Judge Sir Jonathan Swift issues 3-page judgment dismissing all Assange’s grounds for overturning extradition in case that should never have come this far
Julian Assange’s extradition to the US has moved a step closer after High Court judge Sir Jonathan Swift ruled out all his grounds for appeal in a three-page judgment, despite the farcical collapse of the US government’s grounds for his extradition – that he was a hacker rather than a journalist – when its witness who had corroborated the claim admitted under oath that he had lied all along at the behest of US government agents.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) director Rebecca Vincent said of the significance of the judgment:
It is absurd that a single judge can issue a three-page decision that could land Julian Assange in prison for the rest of his life and permanently impact the climate for journalism around the world. The historical weight of what happens next cannot be overstated; it is time to put a stop to this relentless targeting of Assange and act instead to protect journalism and press freedom. Our call on President Biden is now more urgent than ever: drop these charges, close the case against Assange, and allow for his release without further delay.
Assange’s wife Stella said on Twitter:
On Tuesday next week my husband Julian Assange will make a renewed application for appeal to the High Court. The matter will then proceed to a public hearing before two new judges at the High Court and we remain optimistic that we will prevail and that Julian will not be extradited to the United States where he faces charges that could result in him spending the rest of his life in a maximum security prison for publishing true information that revealed war crimes committed by the U.S. government.
The detention and would-be extradition of Julian Assange has been marked by Establishment abuse and misconduct, from the decision to allow the US request despite its main witness voluntarily discrediting himself – and thus the whole US government case – to the destruction of emails between Keir Starmer’s Crown Prosecution Service and Swedish prosecutors, though enough evidence remained to show Starmer’s crew warning the Swedes not to ‘dare’ change their mind about wanting Assange sent to Sweden from the UK.
Assange will now lodge a further appeal on Tuesday. If that is rejected, his last recourse is an application to the European Court of Human Rights.
Solidarity with Julian Assange. The courts must enact real justice and reject this assault on him and on journalism and the democracy that depends on it. He must be freed.
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