Assange and US “Assurances”

US assurances don’t mean much. See, Sholam Weiss:…

”… by letters dated 8 February and 14 May 2002, the United States provided the State party with assurances that if the author was extradited with Austria denying one or more criminal counts on which the applicant was convicted, the presiding United States judge would be required, on the condition of the Rule of Specialty, to re-sentence him, and that a re-sentencing would permit him to appeal both his sentence and conviction. The assurances, contained in the letter dated 14 May 2002, were drafted as follows:

(1) Assurance on U.S. Law: “If Weiss is extradited subject to the condition that he not be punished for offenses involving false statements to government officials or in judicial proceedings, the presiding United States judge would be required to re-sentence Weiss in order to give effect to the condition.”

(2) Assurance by Expert Opinion, based on assurance # 3 regarding US law: “In our opinion, this would result in Weiss being permitted to file a full appeal on all issues, including the guilty verdict, errors committed during the trial, constitutional issues, and his sentence.”

(3) Assurance on U.S. Law: “Under United States law, a defendant does not separately appeal his verdict and a sentence. Any appeal is from the final judgment, which contains both the finding of guilt and the imposition of punishment.”

(4) Assurance on future U.S. actions in court: “Furthermore, in any proceedings before any United States court, the United States would take the position that the re-sentencing permits Weiss to appeal both the sentence and the guilty verdict.”

Following the author’s extradition, the United States Government filed a motion with the Middle District Court of Florida (Orlando Division) to re-sentence the author in accordance with the order under which he was extradited from Austria (Rule of Specialty). Specifically, the United States Government requested that the Court re-sentence the author on all counts of conviction except Count 93, which alleged obstruction of justice. On 15 August 2002, the Court denied the United States Government’s motion, ruling that the case was different from the vast majority of cases applying the rule of specialty to an extradition as, in all but rare cases, extradition occurs before trial, and the rule of specialty controls the charges for which the requesting State may prosecute a defendant. The Court ruled that a sentence was not alterable at the will of the Government, in accordance with the principle of separation of powers, and that the latter had not cited any authority which would provide the Court the power to modify the author’s sentence. It added that the rule of specialty was being asserted by the Government, not to limit the offences for which the author can be prosecuted but rather to modify a valid judgement of the Court. The circumstances under which a district court may modify or vacate a sentence were strictly limited by statute and the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure which did not encompass the circumstances of the present case. The Court also referred to earlier United States jurisprudence related to extradition confirming that re-sentencing was prohibited under the constitutional doctrine of separation of powers.”…

US “assurances” are meaningless.

#Assange #Assangeextradition