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back to article Court OK's Assange Sweden extradition, given 7 days to appeal

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is to be extradited to Sweden, following a ruling by a judge at South East London's Belmarsh magistrates court this morning. Assange has seven days to bring an appeal against the extradition to Sweden to face questions regarding two alleged sexual assaults in the country. Judge Howard Riddle …

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Via

Flying to Sweden via Gitmo or perhaps Diego Garcia..

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Big Brother

Nah

He's going to Sweden.

The US DoJ hasn't finished building their case against him yet.

If he was smart, he'd go to Sweden, either face trial, get a plea deal, and serve any time he may face. Then quietly go back to Australia which btw, he has recently said he wanted to return to....

You have to understand is that the whole thing about Sweden is that if he's convicted, he has zero chance of getting Swedish Citizenship. That's what he wants.

The simple truth is that if Julian went back to Sweden to face his accusers and profess his innocence. He wants the media storm. He wants the attention.

So please take this one step at a time.

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Minor Point

Assange is protected by Human Rights laws in both Sweden and the UK that prevent him being extradited to any country that is likely to torture him or execute him. He could only be extradited to the USA if they gave an undertaking that neither of these would happen.

I suspect the same is also true of Australia.

This applies to him regardless of his citizenship.

I agree this guy just wants publicity, even if he is charged and found guilty, Sweden would deport him to Australia, not the USA.

One wonders how much of UK tax payers money this tosser is intending to waste. Most of his problems are of his own making, if he had stayed where he was in Sweden this would all be over by now.

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Stop

Yes, it is you ...

"Assange is protected by Human Rights laws in both Sweden and the UK that prevent him being extradited to any country that is likely to torture him or execute him."

The same law also applied to an alarming number of innocent people who were nevertheless extradited to illegal stateless prisons such as 'Gitmo. By and with the full knowlege of our own and other governments.

The "law" didn't stop any of it from happening.

The law which you put so much faith in, these days, is whatever they tell you it is.

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According to the US

Waterboarding is not torture.

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Anonymous Coward

Has he been charged with anything?

Given he has been tried by media, it would seem only fair for him to have been charged with something. Anything, but at least charged?

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WTF?

Huh?

Haven't you been paying attention?

He left the country so that they couldn't bring him in for questioning and then charging him. He fled jurisdiction.

The EAW was issued specifically so that they can prosecute him under Swedish law.

No means No! And when in Sweden, always wear a raincoat.

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A clarification...

"One would've thought that words from Swedish officials stating they would step aside precisely to allow Assange to be extradited to the US if the US requested it would be pretty damning evidence. But then, the judge did seem to use the weasel words "for torture as a traitor", so I guess if they extradite him for the death penalty and espionage then he can claim he was right- they didn't torture him or claim him a traitor."

Since Dan Goodin was so persistent with me on this issue, I want to clarify this statement...

The Swedish officials actually never said that. In looking through all of the news articles that I could find on Google, over the past couple of months, all I can find is Assange's defense lawyers making that assertion. There was one article in the NYT that tried to get a confirmation from the Swedes, but couldn't. If they did make any comments to that effect, I haven't been able to find it. Just Assange's lawyer talking out of his ass.

In the EAW appeal, the Swedish representative confirmed their obligations when it came to any extradition to the US which is still only hypothetical.

As to the Death Penalty for Espionage, the last execution was the Rosenbergs for their spying during WWII. (Yes they were tried and executed in 1953, however Julius Rosenberg had been spying for the Soviets since 1942...)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julius_and_Ethel_Rosenberg#KGB_spy

Since that time, there have been no death penalty sentences for Espionage.

And there are other charges than Espionage that the US DoJ could bring. Again those charges do not even put the Death Penalty on the table. And again... the Death Penalty would be off the table as a matter of fact because it is a non-starter in any extradition that the US might want to bring

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He left the country

after being told that there was nothing to answer for at that time, but then it became political and the Swedes changed their minds after he'd left. They say they want to question him, and possibly prosecute - he's never refused to make himself available for questioning in the UK.

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Ian Michael Gumby

Almost entirely wrong. He didn't flee at all. If you knew your stuff, you would know he initially atteneded questioning etc. and the Swedish prosecutors said they wouldn't press charges. He then asked if he could leave the country and they said yes. He therefore left. Then, the Swedish prosector did a complete u-turn, decided they wanted another word and threw their toys out their pram. Can't see he fled or did anything wrong at all. In fact, he acted perfectly during the investigation and decision not to charge.

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ER no

He left because the charges where dropped and he was told he could go. Only after wikileeks started publishing the US Cables was the EAW logged.

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Grenade

Haven't you paid attention to the Appeals hearing?

Look,

I hate to break it to you but under cross, Assange's Swedish lawyer admitted that while he was in constant contact with the Swedish investigators/prosecutors, there was a 6 day period where he was out of contact with his client. He wasn't back in contact with his client until after Assange had left the country and the arrest warrant was issued.

These statements contradict his earlier testimony.

If you follow the time line laid out by the prosecution, you will clearly see that Assange obfuscated the legal process by fleeing the country.

Hence the arrest warrant. They did not 'change their minds' after he left, but that he was intentionally out of contact with his lawyer until after he left the country so that he could not be available for questioning and eventual charges being brought forth.

With Dan Gooding chiding me about getting my facts straight... one would hope that he would chide you for not doing the same.

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Ian Michael Gumby

It gets more and more preposterous. Now, you seem to be suggesting that simply being out of contact with your lawyer is evidence of fleeing or trying to pervert justice or something.........

Strangely enough, ensuring you are contactable 24 hours a day 7 days a week is not as yet part of legal requirements. When he lasted contacted the authorities (via his lawyer or not), they said they would not press charges and he was free to go. If things changed in the meantime and he didn't know, that's their problem. Given what they had told him, all the onous was on them to tell him they'd changed their mind, not for him to constantly check he hadn't missed something.

Some people will twist anything to try and prove their position including reading a devious meaning into any act regardless of evidence.

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zb

Well yes ...

... but they cannot charge him until he is in Sweden. The normal sequence is arrest, caution, formal interview, statement, charge then trial.

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@Mad Mike

El Reg was kind enough to post a link to the actual decision which goes in to some detail of the appeal hearing...

Here's the cross of Assange's own Swedish defense lawyer:

-=-

In cross-examination the Swedish lawyer confirmed that paragraph 13 of his proof of evidence is wrong. The last five lines of paragraph 13 of his proof read: “in the following days [after 15th September] I telephoned [Ms Ny] a number of times to ask whether we could arrange a time for Mr Assange’s interview but was never given an answer, leaving me with the impression that they may close the rape case without even bothering to interview him. On 27th September 2010, Mr Assange left Sweden.” He agreed that this was wrong. Ms Ny did contact

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him. A specific suggestion was put to him that on 22nd September he sent a text to the prosecutors saying “I have not talked to my client since I talked to you”. He checked his mobile phone and at first said he did not have the message as he does not keep them that far back. He was encouraged to check his inbox, and there was an adjournment for that purpose. He then confirmed that on 22nd September 2010 at 16.46 he has a message from Ms Ny saying: “Hello – it is possible to have an interview Tuesday”. Next there was a message saying: “Thanks for letting me know. We will pursue Tuesday 28th at 1700”. He then accepted that there must have been a text from him. “You can interpret these text messages as saying that we had a phone call, but I can’t say if it was on 21st or 22nd”. He conceded that it is possible that Ms Ny told him on the 21st that she wanted to interview his client. She requested a date as soon as possible. He agrees that the following day, 22nd, she contacted him at least twice.

Then he was then cross-examined about his attempts to contact his client. To have the full flavour it may be necessary to consider the transcript in full. In summary the lawyer was unable to tell me what attempts he made to contact his client, and whether he definitely left a message. It was put that he had a professional duty to tell his client of the risk of detention. He did not appear to accept that the risk was substantial or the need to contact his client was urgent. He said “I don’t think I left a message warning him” (about the possibility of arrest). He referred to receiving a text from Ms Ny at 09.11 on 27th September, the day his client left Sweden. He had earlier said he had seen a baggage ticket that Mr Assange had taken a plane that day, but was unable to help me with the time of the flight.

Mr Hurtig was asked why he told Brita Sundberg-Wietman that Ms Ny had made no effort to interview his client. He denied saying that and said he has never met her. He agrees that he gave information to Mr Alhem. He agrees that where he had said in his statement (paragraph 51) that “I found it astonishing that Ms Ny, having allowed five weeks to elapse before she sought out interview”, then that is wrong.

-=-

As you can see, there is some doubt to your recollection of the facts of the case.

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WTF?

@Mad Mike ??? WTF?

More and more preposterous?

I don't know about you, but when I've had to deal with lawyers in civil matters, I make sure that I'm always available. That is, they can always reach me and I will respond within 24 hours.

If for some reason I was involved in a criminal trial? You bet your sweet arse that I'd be easier to get a hold of.

And yes, during one civil issue, I was traveling and busy all over the US and Toronto. Much larger than Sweden and yes, there are places where cell phones don't work and Internet access was sketchy at best.

With respect to Assange... c'mon, really? 6 days with no ability to connect with his lawyer?

Text Messages? e-mail? Voice mail? Contacting known friends?

Oh yeah that's right... he was in a Ted K cabin and was pretending to be a Luddite.

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Headmaster

Attn: Mr Gumby

"With Dan Gooding chiding me about getting my facts straight."

You could start by trying to spell "Dan Goodin" correctly.

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@John G Imrie

>>"He left because the charges where dropped.. "

Says who?

Where's the reliable source for all the repeated claims that 'charges were dropped'?

I see an awful lot of claims, but no real evidence.

And if one of the complaints against the EAW is that Julian hasn't ever been charged with anything, how can charges that never happened in the first place be dropped?

Surely, people making poor arguments tend to make Julian's supporters look ignorant, and do him a disservice?

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@mad mike

--"Some people will twist anything to try and prove their position including reading a devious meaning into any act regardless of evidence."

That's *so* true.

After all, if there was a big conspiracy, it'd have been easy for the Swedes to pop over here, have a quick word with him, and then announce they were charging him.

Or just keep him in Sweden.

Which obviously means that the fact they *didn't* do either of those things proves there was some kind of big conspiracy....

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Troll

Dan Google?

Naw spelling his name right... now that would be too polite.

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Stop

Whatever

You can do whatever you like, but if he wants to go to a retreat with no access or simply not accept calls, that's his perogative. After all, he is innocent until proven guilty.......supposedly. If you choose to be available all the time, that's up to you. I would probably ensure I was available as well, but that's me. We all know Assange is a strange man, but not being in contact for 6 days does not automaticallty prove fleeing or evasion of whatever as you seem to suggest. it simply proves he wasn't in contact for 6 days!! If they really wanted to contact him that badly for interview or charge, they could always have issued a warrant for his arrest, however, it seems it wasn't that important!! Yes, his story changes sometimes, but so does the prosecution case. If they want to speak to him so urgently now they need to issue an international arrest warrant, how come they didn't issue an arrest warrant when he was non-contactable for 6 days? Their story makes as little sense and is as contradictory as his!!

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Grenade

@Mad Mike Re Whatever...

Ok...

Lets try and take this slowly...

A. is accused of raping not one but two girls.

There is an ongoing investigation. Early on in the investigation, he is questioned and the matter dropped. The lawyers for the girls objects and the case is picked up by Ny.

Initially, does Ny have enough evidence to hold Assange and restrict him from leaving the country? No. So Assange goes on his way. Ny starts her investigation. Wants to bring Assange in for questioning.

Now Assange's defense attorney earlier in the case said that Ny hadn't communicated that she had wanted to have Assange come in for questioning. Yet under cross, he recants his earlier testimony saying that it was a mistake. He then admits that Ny wanted to question Assange yet his lawyer wasn't able to communicate with him.

Yeah. Right.

And of course the judge didn't buy it either.

Not to mention if it were a normal person, they'd have contacted their lawyer to see if it was ok to leave the country before they left the country. That would have meant that there is a reasonable expectation that Assange should have been in some contact with his attorney before leaving.

Now your counter...

You do realize that the arrest warrant was issued after he had gone missing for the 6 days and he was leaving the country as the arrest warrant was being issued.

So no their story makes a lot of sense.

The Judge saw through the defense's lie.

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Re: @Mad Mike ??? WTF?

"when I've had to deal with lawyers in civil matters, I make sure that I'm always available. "

Do you get sued often?

I assume from your creepy obsession and constant baseless accusations against assange that this isn't the first time you've found yourdelf on a groundless vendetta of hate against someone you took a dislike too.

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Re: He left the country

"after being told that there was nothing to answer for at that time, but then it became political and the Swedes changed their minds after he'd left. They say they want to question him, and possibly prosecute - he's never refused to make himself available for questioning in the UK."

Wrong: Making himself available in the UK is an irrelevant, non sequitur offering. He left the country in spite of having prior agreed to meet the Swedish police so that the investigation could be finalised; in addition, his defence was told of his impending arrest by the police (big mistake really, because he fled), and guess what? Julian skipped away to the UK.

Now the UK are willing to let their European colleagues do what they had intended before Assange skipped, and jolly good too.

There is a question at the back of my mind about what the Swedish legal authorities will do to his Swedish counsel, who has already admitted in a British court that they had contacted him multiply about Assange's whereabouts. If they can prove that he informed Assange of his impending arrest and, in so doing, facilitated his departure from Sweden, I'd say there's a fairly substantial case there. If I were in their position I'd pursue it, if only because a precedent would otherwise be set.

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Re: @Mad Mike ??? WTF?

I suspect that the lawyer and his client used that well known technique; unregistered pay as you go phones.

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Re: @Mad Mike

That will not stop people from denying the fact, regrettably. One of the amazing things about this case is the tendency, both from Assange himself/his defence and from his public supporters, is their complete denial of the facts, and embrace of supposition that is not concordant with them.

This silliness is both immature and dangerous. It will take a long time to clean up the mess here, and arresting the LoIC dupes is but a beginning. It will happen though.

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@Ian Michael Gumby

You've just done an about turn yourself. You've just admitted in your entry that there was insufficient evidence and no right to limit Assanges movements. You then contend he fled. If Ny got in touch with Assanges lawyer and said they wanted to make contact, but his lawyer couldn't contact him, so what!! That's fine, he's still done nothing wrong. If you want to hang around in constant communication and ask for permission to leave every country you're in all the time on the off chance they want to talk to you about something, that's your choice, but people normally have lives to get on with!! He had been told nothing was being done and no limitations had been placed on his movements, so job done. He is free to go anywhere he likes. Why should he keep calling his lawyer or make sure he's contactable. To his knowledge, everything is sorted......finished. The fact Ny suddenly wants to speak with him puts the onus on her contacting him and if she can't, that's her problem, not his.

If he was leaving the country as the arrest warrant was being issued, it rather implies the prosecutors are lying. If they knew he was leaving the country (otherwise it wouldn't have been an international arrest warrant!!), why didn't they simply go and get him as they must have known where he was!! If they didn't know where he was (and therefore he could have stayed in Sweden all along), why issue an internation arrest warrant? Doesn't make sense!! Either they did know or they didn't. Either way, there was no need to issue an international arrest warrant.

If they were that concerned about speaking with him, they could have put airports etc. on alert to arrest him as he left!! Of course, they never did that!! Too easy I suppose............All this suggests very strongly that the prosecutors have been lying as they both knew his was leaving (and therefore had to know where he was) and yet couldn't go and get him. Also, after six days, they didn't even put a watch on airports!! After all, leaving by scheduled flight is such a devious way!!

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Pint

Re: A clarification..

"Since that time, there have been no death penalty sentences for Espionage."

Do notice also that it is implicit in arguments to the effect that the Rosenbergs were executed that Assange has committed some form of espionage.

<Old time music hall compere>

I thank you!

</Old time music hall compere>

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FAIL

Re: In Sweden yes.

"One would've thought that words from Swedish officials stating they would step aside precisely to allow Assange to be extradited to the US if the US requested it would be pretty damning evidence."

Poor reasoning, eh? A non sequitur. The conclusion does not follow from the premiss, which is that the Swedes will step aside in the event that the US try to extradite him from the UK. This does not deal with their legal obligation, should they succeed in extraditing him from the UK, to first ask the UK if they can allow extradition to the US.

You are guilty of emitting the same badly thought out, illogical typographical, non veridical nonsense that most of those defending this sordid little man do. If he has committed rape then he must be dealt with accordingly. That he has previous, that offenders do follow a career path, these things are all grist to the mill. The way to stop future offending is to deal with existing offences. If he has raped a woman, and if he is convicted for it, then he will have 26 offences against his name, although for the first 25 he was given a woefully inadequate sentence, it being that he played a good violin in court. Probably as good as the one he now plays to the media, and people like you are hooked on it. Not the judges though.

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Anonymous Coward

@Presposterous Fart

"Lets try and take this slowly...

A. is accused of raping not one but two girls."

OK, well your first premise is incorrect so the rest of your argument's not going to amount to much.

He's being prosecuted for 'sex by surprise' (not rape), i.e. sex without a condom after a woman requests it even if the sex is consensual. It's fine-able in Sweden by 5,000 kronor (about $715).

Nice attempt at a troll, but you're too much of an ass-hat to do it properly Mr. Gumbo.

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Grabs popcorn

and waits for the very learned G. Robinson to do his stuff...

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Suit

Might as well get measured for that orange jumpsuit now Julian

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How long before he ends up in the USA ?

I suspect that the judge regarded Assange as a problem that the UK could do without.

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Not

The judges responsibility to decide on that. As well as being far too easy to appeal.

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@alain williams

>>"I suspect that the judge regarded Assange as a problem that the UK could do without."

Doesn't seem like there's much room in the EAW system for judge's opinions to be inserted.

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Headmaster

English .... not American ... please

Presumably that's "appeal against the extradition" not "appeal the extradition" (3rd sentence)???

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Anonymous Coward

No

"appeal the extradition" is correct.

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WTF?

Why wouldn't this happen

He is an Australian national, so not really our problem

Sweden does not have a (documented) record of torture or human rights abuse

Sexual offences are an extraditable offence

He is physically fit (or at least fit enough to bonk)

He may be eccentric but he is not a nutter

Fits the bill on all counts, so just have to wait for the next episode of this soap opera.

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Pint

"Sexual offences are an extraditable offence"

Part of the defence was, I believe, that what he was being charged with wasn't a sexual offence in the UK.

And the "Australian national" thing is irrelevant as we are obliged (morally and constitutionally) to not send anyone somewhere to suffer unfairly, regardless of nationality.

Personally, I think he should go and defend himself. If he's innocent, congrats, if not, obeying the law in the country you're visiting and taking personal responsibility is part of life. I've got nothing against the guy, but he sounds like he's just trying to avoid giving his side of the story in a court.

I may be naive, but I don't believe Sweden will be able to get away with an extradition to the USA, even if they wanted to. Any extradition from the UK would not allow a forwarding extradition without concluding the original trial, and we constitutionally can't extradite someone to a country where they face cruel punishment (i.e., death).

I'd be first in line to protest his release should he be couriered out of Sweden.

(Beer, since I'm off tomorrow)

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Well

He's not *charged* with anything for one.

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Big Brother

erm...

think you heed to research sweden anf human rigths abiuses a bot more berfore making any sweeping statements like that m8!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenics#Sweden

not strictly relavent to this tho

</pedant>

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Anonymous Coward

But

But they are *allegations* of sexual offences in this case. This doesn't make them untrue of course, but they are being presented as undeniable evidence of wrongdoing through an emotive crime.

Should we all be extraditable to face allegations? Doesn't feel right to me.

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Grenade

Wonder wot their current bill for additional needs are

Hmmmm..........

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@ extraditable to face allegations...

When you think about it they remain allegations until a trial has been completed and a verdict delivered. So the onnly alternative to extradition to face allegations is to have a trial held without the presence of the defendant, which doesn't sound like a good thing at all...

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A title

It wasn't "rape" as in "hold them down and penetrate by force" it was more a case of (allegedly) not using a condom during consensual sex (or not using a good enough one or something). The women only complained when they found out about one another and the case was already dismissed once, only to be resurrected in odd circumstances by a Swedish MP (AIUI anyway).

Do not confuse what he has been accused with in Sweden with the UK understanding of "rape". It bigs-up what be has been accused of and belittles actual rape.

But as this is an EAW, he has little hope of fighting it. It was a crime in Sweden, he can be extradited, the fact it is not an offence in the UK is irrelevant. Hell, Poland uses EAWs for traffic offences! The rule of thumb is - once an EAW is issued and you are caught in the UK, the EAW trumps all UK law and it is game over. The UK authorities will just hand you over, regardless of offence and regardless of the requesting regime (e.g. Greece, not really known for the quality of its judicial system). There is a long list of precedents with this being the case.

It really is quite disgusting.

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Big Brother

@Ian

As the Swedish prosecutor pointed out... In the treaty, RAPE is actually #23 on the list (going from memory) of charges where you don't have to consider if it is a crime in the country he/she is being extradited from.

As to an extradition to the US...

If/when the US DoJ brings charges, he can and will be extradited. Whether that's in Sweden, the UK, or Australia. There is no issue of the Death Penalty because it will be off the table in order to get the extradition process started. Not to mention the fact that for any charge outside of the Espionage Act, the death penalty isn't allowed.

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WTF?

Errr...yeah. Ok... think about it...

"Should we all be extraditable to face allegations? Doesn't feel right to me."

Until you are convicted of a crime, any crime, all you do is face allegations.

The Swedes feel that the women's evidence and accusations are credible enough for a trial.

So too did Assange because he intentionally left jurisdiction and denied these women their rights under Swedish law.

(You do remember where Assange's own Swedish Lawyer, under oath, admitted that while he was in contact with the Swedish investigators, he was not in contact with Assange for 6 days and recanted his earlier testimony.)

No means No!

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Point Taken

I take your point that I got the dates etc. slightly wrong. However, it doesn't alter the fact that in recentish history (50-60 years), Sweden has been guilty of gross human rights abuses. So, trying to appear morally better than everyone else is a bit rich. I can't find the reference now, but I'm sure I found a journalistic article that said it went into the 70s at least. But either way, the point is valid and applicable and they're trying to make themselves out to be morally better than everyone else.

P.S.

Wikipedia isn't always right!!

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