BY NICOLE THOMPSON
ANCHOR MEGAN MURPHY
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange lost his latest appeal in the UK to avoid extradition to Sweden-- where he’s suspected of committing sex crimes. MSNBC’s Chris Jansing has more.
“Big setback for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange who’s been fighting to stay in England. A London court has ordered Assange to be deported to Sweden. There’s he’s going to face rape and molestation charges. Two women accuse him, but Assange says he’s innocent.”
Swedish authorities haven’t formally charged Assange --but he is wanted for questioning. The whistleblower spoke to reporters after the verdict was read, and expressed frustration with the British courts. The BBC has his statement.
“The European arrest warrant is so restrictive that it prevents UK courts from considering the facts of a case, as judges have made clear here today. We will be considering our next step in the days ahead... No doubt there will be many attempts made to try and spin these proceedings as they occurred today, but they are merely technical.”
Assange has maintained the allegations against him are false and are actually political payback for publishing classified documents through Wikileaks. British investigative reporter Tony Gosling agrees-- here’s what he tells Russia’s RT.
“Well I think the object here is actually to just disrupt Wikileaks, to stop it functioning, and they’ve been successful here. Ultimately I hope that the Supreme Court, although I don’t have a fantastic amount of faith in it, is going to do the right thing, is going to deliver justice, which is to actually give Assange a pat on the back... What we’ve got here is a kind of Orwellian situation, and it appears that Orwell is right. That the people who are telling the truth are being closed down.”
Closed down is spot on, CNN reports, Wikileaks has problems beyond Assange’s legal woes.
“PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, all these companies have basically frozen Wikileaks’ account, and that means that the main source of its funding has been cut off dramatically. In fact, Wikileaks says that 95 percent of its funding has dropped off... Since Julian Assange lost the appeal, he is responsible for paying the prosecutor’s costs as well, and this is something his lawyers said he did not want to do.”
So what’s the next step for Assange? Al Jazeera says, this battle is far from over, but it doesn’t look too good for Assange.
“He doesn’t have an automatic right of appeal, but if his lawyers can convince the judges that there is an issue of wider public interest, it would go to the highest court in Britain, that is the Supreme Court. That would be in early 2012, probably... It is customary for one European country to extradite to another when it gets a request.”
Sweden’s English news site, The Local, reports - Assange’s accusers are, quote, “relieved”, by today’s ruling.
Transcript by Newsy.