I'm sure glad that I'm not a judge on this case; that's a whole lot of weight and it's going to take one creative and well-crafted verdict to settle!
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Assange appeal against extradition turned down: judges wanting European court to step in because of a deliberate ´mistrial´?
Today the British Supreme Court turned down an appeal against its onw decision meaning Julian Assange has no other legal means to resist extradition in the British Courts. All that´s left is a procedure for the European Court for Human Rights where success seems far-fetched.
I have written multiple post on the subject and earlier today I commented miserable that Assange´s laywer had made a huge fault and that this was the end.
However I have now read the short statement and after some reflection it looks like the Supreme Court has opened a wide gap for a procedure before the Human Rights court. I will explain, bear with me.
Last time I reported that the highest British court did something very unusual: they more or less invited an appeal against their own decision and gave Assange defense even a good insight on what to appeal. In itself this was such a rare event that two weeks ago I gave Assange a chance. The majority decision of 5-2 was a sign there had been some discussion.
To my (and all news papers apparently) initial surprise the appeal was turned down within two days with a short message that the appeal had no merit. Clare Montgomery QC, Assange´s defense got a slap on the wrist as she was told she missed the opportunity in the actual court case to discuss the issue, so she lost her appeal.
Strange whey you practically invite someone to appeal to immediately respond with a no and a kick in the but for the defense for even trying. Even more remarkable was that the Supreme Court in a terse statement said that Assange could not be extradited until 14 days have passed. This period is exactly the time the European Court has to decide if it takes on a case.
But what if the Supreme Court had setup a trap: they noticed that during the actual trial the defense counsel missed the opportunity to tackle a legal issues which has to do with the relevance of the Vienna treaty for this case. I will skip the actual problem for brevity, but the clue is that the judges spend most of their time discussing this and came with their 5-2 majority decision.
What if the majority of the judges agreed it should have been discussed but miss Clare missed it. Legally they couldn´t do a lot except steer towards an error of the defense which weakened Assange position: an opportunity for he European Court to accept the case. To do so they had to offer the appeal option and tell the defense what her line had to be.
The moment the judges got what they expected they could turn it down and blame Clare Montgomery for missing the opportunity to bring this up in the actual court proceedings. All they had to add was a veto on extradition for the next 14 days so that the case could be handed down to the European Rights Court which could jump in on the error of the defense.
Sounds far-fetched? I´m convinced the Lords and Ladies did conspire to get to this outcome. They had no other legal way out to help Assange, so they schemed to get to this point. By now it wouldn´t surprise me if the esteemed British judged already spoke with their European colleagues and prepared the ball to get the European Rights Courts inot a scoring position.
Let´s see how this pans out: I see a conspiracy, but a very good one. British foxes at their best. The question is did the defense realize this setup; no doubt time will tell
edit: link to the SC statement: http://www.supremecourt.gov.uk/news/julian-assange-v-swedish-prosecution-authority.html
Max Huijgen – Google+ – Assange to be extradited to Sweden? There is a catch! Most…
Assange to be extradited to Sweden? There is a catch! Most newspapers run headlines like “Wikileaks’ Assange loses UK Supreme Court extradition appeal”…