Just when you thought it might be over, the story has a "but". Wikileaks founder Julian Assange lost his appeal against extradition to Sweden to face allegations of sex offences on Wednesday.
And within three sentences, it's apparent that Assange will probably appeal.
The 40-year-old is accused of raping one woman and "sexually molesting and coercing" another in Stockholm almost two years ago. He has always insisted the allegations are politically motivated, and a conspiracy to get him extradited to the US over his Wikileaks publication of diplomatic cables.
Assange is, obviously, innocent until proven guilty. Except he has
consistently refused to even face questioning over the incidents that
led to the Swedish allegations. Reporters who have worked with Assange in the past have repeatedly recounted how the slightest questioning of the Australian will turn them into perceived enemies. In fact, Assange seems to see enemies and conspiracies everywhere. Perhaps he's Mamata.
Regardless, Assange clearly has questions to answer in Sweden, and he
will not. He wants consequences for everyone but himself, and demands
answers of everyone while refused to provide his own.
According to the BBC report, he didn't even turn up at the Supreme Court hearing, claiming he was "stuck in traffic". Having previously done court reporting, judges don't take kindly to that excuse and usually put out warrants for the accused. This case is slightly different, but it would still be interesting to see which foreign conspiracy he would blame for traffic snarls.
Some people view themselves as above the law. Former Liberian President Charles Taylor, who was jailed on Wednesday for 50 years for aiding and abetting war crimes didn't recognise the legitimacy of the Hague, just as others before him.
But justice was done in the end.
Assage wants justice for everyone but himself. Yes, very, VERY rarely, rape or sexual assault allegations are made up.
It has happened. But an overwhelming majority, in the thousands and
millions of victims worldwide, never see justice. The attackers do not see themselves as guilty; their victims "asked for it". Most cases don't even get prosecuted and an equally large number are never reported to police in the first place. Assange, even if he is innocent, has shown no understanding of this glaring lack of justice for victims of rape and other sex offences. He would have done his public image a world of good had he ever considered someone other than himself.
But he can't. He simply seems incapable of looking at the consequences of actions or statements and instead views everyone as out to get him.
Assange views himself as some sort of journalistic hero but I struggle to believe that sometimes, especially since far braver reporters in far more dangerous countries have been killed for far more important stories.
He can appeal for the Supreme Court to re-open his case, according to reports, based on concern over points of law raised by the judges that were not raised in court for the appeal. If that is the case, then the appeal should be reconsidered. All points of law should be exhausted as quickly as possible.
There are extradition cases in the UK that have dragged on for nearly a decade now and this must not become yet another one. Because if Assange isn't willing to give answers or face justice, then he must be forced, however conspiratorial he may think that is.
Published Date: May 30, 2012 07:55 pm | Updated Date: Jun 01, 2012 10:19 am