08172017What's Hot:

The Assange case

Julian Assange is mean and egocentric, there's no doubt about it. Years ago, he betrayed the trust of his British supporters. And he was suspected to be behind the publication of Hillary Clinton's private emails, which sank her campaign – which in turn destroyed the last remnants of his aura of fighter for transparency. Some of his critics believe he's Putin's toy and a closet Trumpist. He keeps denying this, but you know we can't trust him.

However, the case against him has nothing to do with law. The way he was attacked reeks very strongly of political witch-hunt. It was clear from day one that the Swedish case rested on very questionable foundations. He was accused if rape and sexual harassment of two women who he claims consented to have sex with him. Nothing of what happened behind closed doors could be proven fully. In any case, there was no violence involved.

A number of legal procedures aiming at his extradition to Sweden have even reached UK's supreme court – and this too reeks of crafted scandal. The British media washed their hands, citing the independence of their Swedish colleagues, and got out of the whole scandal.

Formally, the order for his extradition remains valid. Assange avoided extradition by seeking refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he lived for years in a single cell, just like in jail, awaiting a political solution to his problem. Now Sweden has ended the court case. It was 7 years after the whole drama began that a Swedish lawyer bothered to travel to London to personally question the suspected. As expected, this questioning didn't bring any news into the investigation.

Still, the gates of the Ecuadorian embassy won't open. The British police says they'd instantly arrest Assange if he walks out that door. The charge: violating the probation deadline. And because the international arrest order still hasn't been revoked. Although the stated rationale may be a bit controversial, the intentions behind it are clear. For reasons unknown, the authorities won't free Assange. We don't need conspiracy theories to suppose that there are hidden powers involved here. Because Assange has all the reasons to fear the new US government. High-ranking Republicans have already insisted for his jailing. There are rumors that a court case is being prepared for him in the US. But the British government neither denies nor confirms if the US has issued a formal request for his extradition. And this is crossing a few lines.

We may not like Assange. We may dislike all his leaks. But he does have the right of a transparent and fair lawsuit by the rules of the lawful state. Not a witch-hunt. And what's happening right now is a mockery of those principles, and it stinks of arms-twisting. Such methods are more suitable for Erdogan in Turkey. In the EU, they're unacceptable. And whether we like it or not, the UK is still a EU member. Assange's prosecution now looks like political prosecution, and he's being made a martyr. A thing he probably doesn't deserve.

Source: Talk politics.

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