[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific

Top Swedish judge defends Wikileaks' Assange

Supreme Court chief calls sex charges against Julian Assange "a mess" and praises him for leaking secret US documents.

Last Modified: 04 Apr 2013 17:00
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Assange has taken asylum in Ecuadorean embassy in London since last June to avoid extradition [Reuters]

A senior Swedish judge has said that the sex-crime allegations against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange are "a mess", and praised him for leaking classified US documents.

Speaking on Wednesday at the University of Adelaide in Australia, Stefan Lindskog, chairman of the Supreme Court of Sweden, also listed legal obstacles to extraditing the 41-year-old Australian to the United States to face prosecution for exposing thousands of classified documents.

Lindskog was critical of the Swedish criminal investigation, and suggested that Sweden's extradition treaty with the United States would not apply to Assange.

"I think it is a mess,'' said Lindskog, referring to the Swedish criminal investigation. "Basically, I think there are some misunderstandings, especially when it comes to the issue of extradition.''

"Extradition shall not be granted when alleged crimes [are] military or political in nature,'' Lindskog said.

Assange has taken asylum in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since last June to avoid extradition to Sweden on sex crime allegations.

Criminal allegations

Assange is wanted in Sweden for questioning over criminal allegations made by two women.

However, he says the allegations are a ploy to get him to Sweden from where he would be extradited to the US.

The US Department of Justice has been investigating WikiLeaks since the website began distributing hundreds of thousands of classified US documents.

Few details of that investigation have been made public.

Assange has refused to comment on whether he had any dealings with Bradley Manning, a US soldier who admitted to leaking classified documents and video clips to Wikileaks, but called him a political prisoner.

Lindskog praised Assange's campaign of publishing the classified information through WikiLeaks.

"He'll be thought of as a person who made public some pieces of classified information to the benefit of mankind," he said.

"It should never be a crime to make known [a] crime of a state,'' he added.

293

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
Featured
Booming global trade in 50-million-year-old amber stones is lucrative, controversial, and extremely dangerous.
Legendary Native-American High Bird was trained in ancient warrior traditions, which he employed in World War II.
Hounded opposition figure says he's hoping for the best at sodomy appeal but prepared to return to prison.
Fears of rising Islamophobia and racial profiling after two soldiers killed in separate incidents.
Group's culture of summary justice is back in Northern Ireland's spotlight after new sexual assault accusations.