What will happen to Assange on Wednesday?

Posted: May 28, 2012 in Uncategorized


Wednesday marks an important day this week. That is when the Supreme Court hands down its judgment in the now infamous case of Mr Julian Assange. Now people are asking: what will happen in this case? If the Supreme Court rules in Assange’s favour, where will he go? On the other hand, if Assange loses, will he be immediately extradited to Sweden?

This is what most likely will happen:

In the case of winning, Mr Assange will immediately board a flight to Australia. This is because even if he wins it doesn’t necessarily mean that Sweden will withdraw the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) on him. If the EAW remains in force, Assange would face the risk of arrest if entering any other European country. On the other hand, Assange is more than afraid of an extradition request by the USA being filed. Australia, his homeland, would be the best bet for him. However, by no means is Australia to be considered a safe haven for Assange, although his strategy appears to have been to create a favourable atmosphere for him over there. Indeed, if USA would file an extradition request to Australia, the seriousness of the allegations would most likely place Mr Assange into prison for years. As it turns out, in Australia a fully exhausted appeal path against extradition could drag on for approximately 7 years. While bail is always a possibility, it is rarely used due to a very difficult applicable test commonly referred to as Cabal.

On the other hand, if Assange loses, his legal team will file an urgent application for interim measures under Rule 39 of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to prevent his extradition pending appeal. Based on Assange’s behaviour so far, it is reasonable to expect that he will appeal to the ECHR. While Rule 39 is commonly used in deportation and extradition cases to prevent irreversible damage, it is never used lightly. If ECHR would grant the sought measures, it could stop Assange’s extradition until the final judgment in his appeal is handed down. In Abu Hamza’s case the use of Rule 39 caused a delay of 2 years. 

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