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MEPs reject request for a debate on Julian Assange case
Date 15/02/2011 12:50  Author webmaster  Hits 4086  Language Global
By Gerard Batten MEP   RELATED VIDEO
On Monday night (14.02.2011) I proposed a motion for a debate in the European Parliament in Strasbourg that said:

"Does the case against Julian Assange demonstrate the possible abuse of the European Arrest Warrant for political purposes?"

I had only sixty seconds to speak and I emphasised that this was not about  Mr Assange's guilt or innocence in relation to the Swedish rape accusations but rather if and how the EAW procedure is being abused. Under the EAW no prima facie evidence can be considered or taken into account by the court and it has almost no power to refuse extradition, which has now been reduced to mere 'Judicial Surrender'.

Julian Assange's case is just the highest profile one in a growing number of cases which highlight the fact that gross injustices are being done because our traditional protections under English law have been swept away under the EAW. I had already heard on the grapevine that the Parliamentary authorities wanted to keep this subject off the agenda at this or any future session.
The only person to oppose my motion was Martin Shultz, the Leader of the Socialist Group, the second largest group in the Parliament. He said that it was not the Parliament's job to discuss individual cases. Why not? It was the Parliament that passed the law so why shouldn't they discuss what those laws mean for the people they affect?

It was significant that great Mr Shultz was there and spoke against a humble MEP such as myself. I was supported by my UKIP colleagues and other members of our group Europe of Freedom and Democracy, but the contemptible European Parliament voted 'No' to holding my debate.
But I am not finished yet, I have other ideas to show how the EAW is being misused in this case. I met with Mr Assange's lawyer last week and it seems that the Swedish authorities are using the EAW and the rape allegations to get Mr Assange into Swedish custody so that he can be held awaiting extradition to the USA when they can decide what US law he is supposed to have broken. Watch this space.