Specifically regarding the extradition of Julian Assange, two primary issues were raised:
1) despite facing extradition, Julian Assange has not been charged with a crime (the EAW was therefore incorrectly applied as it was not issued for the purpose of prosecution, but investigation)
2) the European Arrest Warrant for Julian was requested by a private prosecutor who is not an official representative.
Julian Assange’s defense will, on the 5th December, consist essentially of these two points. The High Court of London will then decide whether these arguments are of “general public importance” and based on this decision, whether his appeal against extradition to Sweden will proceed to the Supreme Court as intended.
In several instances, Members of the Parliament were critical of the Scott Baker Review of UK Extradition Arrangements as it disregards evidence that the Extradition Arrest Warrant is being used for investigation rather prosecution and denies EAWs are being used in cases where there is insufficient evidence.
The EAW, Members of the Parliament agreed, ‘blindly assumes fairness in justice systems across Europe’ and can, for lack of strict legislation lead to miscarriage of justice.
It was conceded that the European Arrest Warrant must be reviewed in order to ensure its use for investigation is barred, issued under stricter guidelines as appropriate procedures are more difficult to evaluate in a foreign country with foreign language and foreign jurisdiction, and that the issue of excessive pretrial detention is also a pressing matter.
A requirement that extradition can be refused in case there is insufficient evidence to prosecute a citizen in a foreign country was also suggested.
WikiLeaks itself was mentioned briefly, as a cable on Gordon Brown’s private plea to have Gary McKinnon serve sentence in the UK was brought into discussion.
[Click here if you wish to contribute to the Julian Assange Defence Fund.]
“The legislation would exempt employees who violate nondisclosure statements if they are acting within federal laws set up to protect whistleblowers. But many experts say those protections are inadequate because they limit whom whistleblowers may approach.
News organizations, for instance, are off-limits.
Cardin declined to speculate on how his legislation, if enacted, would have affected the Drake or WikiLeaks cases. He acknowledged the problem of over-classification but said lawmakers still must take steps to ensure that legitimately secret material is protected.” [via Baltimore Sun]
353 days under house arrest without charge.
November 28: On the anniversary of Cablegate, a new WikiLeaks online submission system is to be launched.
November 28: Julian Assange and Kristinn Hrafnsson debate the topic The WikiLeaks effect: the rebirth of investigative journalism at the GEN News World Summit (Hong Kong).
November 29: Channel 4 airs new special ‘WikiLeaks: Secrets and Lies’.
December 5: Public hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice (London) to determine whether Julian Assange’s appeal will proceed to the Supreme Court.
December 7: Julian Assange will have spent a year under house arrest without charge.
December 16: A pretrial hearing for Bradley Manning is scheduled to begin at Fort Meade (Maryland) and is expected to last five days. Supporters will gather outside the Court.
December 17: Vigil for Bradley Manning on his 24th Birthday:
Saturday, December 17 · 12:00am - 11:30pm
[For more details, see Vigil for Bradley Manning on his 24th Birthday's facebook page.]
Send small gifts and birthday cards to the following address
Bradley Manning 89289
830 Sabalu Road
Fort Leavenworth, KS 6602