Assange’s Extradition(s)

An excellent piece here by the redoubtable ex-diplomat Craig Murray.

It looks as though Sweden has finally come to her senses and abandoned the effort to extradite Assange on the very flimsy ‘rape’ charges laid against him (by his prosecutor, improperly) four or five years ago. (See, et passim.) Whoopee!

But hold your horses. The dropping of the Swedish extradition request now, of course, leaves the American  one the only one left on the table. And that’s much more serious. In Sweden he probably would have been acquitted. If not he’d get a couple of months in a comfortable Swedish prison. (I’ve visited one. It was better than some B&Bs I’ve stayed in.) But there’s much less chance of that in the USA, and far more danger of a really draconian punishment for Assange if he were found guilty: decades in one of those awful American gaols, or worse. And for what? For being a journalist and uncovering American military atrocities.

The glimpse of light in all this is that, in these circumstances, it might be difficult for the British authorities to agree to his extradition to the USA; firstly for decent, liberal reasons, and secondly because of the outcry it would – certainly should  – provoke in Britain. A ‘political’ extradition would be far less publicly acceptable than one for a sexual offence, in this ‘Me-Too’ age. A pro-American Brexit government might not demur.  (Look how the leading Brexiteers are just now cosying up to Trump.) Until that comes about, however, this will be a far hotter potato to handle than the Swedish one. The Foreign and Home Offices must be worried. I bet they wish he was out of the way.

Not that this can have anything to do with the sudden deterioration in Assange’s health since he’s been incarcerated by the English courts in Belmarsh prison, can it? Of course not. Britain doesn’t do that sort of thing, does she? – I genuinely think not; but you can see why more conspiracy-minded folk will be suspicious. In any event there’s trouble afoot. Watch this space.

About bernardporter2013

Retired academic, author, historian.
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