The British home secretary, Sajid Javid, has just signed a request for Julian Assange to be extradited to the US where he faces an 18-count indictment, issued by the US Department of Justice, for charges linked to computer hacking and revealing government secrets in collaboration with Chelsea Manning, formerly Bradley Manning. The charges all fall under the Espionage Act.
“He’s rightly behind bars. There’s an extradition request from the US that is before the courts tomorrow but yesterday I signed the extradition order and certified it and that will be going in front of the courts tomorrow.” – Sayid Javid
Officially, Assange is accused of soliciting and publishing classified information and conspiring to hack into a government computer. “It is a decision ultimately for the courts, but there is a very important part of it for the home secretary and I want to see justice done at all times and we’ve got a legitimate extradition request, so I’ve signed it, but the final decision is now with the courts,” said Javid.
If you were to look entirely at the law, you might say “yes, technically if he did these things, there is a case to be made.” However, was Assange involved enough in this process to prosecute him? Did he do something that was a disservice to the people? Or did he do something that was a disservice to the powerful elite?
That is something for you to decide, ideally without the manipulative rhetoric from the powerful elite and the mainstream media they own. Attempts to suggest he threatens the patriotism of the US and the national security of the US might be something to observe as a clear sign of bait and switch: get upset at this, instead of looking at what he revealed about the powerful elite in the totality of the leaks he has put out.
Swedish courts had just recently rejected an extradition request for Assange to be sent back to Sweden for an alleged rape case dating back to 2010. Assange denies the accusation and has since the beginning. The decision out of Upsalla to deny his request was fueled by the claim that Assange did not need to be detained.
Assange is currently in jail for 50 weeks for skipping bail after he spent seven years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. He was recently too ill to appear at a hearing at Westminster magistrates court in relation to the US request. The hearing has been rescheduled for Friday, June 14th, 2019.
Thomas Garner, an extradition lawyer at Gherson Solicitors, said Javid’s certification of the request was “an important though merely procedural step” to start the extradition process.
“I would expect the court to set a preliminary timetable for the extradition process tomorrow,” he said. “It is likely to be many months before any hearing at the magistrates court and of course either side may then seek to appeal that decision in due course. Despite this, the Swedish authorities will be monitoring the process carefully as the further down the line the US proceedings get the harder it might become for the home secretary to give precedence to any competing request.”
From a systematic standpoint, this is a necessary procedural step in extraditing Assange to the US and it has been granted. It could have been blocked but Javid felt it was necessary for ‘justice to be served.’
As we can see, this is an example of a spot where someone could have stood up and said “no I don’t support this given what it does to protect the powerful elite and given what it does to journalism and the maintenance of secrecy.” Obviously, Javid would have faced much criticism if he had stood up, perhaps legal problems too, we were not able to confirm that, but we are seeing a system play entirely along with the power elite in this case.