Assange can’t be exempt from process of justice
It’s hard to believe that the WikiLeaks soap opera — starring computer hacker and self-described whistleblower Julian Assange — continues to drag on.
In the latest episode, Assange delivered a speech Sunday from the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
Assange has been holed up there for the past two months in a bid to receive asylum and safe passage to South America.
With dozens of police surrounding the building and a police chopper overhead, Assange called on the United States to end its “witch hunt” against WikiLeaks and the organization’s campaign to reveal the internal workings of governments with which it doesn’t agree.
British police want to arrest Assange and deport him, but they are reluctant to act because of international laws granting autonomy and immunity to embassies and their staff.
Complicating matters is the fact that Ecuador has granted Assange asylum.
British and Ecuadorian officials are debating who has jurisdiction over the fugitive now that a British high court has ordered Assange extradited to Sweden.
There are serious legal issues at stake here that have nothing to do with WikiLeaks and the uproar it caused two years ago when it released tens of thousands of sensitive government documents without authorization.
Assange is wanted for questioning in Sweden regarding allegations he forced himself sexually on at least two women.
The larger scandal here is not what the U.S. might do with Assange if it ever gets its hands on him, but rather the fact it has taken the better part of two years to get him to the point where he will have to face questions regarding his dating habits.
Sweden does not have a history of railroading controversial people on trumped-up charges.
If Assange is confident he has done nothing wrong, he should have no problem facing his accusers.
The question of whether he is a persecuted crusader for truth is beside the point.
As for the sorry behaviour of the Ecuadorian government in all this, Great Britain should arrest Assange at once and order the eviction of Ecuador’s diplomatic mission in London as a lesson to others.
Like Assange, Ecuador appears to have a penchant for inserting itself into situations that are none of its business.