Which Pair of Socks Did Julian Assange Wear to Court Today?

November 2, 2011

Photo: Julian Assange arrives at the Royal Courts of Justice surrounded by members of the media for his extradition hearing to find out if he is to face rape allegations in Sweden. (Rex Features via AP Images)

When producer Martin Smith interviewed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange last April for our film WikiSecrets, he noted the whistleblower’s telling wardrobe choice:

Out of picture are his bright blue socks with a yellow crown design. “Crowns of Sweden,” he explained. “I walk on them every day.”

Even today?

Today, of course, comes word that Assange lost his latest extradition appeal and will likely be forced to return to Sweden to face charges that he raped one woman and molested another there last year — accusations he adamantly denies and his lawyer describes as “false and without basis.” Assange has two weeks to appeal the ruling to Britain’s Supreme Court.

This news is the latest in what has been a tough few months for Assange and his organization. Last week, WikiLeaks announced a temporary hold on publishing in order to raise money, claiming that blockades from several U.S. banks and credit card companies were choking off 95 percent of their donations.

Then there was a public spat over Assange’s leaked “unauthorized” autobiography (which, despite widespread coverage, produced dismal sales), and a public battle with former WikiLeaks spokesman Daniel Domscheit-Berg over the destruction of thousands of unpublished documents.

Vaughn Smith, who owns the estate where Assange currently lives, says his friend is worried about his possible extradition’s impact on the organization. “How can you run WikiLeaks from a jail?” Smith asked. “You can’t.”

Update [Nov. 15, 2011]: Assange filed an application today to have his extradition case heard before Britain’s Supreme Court.

Update [Dec. 5, 2011]: Two High Court judges ruled that Assange can petition the Supreme Court to hear his extradition case.

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