back to article Assange takes refuge in Ecuadorian embassy

Julian Assange has sought refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London and is seeking asylum over the decision by the UK courts to extradite him to Sweden. "This afternoon Mr Julian Assange arrived at the Ecuadorian Embassy seeking political asylum from the Ecuadorian government,' said the Ecuadorians in a statement. "As a …

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Facepalm

Poor Choice!

Won't that make it ever so easy for the USA to get hold of him?

Personally I'd prefer a lifetime in the Swedish penal system to a few weeks in the USA's!

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Holmes

Re: Poor Choice!

Yes, this does make that whole excuse look even more flimsy, doesn't it?

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Re: Poor Choice!

Assange wouldn't- he was telling Phillip Adams* last week that Sweden's prisons were the worst in Europe. Amusingly, Adam's guest the next day was the director of Stratfor.

*probably most famous in the UK for being the producer of 'Barry Mackenzie', the film with Barrie Humpries, Peter Cook and the 'One Eyed Trouser Snake' song

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Re: Poor Choice!

If he gets shipped to the USA, he will be immediately sent to GITMO and never heard from again.

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Devil

Re: Poor Choice!

The problem with the "Swedish penal system" after it he will immediately be transferred to the "american penal system".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Poor Choice!

Day-by-day, he's looking less like a government persecuted victim and more like a rapist on the run, hiding behind a wall of expensive lawyers, and keen on evading justice.

What a twat.

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Re: Poor Choice!

' Day-by-day, he's looking less like a government persecuted victim and more like a rapist on the run, hiding behind a wall of expensive lawyers, and keen on evading justice.

What a twat. '

Incisive observation, right on the money….couldn’t have put it better myself.

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Trollface

Just out of curiosity...

Has the UK ever successfully completed an extradition?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Just out of curiosity...

The NatWest three. Or was it four?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Just out of curiosity...

"Has the UK ever successfully completed an extradition?"

A more pertinent question is, "Has the UK ever successfully had anyone extradited from the USA?" Traffic in the other direction is fairly continuous from what I can see.

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WTF?

Re: Just out of curiosity...

ah, the Natwest three... that famous terrorist group...

What? But, but... I thought the current extradition treaty was introduced to make it easier to fast track terrorist suspects, not bankers?

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Unhappy

Re: Just out of curiosity...

Of course. We know how seriously the US takes terrorism - they were willing to extradite the IRA suspects who turned up in America.

Oh, hang on .....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Just out of curiosity...

@Tom - Since we've had the non-reciprocated treaty with the USA, we've not had a single extradition request from the US refused, I don't have the numbers so I'm not going to make something up, but I believe it's in the 10s of people.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Just out of curiosity...

>ah, the Natwest three... that famous terrorist group...

Technically they were just guilty of multi-million dollar wire-fraud (and they were transfered back here to serve sentences on HR grounds). They got off quite lightly really, most charges were dropped in exchange for their guilty pleas.

Personally , and on the above basis, I'm quite happy for the US to prosecute our fraudulent bankers, the UK isn't exactly leading the way despite (or rather because) the worst of International banking generally happens here in the City.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Just out of curiosity...

Richard o'dwyer got shafted, i mean shifted out pretty quickly i believe.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Just out of curiosity...

"Personally , and on the above basis, I'm quite happy for the US to prosecute our fraudulent bankers..."

Although it would also be quite nice if they were to prosecute even one of their own fraudulent bankers, or any of the others who brought about the crash of 2008.

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Re: Just out of curiosity...

Technically, they logged on to their Natwest Stockbroker accounts and sold their holdings of Enron shares before they went belly up, as a lot of people did. The Dept of Public Prosecutions here thought there was no case to answer, and I really don't understand what jurisdiction the US authorities have over the matter.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Just out of curiosity...

>Although it would also be quite nice if they were to prosecute even one of their own fraudulent bankers, or any of the others who brought about the crash of 2008.

Plenty going on and continue to - and most of those who served time alongside the Natwest fraudsters (who pled GUILTY and offered no defence being banged to rights) were US citizens....

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Just use a search engine.

Tom Welsh, Hansard is your friend:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm111205/text/111205w0003.htm

Between 2004-01-01 and 2011-11-29, there were 39 extraditions from the USA to the UK under the 2003 Act, and three additional extraditions from the USA to the UK under the 1989 Act, for a minimum* of 42 successful extraditions from the USA to the UK during that period.

* — Regarding these totals, “the UK” refers to just England and Wales (and Northern Ireland after 2008-04-01). Apparently Scotland deals with its own extradition requests separately (as did Northern Ireland until 2008-04-01). I don’t know why this particular definition of “the UK” was used to answer the original question.

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Re: Just use a search engine.

Probably because if you want to know what happened in Scotland, or in Northern Ireland during the times they were responsible for extraditions, those records aren't held in Whitehall and you would need to ask the question in Hollyrood or Stormont rather than Westmister.

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Anonymous Coward

Hmm...

I bet all the celebs who stumped up cash for his bail bond will be well chuffed at the moment.

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Meh

Re: Hmm...

Jemima Khan responded to the Grauniad editor via Twitter when asked if she would by stumped with the bail bond:

"Yes. I had expected him to face the allegations. I am as surprised as anyone by this"

Since deleted. Oops...

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Re: Hmm...

Jemima Kahn always was going to say "From the get-go we had planed to seek refuge in the Ecuadorean Embassy if we kept losing appeals."

But at the last minute she decided to tell the truth.

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Re: Hmm...

Indeed. A breach of their trust as well as that with the government of these islands:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18519380

The first item was I think a clear signal that he had a plan:

"Last week he failed to reopen an appeal against his extradition to Sweden."

Oh, money, £20,000 is not to be sneezed at I would say:

"If the situation was resolved quickly by Ecuador "effectively putting him on the doorstep of the embassy" for police to arrest, he may not be prosecuted for the breach and the extradition to Sweden would take its course.

Mr Assange's supporters would have to argue that, as it was always known exactly where Mr Assange was, they should have their bail money returned, our correspondent added.

But as it was with the court to provide security and bail had been breached, it was possible they would lose their money, he said.".

Assange has clearly demonstrated that he cannot follow social nor legal rules, and this would appear to have been inculcated in him by his mother from the earliest of ages. So now we see him letting down his new 'friends'.

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FAIL

Seeing as this whole deportation thing was BECAUSE he did a runner the last time the law didn't quite meet his own personal standards, wouldn't it have been a good idea to continue to keep him under lock and key until the date of his deportation?

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Devil

Interesting but alas no.

In order to revoke the bail, Assange would have to shown cause before the bail could be revoked. Its not until he crossed over the embassy's threshold did he violate the terms in his bail.

IMHO, this was a very stupid move on his part.

First anyone who would have further supported him and had cash, now won't take the risk.

Second, assume that he truly has reason to fear getting extradited to the US. This just further embeds the idea that he is guilty in everyone's minds. (Only guilty men run, right?)

Third, counter the idea that he has no reason to fear the US. He could be doing this as a ploy to grandstand and stay in the media. This would make him truly pathetic, more so than the reality queens we see today, post Paris.

Already in the press from the Manning Article 32 hearing... There is evidence that Assange took an active part in assisting Manning. If so, Assange would have something to fear since it would remove the shield of the press. That's a key point. Were Assange only the recipient of the material, he would have a US Supreme Court ruling from the '70s as precedence which would save his bacon. Apparently this is not the case.

Maybe he's setting himself up for an insanity defense?

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What a muppet, nothing shouts guilt more than running away. It's not political, it's sexual assault, shame all the left wing liberal luvvies who were cause celebre are now shown to be just as much of a muppet as he is.

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I don't agree. I think it's just a big game for this guy.

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I'm with skelband. I don't know whether Assange is delusional or actual being persecuted by mysterious forces, but I thought he got a reasonably fair hearing (though, I did get his lawyer's point about the Vienna Convention).

As my post history will show, I think he should go back to Sweden to face those charges, but if that was used to then get him to the USA it would be an international incident.

Can we replace the black helicopter icon with Assange?

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Anonymous Coward

"I think he should go back to Sweden to face those charges, but if that was used to then get him to the USA it would be an international incident."

Agreed, but which magical sleight of hand would be used to get him to the US from Sweden exactly? As pointed out many many times, the US has a much stronger extradition relationship with the UK (as in "bend over please" but without the "please")

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extradition of an Australian citizen from th UK

> the US has a much stronger extradition relationship with the UK

Not for CommonWealth citizen they don't.

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Re: extradition of an Australian citizen from th UK

Neither Sweden nor the UK could extradite him to the US, he'd be possibly looking at a death sentence and the ECHR will not allow a member nation to extradite to a country where they have the death penalty and it's a possibility, with that in mind the US could say "ok, we won't kill him, promise!" and still the ECHR would say "yeah, but a 1,110,065 year sentence... bit extreme?"

The guy is a possible rapist, he allegedly raped workers for the wikileaks site, if there is a case to answer for he should answer it, hiding behind "oh, it's politically motivated" is a crock and shows massive disrespect to the females who claim rape, instead of hiding behind diplomatic skirts shouldn't he really be heading out to Sweden to clear his name?

If it was a violent rape rather than "he didn't wear a condom therefore consent is automatically denied" would anyone be supporting his stance or would it be a case of "get this twat our of this country, RIGHT NOW!"?

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WTF?

Re: extradition of an Australian citizen from th UK

"The guy is a possible rapist"

Yeah but the swedish charges isn't rape but "Sex by Supprise". Not sure what that is but it probally involves jumping out naked yelling "Supprise!"

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Re: D. Webb extradition of an Australian citizen from th UK

> The ECHR will not allow a member nation to extradite to a country where they have the death penalty

I may be wrong but as long as he's not a citizen of a member country of the ECHR, they won't get involved. Australia not being in Europe...

> The guy is a possible rapist

The only thing that everyone agrees about is that there was sex between 2 consenting adults (well, between Assange and 2 separate consenting women; double-timing bastard.) The inquiry seems to be about Assange refusing to take a HIV test after his condom broke. That's /a posteriori/ sexual offense in Sweden, but pretty much nowhere else. Using the term "rape" is both inacurrate and inflammatory.

> "he didn't wear a condom therefore consent is automatically denied"

Apparently he _did_ wear a condom, which broke. Then he refused to take a HIV test. Yes, he's a massive dick. A rapist? not by my book. Does that grant an extradition? It is after all a minor civil offense even in Sweden (it's not an offense at all in any other country that I know of). You don't get extradited for a parking ticket. They could set a date for the trial, he would fail to show up, he would then be found guilty by default and he would have to pay the small fine that the offense carries.

Now pray tell, why are not doing exactly that?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: extradition of an Australian citizen from th UK

I thought the reason for not going to Sweden was that they can extradite him to the US to face the death penalty, whereas the UK won't.

And both women worked at the US embassy in Sweden?

I forget, anyone remember?

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Re: D. Webb extradition of an Australian citizen from th UK

@ElReg!comments!Pierre:

> Yes, he's a massive dick.

Actually, I'd describe him as a little prick (with a tremendously over-inflated ego).

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Anonymous Coward

Running away does not mean guilty

Unless the Police Force's a charity. Assange may be an insufferable twat, but of course the whole thing is for the US to put their hands on him. Remember there is no habeas corpus in the US, read the National Defense Authorization Act. And the UK is just a banana monarchy that will take it form the US with or without lube.

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Re: extradition of an Australian citizen from th UK

None of the potential charges carry the death penalty in the US.

Shipping him to Gitmo can't happen either - the whole point of Gitmo is as an end run round the judicial process. If he gets extradited to the US he goes into the judicial system on landing.

There is not the slightest evidence that Sweden would extradite him to the US.

The suggestion that Swedish prisons are too awful to contemplate is hilarious. Prison reform movements around the world use Swedish prisons as an example of how it should be done.....

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Re: extradition of an Australian citizen from th UK

If he gets extradited to the US he goes into the judicial system on landing.

That's assuming he actually lands in the US, or even Sweden. It's alleged, and possibly proven, though I can't remember, that the UK government was complacent in sending and or allowing people to be sent to gitmo.

The problem I have with all this is deciding weather Assange is paranoid, or not paranoid enough.

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typical US law extends to everything

Its another case where American law applies to everyone and everything.....

Recent examples:

Christopher Tappin - Conspiring to export missiles from the US... see the the problem with that, he's not a US citizen, not a US business man and technically he was importing them and it was a bunch of US agents that were exporting them. Interesting how the manufacturer are in no way to blame for poor control.

Richard O'Dwyer - Providing links to copyrighted material, no charges bought in the UK but shipped him over to the US

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Anonymous Coward

Re: typical US law extends to everything

But Julie's wanted for questoning in Sweden for sex offences, it's nothing to do with the Yanks.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Re: typical US law extends to everything

Everything to do with the Yanks, they are already known to be pressuring the Swedish gov to get their hands on him whether he is charged or not and most recently the Swedish have been rolling over to demands from the US in respect to websites closures, copyright cases, and web based crimes of which most of them aren't actually illegal under Swedish law.

If as is stated by the Swedish\EC warrant the purpose is too question him in relation to possible offenses which as yet he hasn't been charged with then surely that can be done from a police station in the UK under interview condition, incidentally he offered to do this at the Swedish Embassy or Scotland Yard.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Running away does not mean guilty

"Assange may be an insufferable twat, but of course the whole thing is for the US to put their hands on him."

Believing his propaganda, then?

It does rather appeal to anti-establishment conspiracy theorists.

Alternatively, he's just a scum-bucket, hypocritical, lying rape suspect with over-privileged access to lawyers and the media, which he is using to evade questioning and potential trial.

If the US wanted him that badly, they would have had him by now.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: extradition of an Australian citizen from th UK

"None of the potential charges carry the death penalty in the US".

Who said anything about "charges"? The Decider-in-Chief is now legally permitted to have anyone in the world summarily executed, tortured, imprisoned, or all three (although presumably not in that precise order).

Or, of course, he could be charged by a "military commission" (i.e. kangaroo court) like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Possibly after being waterboarded a few hundred times and driven insane.

Or he could simply be placed in special military detention until the seas dry up.

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Re: typical US law extends to everything

"Everything to do with the Yanks, they are already known to be pressuring the Swedish gov to get their hands on him whether he is charged or not and most recently the Swedish have been rolling over to demands from the US in respect to websites closures, copyright cases, and web based crimes of which most of them aren't actually illegal under Swedish law."

Proofie woofie? I thought not, but I can tell you that under the terms of the EAW the Swedes cannot allow him to be extradited without the UK's prior permission. It would be easier for the US to call on the UK now before Assange is taken to Sweden.

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Re: typical US law extends to everything

Hmm, first proof.....

Raid against the Piratebay for copyright infringement, although not illegal in Sweden the US DOJ pressured Sweden into it:

A letter titled "Re: The Pirate Bay" from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to Dan Eliasson, State Secretary at the Swedish Ministry of Justice, was dated two months before the raid and hinted at trade reprisals.

As for terms of the warrant, they only apply whilst the warrant is in effect. Once the warrant has been executed and consider complete there would be nothing to stop the US submitting a request to the Swedish government to have him arrested on US based charges as long as they released him, didn't directly transfer him, didn't impede his ability to leave the country (i.e no fly list, confiscate passport etc) prior to re-arresting him then they could extradite him.

Incidentally I do think he's an idiot and i'm not particularly keen on him, but I'm less keen on America.

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Re: typical US law extends to everything

Another note to add here is that the US plan to try him for treason, defined as an act against ones sovereign or nation... since when has he been a US citizen oh hang on that's right the rest of the world is an extension of American.

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FAIL

Re: typical US law extends to everything

You can produce evidence to back your claims of course. Why not post it here? That way we can all be amazed at the truth and your wondah sleuthing capability.

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@ ElReg!comments!Pierre

Nothing to do with a condom breaking.

There are four charges: that on 14 August 2010 he committed "unlawful coercion" when he held complainant 1 down with his body weight in a sexual manner; that he "sexually molested" complainant 1 when he had condom-less sex with her after she insisted that he use one; that he had condom-less sex with complainant 2 on the morning of 17 August while she was asleep; and that he "deliberately molested" complainant 1 on 18 August 2010 by pressing his erect penis against her body

Now, 1 condom-less sex when consent is only given when a condom is used, therefore there was no consent from the female = rape. 1 condom-less sex with a woman who was asleep, that means there was no implied consent (she was asleep so couldn't consent) as well as the lack of condom. It's rape, plain and simple, no means no. If you're having sex with a woman and half way through she says "STOP" and you don't, that too is rape.

If of course you believe it isn't rape, head out into town tonight, find a woman who is so drunk that she falls into a drunken slumber and then have sex with her, see if you can avoid a charge of rape (hint, you will be charged with rape and go to prison so actually, don't do it).

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