries. So the current situation is the 'best' situation for politicians to hide behind. They point with their one hand at the judicial system, and with the other hand they receive directives to make sure the case drags on. The politicians in Sweden, the UK, and the US don't want to be forced to make a decision and be forced into a debate about JA.
The question is how much pressure is being brought to bear by the hawks who want to see JA in Guantánamo. If there's a feasible risk JA could be given a long prison sentence in the US, then the current situation is a type of protective custody for JA to prevent his extradition. If it's impossible to convict him then the current situation is probably the best those hawks can achieve without a verdict in the US.
The truth is likely that the threat of being convicted in the US is enough for European politicians to pull strings to stop JA from being extradited there. Protective custody is used to prevent extradition to the US even though there may be no basis for prosecution or conviction in the US.
Maybe even the brotherhood, the social democrats, and others are measuring their actions in light of the threat from the US. They may believe what they've done is save JA from extradition whilst they're actually being 'played' by the US. The threat has been real enough that the 'problem' has been dealt with by politicians on several levels, all frantic to save their own hides.
It's the politicians who are doing things. They're the only ones who can influence the judicial systems in all those countries. Their goal is to avoid tackling the issue in the open. And so far they've succeeded. Everyone's attention has been on Ny, SC, and JA himself.
Of course there's the possibility the threat of a long prison sentence for JA in the US is real. Then the current situation is the best solution for the politicians. For they'd never dare say 'no' to an extradition request from the US, even though they know they might lose in their next elections.
The losers are WL, JA, and thereby everyone who wants more truth and less spin.