The South American media has reverberated lately with reports that the CIA has been using drug money in efforts to destabilize the government of Ecuador's President, Rafael Correa. If these stories are accurate, then the plan's exposure and apparent failure may illustrate the impotence of traditional U.S. interventionism in the new South America, which increasingly rejects traditional political and economic servitude to its northern and European neighbors.
This is our live-coverage on Julian Assange's request for political asylum. See the archives for coverage of previous days.
On May 30, the UK Supreme Court ruled in favor of Julian Assange's extradition to Sweden, five to two. But Mr Assange's lawyer Dinah Rose QC - as an act of quick thinking which earned her The Guardian's "star of the week" - raised a point which was able to delay his extradition and potentially reopen the case as a whole. Since the decision was based on interpretation of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties - something not brought up during the February proceedings - Ms Rose argued that the defence hadn't the chance to properly contest the point.
Mr Assange's legal team has until June 13 to make an application on this matter. The Supreme Court will then decide whether or not to reopen the case. If reopened, the court will accept more submissions, either in document form or via further hearings. If not, the ruling will stand and Mr Assange will be extradited to Sweden within 10 days.
Julian Assange has spent over 550 days in detainment without charge. Sweden wishes to extradite him solely for the purpose of questioning, yet denies all offers to question him in the UK, despite it being completely legal to do so.
His battle is far from over and people around the world must continue to stand up and support him.
The Hon Julia Gillard MP
CANBERRA ACT 2600 4 June 2012
Dear Prime Minister
RE: JULIAN ASSANGE
Regrettably we feel compelled to write to you about the plight of Mr Assange.
Julian Assange interviewed on Late Night Live Radio, 6 June 2012. Full audio is available via the RadioNational website.
Phillip Adams: Good day, beloved listeners. Last night on this little wireless program, I was talking to Shapiro about the Obama kill-list. It's pretty dangerous being deemed an enemy of the American people these days, because at any moment a drone will come in and take you out. And of course tonight we've learned that another member of Bin Laden Proprietary Limited has been killed by one of those precision attacks. I think if I was Julian Assange, I'd be more concerned with a drone attack than with mere extradition, but let's see how Julian is feeling at this time of, well, endless strife. Julian, who's talking to us from his hideout in the English countryside where he's under house arrest, joins us on the program. How are you coping with this incredible stress level?
Julian Assange interviewed on 2UE Radio, 4 June 2012. Full audio is available via the 2UE website.
Tim Shaw: Well, I'm really pleased to say, as promised, joining me live on the line from London is founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange. Good morning from here, good afternoon/evening to you, Julian.
Julian Assange: Good morning.
On the 30th May 2012, Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam raised concerns over Julian Assange's looming extradition to the US before Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The response he obtained regarding the protection of Julian Assange's rights as an Australian citizen (fully transcribed here) was quite vague and evasive.
Since its 2004 debut, use of the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) has exploded; in those eight years, its flaws have already destroyed or destabilized many lives. Although high-ranking EU officials now admit that the current EAW system is a "threat to human rights," EAW reform may not happen soon enough to prevent it from snaring more victims ... including Julian Assange.
"Edmond Arapi was tried and convicted in his absence of killing Marcello Miguel Espana Castillo in Genoa, Italy in October 2004. He was given a sentence of 19 years, later reduced to 16 years on appeal. Edmond had no idea that he was wanted for a crime or that the trial even took place. In fact, Edmond hadn't left the UK at all between the years of 2000 to 2006. On 26 October 2004, the day that Marcello Miguel Espana Castillo was murdered in Genoa, Edmond was at work at Café Davide in Trentham, and attending classes to gain a chef's qualification. Edmond was arrested in June 2009 at Gatwick Airport on a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) from Italy, while he was on his way back from a family holiday in Albania. It was the first he knew of the charges against him in Italy ... A British court ordered his extradition on 9 April 2010."
Mainstream media around the world has been plastered with headlines stating Julian Assange's impending extradition to Sweden. But the ruling is far more complicated than that, and the case currently has the potential of being reopened. This is nearly unprecedented, as Britain has not reopened a case since Pinochet in 1999.
Notwithstanding the clear UK meaning of ‘judicial authority’ to mean a magistrate, judge or court; notwithstanding that Parliamentary debates and reading speeches reiterated that definition; notwithstanding the primacy of the UK parliament to enact law for effect in the UK; notwithstanding the Framework Agreement using the same word(s) in an official English version of it as the Extradition Act: the Supreme Court (decided cases) has stated by majority that parliamentarians were conned because an obscure Convention gives a contrary, minority meaning.
Transcript of the UK Supreme Court handing down the judgment in Julian Assange v Swedish Prosecution Authority, 09:15 on 30 May 2012. The full judgment and further statement is available at the UK Supreme Court's website.
A BBC radio reporter in Stockholm this morning reporting on the Assange case said that Assange left the country not knowing there was an arrest warrant issued for him but managed to avoid bringing up the 5 weeks he waited in Sweden beyond his planned visit to be questioned, only leaving when the Swedes said he could.
The UKSC has the luxury of answering one simple question, whilst the world around swirls with complex issues. Leaving aside the possibility that the case against Assange seems to be politically motivated, that the Americans may want to extradite him, and that the women in question have never claimed that they didn't willingly have sex with Assange, there is still the exploitation of this situation by some powers that be.