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back to article Assange™ in court to fight extradition order

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange™ arrived at London's High Court this morning to begin his challenge against an extradition order that relates to allegations of rape and sexual molestation brought by two women in Sweden. In February this year, Assange was told by Judge Howard Riddle at South East London's Belmarsh magistrates …

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Trollface

When we do it it's called...

Maybe the News of the World should claim their number 1 hacker was Assange, then it would be called "Whistleblowing" instead of hacking.

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Boffin

Silly Beaner!

Don't you know that Assanage claims not to be the hacker but merely the recipient of the alleged materials and that Wikileaks is really a member of the press even though they have no paper, and they provide no commentary or 'vetting' of the material?

Shame on you for making a mockery of Julian by insinuating that he ever coerced or aided anyone in a hacking attempt in connection to Wikileaks.

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Anonymous Coward

So.....

'Recipient of alleged materials'

So he's a fence, trading in stolen goods.

Ok, lets try - someone who enriches himself through the criminal acts of others and tries to wrap it up as 'public interest'. Isn't that like that dear lady who used to run the News of the World?

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Re: So.....

"'Recipient of alleged materials'

So he's a fence, trading in stolen goods.

Ok, lets try - someone who enriches himself through the criminal acts of others and tries to wrap it up as 'public interest'. Isn't that like that dear lady who used to run the News of the World?"

That is similar to something I said a few months ago, pre-NoTW. Perhaps Wikileaks should henceforth be known, either as Leaks of the World, or Wikileaks on Sunday.

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Boffin

@AC

While I may like your reasoning, the US Courts do not. They believe that the reporting done by the press outweigh the harm of the theft. Meaning that the greater good of informing the public outweighs the harm of the alleged theft, as long as the newspaper is not actively involved in the theft.

So unlike the recent issue of the newspapers actively committing a crime to obtain material for a story, just publishing stolen documents isn't a crime. Or rather viewed as a crime. There are precedences for this.

But you also raise an additional point. Unlike the traditional press which takes the purloined documents and then publishes them, Wikileaks 'sells' the information to the press acting more as a middle man in the theft. This would be an interesting take, however, they also dumped the documents for free on their website. It would be a bit of a push by the prosecution and you run the risk of setting a bad precedence if you lose.

Tie Wikileaks to the crime. Meaning they told Manning how to get the documents out of the US and in to their hands... then they are not a mere recipient of the documents but an active participant. Then you have Assange with his balls in a vice.

Assange knows this hence he's fighting any extradition. Also if he's charged and convicted, his movements and rights will be diminished.

The one thing I have to wonder about is mens rhea. That is if Assange does get tried on the rape charge, could he argue that he's innocent because of the absence of mens rhea? The because he's an Aussie male neanderthal, he lacked a 'guilty mind' because what he did wasn't rape under the laws of his country and therefore he didn't commit a crime?

I don't know how that would fly or even if its a legal/valid defense under Swedish law.

But lets see what happens.

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Re: @AC

"The one thing I have to wonder about is mens rhea. That is if Assange does get tried on the rape charge, could he argue that he's innocent because of the absence of mens rhea?"

Thorny issue. In the UK where, e.g., stalking is concerned, the emphasis is not on cognitions, but a 'course of conduct'. That means to say that an individual by means of their behaviour is at risk in some way or other of harming another. As I've observed earlier, where accused parties invoke mental illness, they are effectively saying that they are not responsible for their behaviour and at risk of harming others in the future; this leads to section 37 of the Mental Health Act 1983 (and later additions) , a court order, and then quite possibly section 41, a restriction order. These are worse than prison. (Thus those who claim their offences are due to Asperger's syndrome are taking a huge risk; I have seen people in secure units claiming their Asperger's syndrome is the cause of their offending behaviours).

So should he claim a neuropsychatric condition or mental illness is responsible, he's probably taking a risk in most western countries.

The lack of mens rea could be attributed to ignorance of local laws, but that is close to irrelevant in modern legal systems. This is because the previously noted course of conduct criterion (derived from modern behavioural psychology) has usurped the emphasis on cognitions. Take the example of a poster who the other day accused me of ranting, where in fact I had merely produced a chain of reason; all attempts to point to mental states contained in the 'black box' of consciousness are doomed, since they cannot be seen. On the other hand, references to courses of conduct, facial expressions or any other example of behaviour, verbal or non verbal, are in principle falsifiable, verifiable, open to replication in psychology/other laboratory/experimental circumstances, across the world.

Consciousness is a fleeting thing, not verifiable. We do not even know what a thought is. It cannot be laid out on my laboratory bench and dissected.

So claims about mens rea are no better than claims about gods or fairies at the bottom of the garden instructing an offender to carry out an offence, unless mental illness is invoked. Claiming that he shagged a woman without using a condom and/or against her will, out of love, disregards the rights of the individual, so no, not possible.

Finally, local laws have to be obeyed, in the same way that western women are required to dress 'modestly' in certain Arab countries, though it has to be said that we here are not making a very good fist of imposing our equivalents of law onto newcomers and visitors.

If Assange tries to claim that Swedish laws are not valid where he is concerned, a claim of fairly extreme cultural relativism, he effectively says that almost anyone in any country, visitor or not, can decide that the laws of that country are not valid.

Interestingly this does put the matter of jurisdiction into the forefront and into context.

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I've an idea.

If they just want to question him, and haven't decided they want to charge him, then someone could come over here and question him, yes? You could even do it over the phone.

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Re: I've an idea.

"If they just want to question him, and haven't decided they want to charge him, then someone could come over here and question him, yes? You could even do it over the phone."

No, for several reasons. Remember that his Swedish legal representative claimed the police had not been in touch to tell him they were going to issue an arrest warrant (and that Assange suddenly flew around that time), something which transpired to be untrue during the hearings in this country, when the lawyer in question looked at his cell phone and admitted there were communications from them. So there is a clear legal precedent, namely that the Swedish CJS wanted to arrest and interview Assange, who left Sweden before they could administer the warrant; Assange's legal representative is in trouble with his professional association over the question of whether or not he tipped off his client about the impending arrest and interrogation. This is the sort of thing that I would expect from a corrupt 1960s lawyer in respect of a criminal client, in the UK.

Secondly, interviews have to be conducted face to face, not over a telephone or internet link for a very strong set of reasons; just as under PACE all interviews for serious crimes have to be scrupulously video recorded so that the body language of interrogators can be scrutinised by the defence for threatening behaviour, so it is important for interviewers to be face to face and able to scrutinise their interviewee's behaviour in minute detail, even greater detail than a recording or internet connection would give. This enables them to detect changes in behaviour and tailor their questions accordingly. Non verbal behaviour is as important to the interrogation process as the spoken word.

This has to take place in the appropriate jurisdiction (one of the reasons why there is such a thing as the European arrest warrant, which arose partly due to the growth of the Costa del Crime), and more importantly in the jurisdiction where the original intention to arrest had been formulated and communicated to Assange's lawyer.

An interesting question has to be asked; aside from the illicit behaviour of a public defender in providing information that would enable his client to flee from arrest, Assange did leave the country before the warrant could be executed. Why? This does not strike me as the behaviour of an innocent man.

Clearly the Swedish police do not come out of this very well. They should not have communicated their intentions to the Assange side of things, and they should also have been prepared for a man with such an itinerant profile to flee.

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Angel

Extradited for questioning?

I did not know that this was possible. You live and learn.

I will still laugh very loudly if after all that circus, he™ is found guilty of minor sexual assault, and given six months with probation.

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I think he offered to talk to the investigators here...

It's the one thing I don't understand about it, too: Why does he have to go to Sweden to be questioned?

EAW's shouldn't be allowed to be used to bypass proper extradition process, if that's what's happening. Oh, sure, if Assange was Swedish and they issue an EAW, then yes, ship him back to his home country, but not if he's a foreign national. Rather, they should only require that a country arrest and hold a person (for a limited time) while the issuing country sends investigators to question the suspect - under supervision and under the protection of the holding country, and if the issuing country does not send out investigators in a timely manner, then the suspect is released and any further EAW for that person for that investigation be ignored (to prevent EAW's being used to harass someone).

Then, if charges are warranted, a proper extradition request can be made, and that can go through the courts. Besides, assuming he's shipped off to Sweden, then released without charge, and without being spirited away to the US, who pays for his return to the UK? If it's Assange, then that really isn't fair, is it?

So yes, I support Assange fighting this EAW. Not because I think he's innocent - that's not for me to decide, but because I can't see it's necessary to ship him off to Sweden if he's not been charged. And if he shouldn't be shipped off due to an EAW like that, then no one else should be, either. Charge him and go through extradition, or don't charge him and have to come here to question him: That should be the system.

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Re: Extradited for questioning?

"I did not know that this was possible. You live and learn."

EAW not extradition. Perhaps remedial reading lessons will help here.

"I will still laugh very loudly if after all that circus, he™ is found guilty of minor sexual assault, and given six months with probation."

Will you? Sex offenders worry you very little then. I see.

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Boffin

@ratfox

As already posted ad nauseum and explained in court filings...

The Swedes were going to arrest him, however their process is to bring someone in for questioning and then to formally charge them.

The Swedish prosecution has already told the British Courts that this is not a mere interrogation but that they intend to charge Assange.

As to you laughing loudly, yeah, he could get a slap on the wrist and a light sentence. But remember he's the clown making this in to a media circus. Note that by not facing this head on, he's raised his profile as a 'bad boy', got tonnes of money from suck..er.. I mean supporters... and a book deal to boot.

So I guess he's going to be laughing all the way to the bank.

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Re: I think he offered to talk to the investigators here...

1) It's been established that he fled Sweden when his lawyer advised him that an arrest warrant an interrogation were pending, 2) just as there is freedom of movement for people in an everyday sense, the EAW is not an extradition warrant, 3) the Swedes have made it clear that they could not extradite Assange to the US without UK authority, and appear in any case disinclined to do so, saying they would let the US have priority on him in the UK courts for the purposes of extradition to the US, and the US have made it clear that they do not yet have a case.

So the US stuff is irrelevant, and the determining factor here is Assange's flight from Sweden on being told by his legal representative there that the Swedish police were about to pull him in, for which said representative is in trouble with his own professional body. As to Assange's flight, it is a pity that the police trusted his legal representative, never mind the light in which Assange's behaviour has to be interpreted.

There is no longer any such thing as extradition between EU countries, that's the rationale behind the EAW. Pretty much the same arrangement exists between England, Scotland, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, Northern Ireland [...] which have different legal systems.

As far as the need for questioning in Sweden is concerned, it is their jurisdiction, their job to hold him whilst questioning, and it is necessary to have full access and a complete set of jurisdiction related resources for the questioning. That way they control access to him, thus (e.g.) preventing other witnesses or individuals associated with him from manipulating the case by agreeing to make statements that cast him in a good light and support him. That is the job of the Swedish authorities, in whose jurisdiction the allegations have been made.

It additionally bears mentioning that the legal niceties of the case itself are Swedish, not British/English.

The question of face to face interviews and body language has been mentioned (from the perspective of, e.g. PACE, and indeed modern forensic psychology and interviewing techniques) and, frankly, all suggestions of doing it via British police proxy, over the net, over the phone, or by popping by for a visit represent a complete lack of understand of several issues; these include jurisdiction and precedent, the use of body language during interviews as a means of detecting dissimulation, and as I say having him in jurisdiction enables them to hold him, check out the veridicality of his responses, return to tackle him on mismatches and so on.

No. Back to jurisdiction.

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Happy

Re: @ratfox

"So I guess he's going to be laughing all the way to the bank."

Or to sharing a bunk with Bubba.

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Anonymous Coward

Waste of time

I don't like EAWs due to the level of abuse they get (an EAW for a parking ticket, really?) and that they are used by nations with dubious legal systems (e.g. Spain, Greece).

AIUI there is no right of appeal to an EAW and British courts are not permitted to intervene; the accused *must* be deported with all due haste. Just ask all those Britons who got deported under an EAW and the UK did nary one thing to protect them (e.g. Andrew Symeou).

But I guess Assange(tm) has enough meeja luvvy-buddies that he can try to seek protections that are denied to most other folks.

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Meh

One thing this case will do

Is that the Assange case will be a test of how far the EAW can go, and the level of evidence that is required to extradite someone.

There will probably be debate after the case is heard as to whether we are comfortable with the result.

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Anonymous Coward

That's kinda my point

We should have had this debate already, but the government is happy enough to ship its citizens off to these regimes. It takes someone well-connected to force them to actually do their job.

A united Europe? Great idea. We need something to balance China, Russia etc.

The EU? A sack of foetid corruption. They can't even get their accounts signed off FFS!

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Re: One thing this case will do

"Is that the Assange case will be a test of how far the EAW can go, and the level of evidence that is required to extradite someone."

Far from it. Assange was to have been arrested - and as JMB points out that was preparatory to charges being brought - but flew the coop; whilst his lawyer claimed not to have had any contact from the Swedish police on the matter, he admitted in a British court that he had communications from them. That is as good as the Swedish lawyer admitting, in a court of law, with a judge as a witness, to lying. It is also the case that he appears to have colluded with his client, that is to say, he appears to have communicated information to his client that led him to flee jurisdiction.

So no, the Swedish CJS want their suspect back, and the lawyer really does need a good spanking. Test of the EAW? Oh FGS, this is far from a test, this is a routine process of recapturing a suspect who was to have been charged and would have been, but (it would seem) for the activities of his Swedish lawyer.

Whereas rights imply duties and vice versa (this is what is known as a necessary relationship), it is the case that, whilst the freedom of movement and trade throughout the EU is exists in law, it is necessary to create in law trans EU arrest powers, to match that freedom of movement and trade throughout the EU. It does not take much effort to consider what the implications are here; otherwise whilst the Costa del Crime could be resurrected, this is a point of law that can only be overturned by challenging the free trade and movement basis of the EU. It would be akin to instating the sort of draconian intra state restrictions on travel, trade in the former USSR. Or destroying the EU, which was supposed to have - in its early formulations as the coal and steel federation, EEC, and so on - bound Europeans together and prevent a third world war.

Ironically this legality is not matched by a set of fiscal, political and legal controls that would make the Euro a safe currency. That story is currently unfolding in the EU, with even Italy and Spain facing wrack and ruin, possibly us.

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Devil

@Marcus Aurelius

If you paid attention to the first appeal trial, you would actually learn that Assange is being sent back to Sweden because he allegedly broke Swedish Law.

You would also have learned that the charge of Rape is one of the 30 some odd laws where you don't have reciprocity. That is, rape as defined in Sweden does not have to equate to rape as defined under English law. So that Assange's lawyer's argument that what he is accused of aka 'rape' isn't defined as rape under English law so that he shouldn't face extradition to Sweden. This is pure bunk under the EU treaty as it has been pointed out.

Assange is now trying to fight the EAW by playing the US trump card. Guess what. That's not going to fly because under the EAW, he would actually have more protection in Sweden that he would in the UK. Also lets not forget the fact that the US doesn't have enough evidence to bring him to trial within the US.

So the only debate we'll have on these comment boards is from commentards who haven't taken the time to actually read the law.

Assange has to go to Sweden and face his crime. If he's charged and then found guilty, he'll serve his time and get bounced out of Sweden, probably back to Australia.

That's pretty much it.

Look on the bright side. Sweden's prisons are like the US club fed. No Bubba s

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WTF?

@AC re Waste of time

"I don't like EAWs due to the level of abuse they get (an EAW for a parking ticket, really?) and that they are used by nations with dubious legal systems (e.g. Spain, Greece)."

If you live in the UK, get a 'parking ticket' in Spain/Greece and you don't pay it and head back to the UK, you could easily fight the EAW and probably win. However...

1) The cost of fighting extradition is going to be more expensive that the fine +ticket,

2) The next time you try to enter Spain/Greece they can arrest you if their laws allow.

With respect to Assange. He fled jurisdiction on a crime that is a felony. Therefore it is not a waste of time.

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Headmaster

Don't lock him up

With Rupert Murdoch soon to be out of the picture there is plenty of room for Julian Assange to operate his free press media in. Julian is no good for business in a monopoly so with no-one to stop him now is the best time for Julian to truly free the press.

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Anonymous Coward

He should return to Sweden

If he did no wrong then he should return to Sweden for interrogation.

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Return to Sweden

He doesn't believe that returning to Sweden wont be the fist stop on the route to some US sponsored classified torture chamber.

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Holmes

SÄPO

The Swedish secret police have been recorded on film bundling people into aircraft bound for places unknown. Assange has a point.

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WTF?

@AC re SAPO ... Puleeze give it a rest...

Look,

To be totally honest Assange is nothing more than a boil on the buttox of Uncle Sam.

He won't be extradited to the US until the US has something concrete on him and that won't happen until Manning decides to flip and spill his guts in court. And Manning will do this...

But Assange aka Wikileaks is pretty much DOA now. Anyone who has handed them anything of value is already facing jail time. And there's other sites that offer more protection along with the regular press which will actually vet the material. So if anyone with half a clue wanted to blow a whistle... Wikileaks is the last place they'd turn.

Assange goes to Sweden, faces his accusers in a trial, end of story. If he gets jail time, he gets jail time. It means when he's released, he gets booted from the country.

Will the UK let him back in? Maybe/Maybe not.

Most assuredly, Assange goes back to Australia. (Which is what he said he wanted to do...)

So there is no need for the US to do anything.

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Meh

Re: SÄPO

While i generally don't disagree, there is a non-zero probablility of Säpo doing Uncle Sam's bidding, as they have done so in the past. So JA DOES have a point -- notwithstanding the rest of your post about wikileaks.

I refer you to

http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2011/03/03/julian_assange_lodges_papers_at_high_court/

"No one was looking"

AC: Submitted at Friday 4th March 2011 11:59 GMT

wherein a link is contained that you really should read.

You should also read up a bit on Swedish Law and find out just what "rape" means in Sweden. It is NOT what you think, not anything close!!

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@Ian Michael Gumby

"Puleeze give it a rest...!

Says the guy who's already posted 5 comments on this thread.

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Re: @AC re SAPO ... Puleeze give it a rest...

"Will the UK let him back in? Maybe/Maybe not."

What an interesting question. If he is convicted of rape he will have to register as a sex offender though! This would mean that he would be required in law to give his address to the authorities, and perhaps report to a probation officer at specified intervals.

The possibility that he would have to attend a sex offender treatment course rears its head. There is no reason why any sex offender should be exempt on any grounds here. Whatever indications other Reg posters may wish to give, sex offenders are a matter of considerable concern in this country.

Also I should think that the humiliation he would endure might perhaps be too much for him. Everything would be game, right down to the 16 year old girl (as she then was) who gave birth to his son, and his status as a convict on some 17 counts in Australia, the matter of criminal profiles (progression from one offence to another, throughout the developmental process) and the relation of Wikileaks to his offending profile which, as I have already pointed out, already consists of multiple convictions. To correct my earlier assertion, it is as high as 25 counts. I underestimated his industriousness.

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Boffin

@Norfolk 'n' Goode

I dont' deny the AC's right to comment.

I do wish he/she would stop trotting out old things which have already been proven to be false.

The US will not do a rendition on Assange if he is sent to Sweden.

His appeal will fail.

The first appeal was dragged out and every argument raised by the defense was debunked and when the defense witnesses were questioned under oath the following occured:

1) The defense attorney from Sweden testified that he lied when he said that he was not in contact with the Swedish Authorities during the time Assange was out of contact and then abruptly left the country on the same day that a warrant for his arrest was issued.

2) Defense expert witnesses testified that they were misinformed by the defense team and that their statements and expert opinions would be false when placed in the proper context.

In issue 1, the defense attorney almost perjured himself, however the large issue is that he obstructed justice and it wouldn't be a stretch to say that he gave counsel to Assange to get the heck out of dodge. (Think of a lawyer saying... "I'm not allow to say this, and please don't take this as legal advice... but you should really think about getting the heck out of here before they can question you and then charge you.... I don't think that the accusation of rape is enough for them to warrant an EAW.)

In issue 2, having an expert witness for the defense say that they were mislead by the defense and in light of the facts presented by the prosecution, that they would then side with the prosecution? That's worse than having no expert witness at all.

The interesting thing... Had Assange, gone to the UK and then hopped a flight to Australia the Swedes would probably have let this drop until he tried to enter Sweden again. Staying in the UK opened the door to the EAW.

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@Ian Michael Gumby

"I dont' deny the AC's right to comment."

I never said you did, I accused you of hypocrisy because you suggested he was labouring a point.

Something you would never do, ever. You never would do that would you? I mean it isn’t in your nature to do that. is it? to keep banging on and on about the same thing over and over and over.

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Re: @Norfolk 'n' Goode

Soon all will be clear:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14139329

I have a strong feeling that Julian will be leaving, 'on a jet plane, won't know when he'll be back again'.

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Re: @Ian Michael Gumby

...and yet awhile, both Assange in meat space and his chorus here are labouring the point. A valid EAW for a specific offence has been issued, and Assange has contested it in a long route that seems so typical of (alleged) offenders these days, who never seem to hold up their hands. That would be, in this case, a man with 25 convictions, including; 1) stealing passwords from US Air force 7th Command Group in the Pentagon; 2) for hacking computers at two universities; 3) hacking computers at two telecommunications companies; 4) hacking computers to monitor the Australian Federal Police investigation into *his* criminal activities. Then there is the matter of his pre-conviction sexual activities with the 16 year old who bore his child, and more recently Wikileaks in which he's succeeded in making money from stolen classified data. One hell of a profile. One which involves giving only a small sum to Manning's defence fund.

Small wonder that the debate is so long, back and forth, though the denials on the part of his chorus (which initially included people who *denied* that he is a convict, roundly turning on me) are a little worn and hackneyed now, and even include something that I thought I would never see; minimising Assange's alleged offences by proxy. Thus it is that people have been speaking here of 'minor sexual offences'. Oh Ken Clarke must be amused by this case, and has I am sure had sight of the papers.

'Minor sexual offences' indeed. Leaving semen in the reproductive passage against the owner's will can cause death [ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-10983227 ]. Minor indeed.

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Pirate

What will happen when he gets to Sweden: absolutely nothing.

The "extradition to US" claim is total and absolute BS. There is no such request from the US, and Assange is only wanted for questioning, not for a crime.

I would *love* for Assange to go to Sweden, yesterday if possible. It will immediately put an end to all the "poor persecuted me" crap in the media, and I suspect all that will happen is 2 uncomfortable hours in interrogation. After that he'll probably walk free, which immediately nukes his claims that evil empires are out to get him, and will indeed make him look pretty stupid given the last few months worth of media coverage.

It means he'll have to dream up something new, or actually find a job.

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Anonymous Coward

Furthermore...

Furthermore: If he is extradited to Sweeden and the US do apply for his extradition from Sweeden, legally there will have to be approval from the Sweedish and the British. He actually ends up with more protection, rather than less.

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Bronze badge

Yup

That and the fact that if he were in any danger of being tortured in Gitmo, the UK & Sweden wouldn't extradite him as that would break all sorts of National and European law on extraditions.

BTW - I doubt there's much else Assange(TM) can do to make himself look anymore stupid than he already have, but hey you never know.

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Holmes

@AC ... Uhm not quite...

"would *love* for Assange to go to Sweden, yesterday if possible. It will immediately put an end to all the "poor persecuted me" crap in the media, and I suspect all that will happen is 2 uncomfortable hours in interrogation. After that he'll probably walk free, which immediately nukes his claims that evil empires are out to get him, and will indeed make him look pretty stupid given the last few months worth of media coverage."

No, he'll get charged for rape and go to trial.

What happens after is anyone's guess but the worst is that he'll face 1-2 years in a Swedish prison from what I heard is a bit like being in the US 'club fed'.

That's what Assange doesn't want to happen.

Remember we're talking worst case. He's convicted. After serving jail time, and IMHO he'll get jail time for this if found guilty because of his accusations and fighting the extradition, he gets booted from Sweden. (Odds are he'll not be let back in to the country... ever...). Then he goes to the UK. But since he's convicted of a sex crime, he may get booted from the UK, so back to Australia.

That's what is most likely to happen.

The whole farce of fighting the extradition is that he's actually making money from it.

Ponder that one...

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Mushroom

Well, that would be fun too..

If they convict him for rape it will still be done following proper process, and I cannot see where Assange™ would have acquired the right not to be subject to the same laws as everyone else.

Let's recap from data he did NOT want to be Wikileaked (again one law for us commoners and another one for Assange™):

1 - He shags two girls who asked him to use a condom (given his enthusiasm for having intercourse with people he's only just met that is IMHO not an unreasonable thing to ask), and things happen to the condoms - with or without his active involvement.

2 - The girls ask him to get himself tested so they have some peace of mind. Again, not an unreasonable request, and any man with an ounce worth of honour in their body would have just done that and be done with it.

3 - the lack of any response from Assange™ means the girls seek advice. Assange™ gets advance warning and bolts instead of facing the music. Lack of answer thus converts into a rape charge under Swedish law (AFAIK, don't know Swedish law but it doesn't seem that unreasonable if all can be resolved with a normal STD test).

4 - as a fugitive, Assange™ now gets put on wanted list. Note that he is as yet wanted for questioning, not for rape, but this could change. There are a couple of variables here - if the girls withdraw the claim, Assange as yet gets himself tested - no idea. The fun bit is that such a "wanted" listing automatically becomes EU wide so he can no longer move around in Europe.

There is, however, a real SERIOUS kicker waiting in the wings: what if Assange™ is indeed positive? What if one of the girls have now tested positive for any STD (which may have been kept away from the press to prevent prejudicing any court case)? If Assange™ knows this of himself he also knows what to expect when he gets to Sweden. When you think about it, it seems to offer a much more plausible explanation for him running away and the BS claims he's been spouting ever since to prevent having to go back and face the consequences.

Of course, St Assange™ cannot possibly guilty of any crime, and to merely voice such assumption will gain the wrath of all the followers of His Holiness™ who defend him with a vigour and enthusiasm that Scientologists can only dream of. But reality might make a very vicious comeback.

Popcorn anyone?

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Boffin

@AC

Assange's legal team is doing a wonderful PR job that doesn't fly in terms of validity in International Law.

Assange is wanted in Sweden for the crime of Rape. Regardless of how other countries define Rape, its how the Swedes define rape that counts.

Rape does not require the dual standards test. So if the Swedes accuse him of rape by their laws, that's all that counts.

Assange's team is trying to try the case in UK courts. Again, the law is to determine if the EAW is in fact valid. Not the facts of the case.

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Paris Hilton

How bad.....

...can a 'Swedish' interrogation be?

I bet Paris knows how to do one..

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FAIL

Possession is 9/10s of the law

See my previous post. It won't matter if he has already been "packaged and processed" and on his way to wherever the CIA (or whichever agency is looking after this) wants to place him.

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Facepalm

re: See my previous post

@Possession is 9/10s of the law: See my previous post. It won't matter if he has already been "packaged and processed" and on his way to wherever the CIA (or whichever agency is looking after this) wants to place him ..

How can we see your previous post when you are anonymous ..

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Black Helicopters

@AC 11:51

No, there is no extradition for JuleA$$ from the US. Nor will there be any until he is in Sweden under lock and key. THEN it will arrive and be processed post-haste. The US Gov is vehemently after a hacker with Asbergers for hacking mil sites for a laff. JuleA$$ published thousands of classified documents from US Gov and to say he is not on their radar is simply naive on your part. To para-phrase Monty Python, he may be an idiot, but he is no fool.

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Boffin

@NoneSuch

Dude!

There will be no extradition from the US unless Manning offers proof to show that Assange was a party to the crime and not just the recipient of the data. Once the US can show and prove this to be true, then and only then will you have an extradition to the US.

The publishing of the classified documents alone isn't enough to get Assange extradited. There has to be strong evidence linking him directly to Manning.

But again this is all moot.

Who cares besides Assange?

Wikileaks is DOA.

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Can some explain

For those folks that say this thing in Sweden is nothing more than a pretext for the US to snatch Assange , explain this to me . Why would the US need to do that ? I know it makes for some great yanking bashing but in order for that to be true that would imply that the UK would not hand him over . Is there any one here that thinks the UK would it hand him over to America if asked ?

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Silver badge

Perhaps not so much extradited...

But rather "extraordinarily rendered". I really don't like the guy much, but when dealing with enemies who obviously aren't too bothered about obeying laws, even their own laws, you can't blame him if he doens't want to take chances.

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Anonymous Coward

Err...

If that is the case, why hasn't it already happened?

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Big Brother

Justice System Therapy

There are a lot of people who appear to believe that this clown is important, none believe it more than him of course,

there was a time in the not too distant past that you couldn't go a day without seeing some mention of the Wikileaks / Assange roadshow.... been very quiet since he started getting his ass dragged through the courts.

Probably been advised by his high priced legal team to keep his public comments to a minimum so as not to prejudice his case, as the legal bills mount he will soon run out of friends ready to put their money where his mouth is.

Sweden, America, UK who cares, whoever said there is no justice? There are many ways to skin a cat!

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Confused

Some people are saying a EAW removes the need for an extradition order and that other citizens have been booted overseas on a whim, yet JA is fighting an extradition order in the High Court. So which is it, can someone clear this up? Or is it the case that it's not opposable unless you can afford to take it straight to the High Court?

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