Sometimes those wheels move painfully slow, but OH, they
In August 2010, WikiLeaks boss, Julian Assange visited
Sweden. The results of that visit were four charges of sexual assault and rape.
Rather than face his accusers, Assange fled. For years, the
fight to have Assange extradited raged on. The Supreme Court of the UK fell on
the side of the Swedish Government in 2012.
It was after that that he went to the embassy of Ecuador in
London to seek asylum. He squatted there, disrespecting his hosts, not cleaning
up after his cat, and even going so far as to smear feces on the embassy walls
for nearly 7 years.
The statute of limitations on three of the four charges
against him ran out in August 2015. As for the fourth allegation of rape,
Swedish law allows a little more time, so any charges that might be brought on
that specific case can be made up unto August 2020.
And it’s not like he has his convenient little hidey-hole at
the embassy, anymore. On April 11 of this year, his asylum claim was suspended
and he was evicted, with the British authorities taking him into custody.
He was sentenced to a year in a UK prison for violating his bail
agreement to hide out in the embassy.
His big fear was that he’d be sent to the United States to
face a host of charges here, not limited to his role in revealing troop
movements in the Middle East and receiving and revealing other troublesome
Yeah, there’s not
threat of that happening, right now.
As it is, he was looking in the wrong direction.
Upon his eviction and his being taken into custody, the
lawyer for his alleged victim moved to see that the case against him for rape
of her client be reopened.
Earlier Monday in Stockholm, prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson
announced that they would, in fact, be reopening the rape investigation against
“After reviewing the preliminary investigation carried out so far, I find that there still exist grounds for Julian Assange to be suspected on probable cause of the charge of rape,” Persson said.
Persson went on to say that a new European Arrest Warrant
(EAW) will be filed for that time when Assange finishes his current sentence in
It’s still just an investigation, at this point, but what
exactly is an EAW?
Valid across the European Union since 2004, the EAW was designed to speed up lengthy extradition operations and allows EU members to ask for the arrest and surrender of criminals in other member states.
However, Persson emphasized that a decision on filing charges had not yet been made.
“I would like to make the following very clear: my decision to re-open the preliminary investigation is not equivalent on whether or not to file an indictment with the courts. This is the matter we’ll have to revisit,” she added.
As with any criminal case, it depends on what the investigation
turns up, but I’ll say this: for the victim in the case to still be clinging to
this, insisting the case be reopened after all this time, she must feel certain
there’s something there.
And of course, the excuse coming out of WikiLeaks is “political
pressure,” not that the kind of man who squats in a government building to
avoid criminal prosecution and smears feces on the walls is not the kind of man
who might commit a sexual assault.
“Since Julian Assange was arrested on 11 April 2019, there has been considerable political pressure on Sweden to reopen their investigation, but there has always been political pressure surrounding this case,” WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson said in a statement.
“This case has been mishandled throughout,” he said, adding that Assange “was always willing to answer any questions from the Swedish authorities and repeatedly offered to do so, over six years.”
“This investigation has been dropped before and its reopening will give Julian a chance to clear his name,” Hrafnsson said.
It was dropped because he ran. If he thought his name could
have been cleared, why run in the first place?
Of course, the fact that there is a provisional request for
extradition to the United States, based on his role in conspiring with former
U.S. Army Intelligence analyst, Bradley Manning in 2010 to steal U.S. military
secrets from Defense Department computers.
So will the U.S. get him first, or will Sweden?
Persson goes on to say she understands that the U.S. wants a
shot at Assange, as well.
She added: “In the event of a conflict between a European Arrest Warrant and a request for extradition from the US, UK authorities will decide on the order of priority.”
According to UK law, in the case of competing extradition claims, the decision is left to the country’s Home Secretary to determine which petition takes precedence.
I don’t see our current administration pushing it.
Extradition lawyer Rebecca Niblock of Kingsley Napley told CNN that the Home Secretary would make that decision based on four things: “Firstly, the relative seriousness of the offenses; secondly, the place where the offense is committed; thirdly, the date the warrant was issued and when the request was received and fourthly, whether the person is accused or convicted.”
She continued: “It would be a very difficult decision for the Home Secretary to make because he would then have to decide on the seriousness of the offenses … rape against the computer intrusion. In my view the offense of rape would the more serious one — it carries a sentence of life imprisonment in this country.”
With 70 British lawmakers signing an open letter to U.K.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid “to stand with the victims of sexual violence,”
in regards to the case, I’m going to assume this case gets the first bite of
Assange’s arrogance may have been his downfall, and if it’s
proven he’s guilty of this rape, then he’ll have a nice, long stay in prison to
contemplate his poor choices.