On Thursday, a United Nations panel put the kabash on extradition of Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks – a website that has no qualms about publishing state secrets of any country – from the United Kingdom’s embassy in Ecuador to Sweden to face rape charges in that country.
Assange made a complaint in 2014 to the UN Panel on Arbitrary Detention claiming that officials at the UK embassy looking to extradite him to Sweden had no call to detain him even if the Brits claimed it was their duty to do so. In the early hours of February 4, the UN panel sided with Assange. He is now free to leave the embassy, however, Swedish officials still want answers from Assange, who is Australian, and are working with the Ecuadorian police to arrange for questioning.
The base reason, it is believed, for Assange fighting extradition to Sweden is his fear of eventually being extradited to the United States to face charges related to online publication of US government and military secrets. According to Vice News, it is assumed that a federal grand jury has convened and a case is being put together for Assange’s prosecution.
He believes the allegations are a politically motivated ruse that will ultimately result in him being extradited to the United States to press charges over his activities with Wikileaks, which posts classified government documents online. It’s believed there is a US Grand Jury investigation underway over the publication of US military and diplomatic documents. “It is a fact…The US Department of Justice has repeatedly confirmed that there is a pending prosecution,” says the Wikileaks website.
Ultimately, any UN panel as no control over Sweden, Ecuador, United Kingdom, or the United States, for that matter. However, the UN holds enough “good will” internationally to force the nations involved to at least allow Mr. Assange the freedom to move about Ecuador, where he has asylum while he is being questioned.
In a statement posted on Twitter in the early hours of Thursday morning, Assange said: “Should the UN announce tomorrow that I have lost my case against the United Kingdom and Sweden I shall exit the embassy at noon on Friday to accept arrest by British police as there is no meaningful prospect of further appeal.
“However, should I prevail and the state parties be found to have acted unlawfully, I expect the immediate return of my passport and the termination of further attempts to arrest me.”
The man is in South America. With a passport and freedom to move….