Julian Assange Heads to UK Appeals Court—But First, A Swanky 40th B-Day Party Attended by Jolie-Pitts

Tomorrow, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange will begin his extradition appeal in a London court, hoping the Brits will reverse a February decision to send him to Sweden to face rape allegations. Assange claims that if he is extradited, he will face a biased trial that will violate his human rights. He says the British Warrant system failed to examine whether the allegations against him—made by two separate Swedish women—are without merit. If he loses, he's expectedto take his claims all the way to the Supreme Court. (For in-depth analysis of the British Warrant, check the Sydney Morning Herald, and note the amazing headline: "Assange faces enforced leisure to ponder folly of a law passed in haste.")

But if you've got to go to court on a Tuesday, you might as well throw a party on a Saturday. Assange, who's been on house arrest since December in a friend's lavish mansion, held a star-studded birthday bash over the weekend to celebrate his 40th birthday, which was July 3. Not only were Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt rumored to attend, according to the SMH, the guest list also included Oprah Winfrey, Johnny Depp, and Vogue editor Anna Wintour. The Independent:

An enormous marquee was already up yesterday at Ellingham Hall, the 10-bed Norfolk farmhouse where he has been under house arrest for the past seven months. Party invitations included instructions on where to land helicopters and private jets.

The house and its 650-acre estate are owned by Vaughan and Pranvera Smith, directors of the Frontline media club. Mr Smith, who will be at the party, said: "You're only 40 once."

 House arrest: it's not all it's cracked up to be. 


AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at July 11, 2011, 5:04am