Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has lost his extradition appeal in a British court and will likely be sent back to Sweden to face rape and sexual assault charges.
Judges at Britain‘s highest court rejected by a majority of 5-2 Assange’s argument that a European arrest warrant for his extradition was invalid.
However, the court gave his lawyers two weeks to contest their ruling, and any extradition has been put on hold until Assange decides whether to challenge the judges’s decision.
Two lower courts had already ruled in favor of the extradition of Assange, a self-styled anti-secrecy campaigner seen as a menace by Washington and other governments.
Swedish prosecutors want to question Assange over allegations of rape and sexual assault made by two female former WikiLeaks volunteers. He has been fighting a legal battle against extradition since his arrest in Britain in Dec. 2010.
The former computer hacker gained international prominence in 2010 when WikiLeaks began releasing secret video footage and thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables about Iraq and Afghanistan, in the largest leak of classified documents in U.S. history.
That made him a hero to anti-censorship campaigners. But Washington was furious about the release of classified documents.
Assange was not present at the court hearing but WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson said he saw Washington’s hand in the ruling. “This is not the final outcome. What we have here is retribution from the U.S.,” he said.
Assange has faced widespread criticism that he put lives at risk by blowing the cover of sources who spoke to diplomats and intelligence agents in countries where it was dangerous to do so.
WikiLeaks has since faded from the headlines due to a dearth of scoops and a blockade by credit card companies that has made donations to the site almost impossible. Assange’s personal standing has been damaged by the Swedish sex case and he has lost support from most of his celebrity backers.
The Taliban announced back in 2010 that they would seek out and kill any Afghan who assisted the US and whose name was disclosed in the war logs released by Wikileaks. It’s impossible to say whether they made good on that threat, but the idea that they could make it in the first place is outrageous. Assange’s handiwork made relations between nations more difficult by revealing the private thoughts of US diplomats and policymakers about the personalities of the foreign leaders they were dealing with as well as the negotiations they were conducting.
But Assange is not interested in “transparency” or censorship. He wants to see the US damaged – just like any other enemy. Why this predatory man-child was ever feted by the left is beyond comprehension.