: A British court ordered WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange be extradited
to Sweden this morning. Assange, whose leaks of classified state documents have made him an international lightning rod in recent months, is facing allegations of sexual assault from two Stockholm women.
Judge Howard Riddle's ruling--while not
a surprise--complicates Assange's campaign for diplomatic transparency and sets the stage for months of legal wrangling as he attempts to fight extradition. (Good thing he opened
that t-shirt shop.)
Update to come...Update
: Judge Howard Riddle's complete ruling
is available online, but you'd be well-served by just skipping to page
ten. That's where Riddle says Assange lawyer Bjorn Hurtig made "a
deliberate attempt to mislead" the court when he claimed Swedish
prosecutor Marianne Ny did not attempt to interview Assange about the
allegations. Riddle also calls Hurtig an "unreliable witness," and says
it is a "reasonable assumption from the facts" that Assange was
"deliberately avoiding interrogation" when he went missing for a week in
Assange has seven days to appeal the ruling.
According to the New York Times, his legal team "immediately indicated
that they would do so." The Financial
notes the appeal "may not be heard until the end of April."
Until then, Assange is free on bail.
While the charges in
question stem from Assange's personal life, the discussion soon turned
to the impact today's ruling will have on the day-to-day operations of
WikiLeaks. "A serious blow to the document-leaking site and its
founder," declared The Wall Street Journal's Jeanne
. "The decision ensures that Mr. Assange's efforts to build
WikiLeaks will be to some degree detoured." On Twitter, Salon's Glenn
was more optimistic, noting Assange "charged with nothing
[by Swedish authorities]" and the "trial in Sweden will occur in
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