Wikileaks' Assange wins small victory

Perpetual thorn in the side to governments around the world, Julian Assange, has been denied the right to appeal his extradition.

However, in what the Telegraph describes as a possible lifeline to his year-long legal fight,  he has been given the right to petition the Supreme Court. An argument he wants heard is that the Swedish government might not have had the authority to demand an EU-wide arrest warrant. The High Court didn’t rule on the argument but agreed his legal team should have the chance to ask the Supreme Court – which he now has 14 days to petition. 

According to Associated Press, Assange seemed pleased by the ruling. He agreed that it was a victory, while his lawyers in Sweden said it’s good news that he’ll stay in the UK, for now.

Assange maintains that the charges he faces – accusations of rape which critics claim are discredited and phony – are trumped up excuses for the political elite to lock him up because they weren’t fans of his work. 

In an interview with the WSWS, Assange’s mother, Christine Assange, said there were problems with the appeal request to begin with. She said his appeal application went up in front of the same two people who denied him the right to appeal last time. Again, it’s on grounds of “public interest”, which Christine argues has been totally hijacked by political interests.

She believes the European Arrest Warrant had its safeguards stripped away after 9/11 and is now being used “across the board” – and is a way of fast-tracking Assange to the US. If he ends up in Sweden, Christine Assange warns, he could be “in jail indefinitely before he’s even charged,” and kept in solitary confinement in Gothenburg prison. 

Thanks to a bilateral treaty between Sweden and the US, extraditing Assange to Sweden would, she said, get around the normal safeguards and be “a tick box straight to the US”.