the first time, we are publishing an article based solely on
information already in the public domain. Our proprietor, Mr
Appleby, has asked us to publish the following comments on the case
of Julian Assange:
Assange is at risk of extradition to the US. There are many online
articles on his case, which is very important to everyone.
2010, he exposed evidence of terrible crimes committed by US forces
and of deliberate failures by the US authorities to deal with it properly. Even if he
wrongly breached confidentiality in some ways, the benefits he
brought probably far outweighed any harm he may have caused.
Shortly afterwards, he was accused, by the Swedish authorities, of rape. They tried to have him extradited to Sweden but abandoned their case in 2019. I refer to the article headed “How Swedish authorities invented the rape charge against Julian Assange” published online on 2 March 2020 by Pressenza International Press Agency. In particular, I refer to to the following extract “... his lawyer said that Assange was willing to testify in Sweden, but demanded diplomatic assurances that Sweden would not extradite him to the United States. However, the Swedes consistently refused to give such an assurance.”
my opinion, the previous President of Ecuador was right to give him
asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.
have been very disappointed by successive British Governments. They
have failed to act according to a system of ethics I would support.
Extradition Treaty with the US is unsatisfactory. In particular, it
contains no requirement that, prior to any application by the US to
extradite anyone, the US must have taken all reasonable steps to
enforce US criminal law and international law against others. (A
similar requirement should, of course, apply to the UK.) It should
have been renegotiated or abandoned long ago. (There are countries
with which the UK, for good reasons, does not have such treaties.)
Furthermore, President Trump has a bad human rights record and is not credible. No-one should rely on him to uphold human rights. It would be pointless to try to renegotiate the Treaty with him but I hope that he will soon be replaced by someone better. The British Government should, as soon as possible, introduce a Bill into Parliament to abandon the Treaty. It could be enacted very quickly.
By failure to take appropriate action, successive British Governments have caused Mr Assange years of distress and wasted many millions of pounds of public money, by wasting police time and legal costs and keeping him in prison.
doubt that, from the point of view of any of the British Governments
involved, this case has involved nothing more than fulfilment of its
obligations under the Treaty. Many
rich people in the UK and US would probably incur huge losses if the
UK were to act as, in my opinion, it should, especially if, as
appears likely, it will soon leave the EU with no satisfactory trade
is strong circumstantial evidence that the Conservative Governments
from 2015 onwards have been subject to influences not publicly
disclosed. The following is an example: In 2010, the Coalition
Government agreed that tests, on animals, of household products and
their ingredients, should be banned. In 2015, the new
Government implemented an unsatisfactory partial ban and the present
Conservative Government is still prevaricating over this issue.
range of household products already available is more than
adequate.) Details of this scandal are on the website of
also propose that anyone subject to an application for extradition to
any country should be entitled to have it considered by a
jury. Even if I had confidence in the honesty of every judge I would
advocate this, because all juries are entitled to return perverse
verdicts. (Juries have, occasionally, for various good reasons,
returned “not guilty” verdicts, in relation to defendants who
have evidently been “guilty” in law.)
will not surprise me if Mr Assange is extradited, tortured and / or
murdered. If he is, the British Government will be partly
ADDENDUM 22 SEPTEMBER 2020
Since publication of the above on 17 September 2020, there have been two important developments: