Assange ruling 'all wrong': alleged victims' lawyer

5th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

A ruling Monday which allows Julian Assange to pursue his challenge against his extradition to Sweden over sex crime claims before Britain's Supreme Court is regrettable, his accusers' lawyer said.

"It is all wrong," Claes Borgstroem told Sweden's TT news agency after London's High Court ruled the case raised a question "of general public importance" which should be decided by the Supreme Court "as quickly as possible".

Assange's defence attorneys have claimed the Swedish prosecutor who issued the European arrest warrant for the WikiLeaks chief, who has not been charged with any crime but is wanted for questioning, had no power to do so and that the allegations did not amount to extradition offenses.

"The rules are simple," Borgstroem countered.

"If this doesn't end with his extradition, you can just toss out the whole European arrest warrant system, since it then would be useless," he added.

Assange, a 40-year-old Australian citizen, was arrested in London a year ago on a European arrest warrant after Borgstroem's two Swedish clients made allegations of rape and molestation dating back to August 2010.

Assange claims the allegations are politically motivated and linked to whistleblowing website WikiLeaks' release of hundreds of thousands of classified US files about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"It is regrettable that Assange does not choose to get the judicial process over with," Borgstroem said.

One of Assange's Swedish lawyers, Per Samuelson, meanwhile said Monday he was pleased with the British court ruling.

"This means he will get yet another possibility to petition England's Supreme Court. It also means his extradition will be delayed," he told TT, insisting "there are a lot of substantial objections to the extradition."

© 2011 AFP

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