COVID-19 Special Coverage
Sweden top court rejects Assange appeal
Sweden top court rejects Assange appeal

[JURIST] The Swedish Supreme Court [official website, in Swedish] on Monday rejected an appeal by WikiLeaks [official website] founder Julian Assange [Telegraph profile] seeking to overturn a 2010 arrest warrant for alleged sexual assault that was reissued [JURIST report] by a lower court late last year. The warrant requires Assange to leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he has found asylum [JURIST report] and travel to Sweden in order to be questioned about the allegations. Assange refuses to leave the embassy without a guarantee that he will not be extradited to the US to face espionage charges. In a 4-1 decision, the court allowed the arrest warrant to stand, as accommodations [JURIST report] had already been made to question Assange in London.

The WikiLeaks trials [JURIST op-ed] have garnered much debate in the US. Last year US Army Major General Jeffery Buchanan upheld [JURIST report] Private Chelsea Manning’s [advocacy website; JURIST news archive] conviction and prison sentence for turning over classified information to WikiLeaks. In September 2013 Manning filed for a presidential pardon of the 35-year sentence [JURIST reports] she received in August. The sentence came a month after she was found guilty [JURIST report] of violating the Espionage Act but was acquitted of the more serious charge of “aiding the enemy.” In April 2013 the judge raised the burden of proof [JURIST report] in order to require the government to prove that Manning “knowingly” aided al Qaeda. Earlier that year Manning pleaded guilty [JURIST report] to 10 of 22 charges for providing classified materials to Wikileaks. In the same month the judge dismissed a motion [JURIST report] that argued for Manning’s release based on a lack of a speedy trial.