back to article Ecuador: All right, Julian, you CAN stay on our sofa - it's your human right

Julian Assange is in "good spirits" despite being stuck in Ecuador's London embassy for the past year, said the South American country's foreign minister. Ricardo Patino met the Wikileaks website founder over the weekend and appeared on the balcony of the Knightsbridge apartment for a few comments with the press. The minister …

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You have to laugh

If it wasn't for the cost of keeping Julian in, this situation can go on as long as he wants IMHO. Hell is a very small place :-)

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Headmaster

Re: You have to laugh

What cost? :)

I remember some Tory minister arguing on TV that Thatcher's funeral was costing nothing like the surmised amount (£10M?), because all of the police and military were already employed and would have been paid anyway.

So surely the same argument applies here.

Either Thatch's funeral and guarding Jools cost nothing, or they both cost a fortune.

Unless you're a Tory, in which case Thatch cost nothing, Jools is costing a fortune, and you still have another two impossible things to believe before breakfast.

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Anonymous Coward

British Foreign Policy - Not

Pity, he wants to leave but wont be allowed.(at a great cost to taxpayer)

Abu Qatada, doesnt want to leave, but UK spending Millions chasing him out. (at a great cost to taxpayer)

What irony.WTF?

And the PRISM leaker is languishing somewhere in China who might genuinely need human rights protection.

Wankers, all.

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Re: British Foreign Policy - Not

No doubt. We're lacking common sense these days.

Being stubborn and pissing our money down the drain shows a clear lack of common sense.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: British Foreign Policy - Not

"at a great cost to taxpayer"

What great cost? A couple of plods stationed outside.

FFS even if he managed to get past them he still has to get out of the country.

He's a suspected rapist who doesn't want to risk doing time in Sweden. A country not exactly well known for the barbarity of it's prison sytem. So what has he got a relatively comfortable cell in a London Embassy.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: British Foreign Policy - Not

Its been reported its cost us £ 3 million already (conservativley ) ! Can we ask the Swedes to pay up for this? After all, we are doing their bidding!

He is not worried about Sweded, but the USA, since the charges arose AFTER the Wikileaks expose.

Go it?

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Anonymous Coward

'ere we go again..

Can we ask the Swedes to pay up for this? After all, we are doing their bidding!

Plod is also there because Assange broke bail conditions. Oh, and yes, to deal with an extradition request that had the full house of evaluation through successive rounds of legal work. Funny that, looks like it's all completely according to the law. Oh, sorry, it's Jules, can't HIM to comply with local laws now, can we. After all, if we do, his mates are going to release beeeelions of documents. Which they will do anyway, so that was pretty much an irrelevant threat as well as a firm indication of just how important manking is and possible harm versus TEFKAA (The Ego Formerly Known As Assange)

He is not worried about Sweded, but the USA, since the charges arose AFTER the Wikileaks expose. Go it?

He's worried about Sweden, because he DID do something that was at best questionable, and because he isn't the man he pretends to be (more like a dick with an extension) he couldn't be arsed to get himself tested, which is all the girls actually asked originally (so, all the Swedish stuff could have been avoided despite already breaking rape laws and decency by doing the right thing. But hey, that's not what TEFKAA is about. The "right" thing is only what TEFKAA decides it to be, no need for following pesky earthling laws. So it became a rape charge all by itself, because that's how, again, the LAW works, this time in Sweden. But hey, the law, that's only for plebs like you and me, so the US excuse had to be hastily compiled because it would otherwise look like, well, TEFKAA was merely a non-wanker behaving like a wanker and trying to escape consequences that would have landed anyone else in jail already.

It's not hard, really, when you scrape the fat layer of total BS off the naked facts.

Got it?

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Flame

What happens

if the fire alarm goes off. (Assuming the assembly area is outside the enbassy grounds).

Anyway I'm they're having a whale of a time with him, though best lock the bedroom door before going to sleep, ladies.

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Re: What happens

I don't know what the legalities are, but I'd assume the plod will grab him if they can see him coming out, for whatever reason.

If I was him, I'd be staying inside until there's no other option (and trying to slip away in the chaos if there is a fire).

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Coat

Re: What happens

First he orders the fireman's uniform, with full facemask. Then he starts the fire and slips away.

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Boffin

Re: What happens

For all International law can be an ass, I'm fairly sure this one will be covered off around safe protection for embassy staff and access by fire, rescue and safety officers to controlled areas. It would be kind of an obvious vector of attack otherwise.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What happens

Except he's not embassy staff and he doesn't have any diplomatic status, he's just a guy who has skipped bail and is making out like there is a massive conspiracy against him.

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Re: What happens

You'd have to check the laws of Equador and its territories. English law doesn't apply.

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FAIL

Re: What happens

I think you're 100% wrong there. English law applies.

That's why it's illegal to shoot police officers from, say, the Libyan Embassy, and to hold hostages in, say, the Iranian Embassy.

And why it would also be illegal for the Americans to snatch him, take him across to Grosvenor Square, and apply capital punishment, however tempted they may be.

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Re: What happens

"Anyway I'm they're having a whale of a time with him, though best lock the bedroom door before going to sleep, ladies."

"Surprise!!!!!". ;->

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Re: What happens

"You'd have to check the laws of Equador and its territories. English law doesn't apply."

Barrack room lawyer, neither qualified nor employable in chosen field.

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Happy

Re: What happens

"And why it would also be illegal for the Americans to snatch him, take him across to Grosvenor Square, and apply capital punishment, however tempted they may be."

I understand the sentiment, but I don't think they need bother. After all, all of the exits appear to have been sewn up tighter than a duck's arse and Jules is complaining about his yuman/sunbathin' rights. Uhuh.

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Re: What happens

For all International law can be an ass, I'm fairly sure this one will be covered off around safe protection for embassy staff and access by fire, rescue and safety officers to controlled areas. It would be kind of an obvious vector of attack otherwise.

Assange's position isn't covered by international law. The Vienna conventions, under which embassies operate, don't recognise the right of refuge/sanctuary/asylum in embassies. As I understand it, this is standard convention in South America, and some other parts of the world, but not everywhere, and so not covered by the international agreements that everyone signs up to.

Embassies have certain legal privileges and immunities, but they're also only supposed to use them for diplomatic purposes, which protecting Assange isn't. So there's an argument to say that Ecuador are in breach of the conventions, but there are no sanctions built in. However for us to storm the embassy would also be a breach of them. Stand off. There's a big fat grey area here, where diplomacy is supposed to work.

We apparently have a clause in our legal implementation of diplomatic rules that in extraordinary circumstances we can declare an embassy temporarily no longer one so the police can march in. This was after the Libyans allowed a bloke to shoot a police woman from theirs, and got the murderer out under immunity. Normally this needs the permission of the ambassador or government in question, such as when we stormed the Iranian embassy (with permission).

To use it for Assange would be obvious over-kill - and make us look really bad. So that the only realistic sanction we have would be to kick their embassy out of the country (virtually breaking off diplomatic relations), then wander in, and pick Assange up. Which would be more diplomatically damaging than simply doing nothing. But not break any conventions. Well, I say that, but even then the embassy is still their property, so technically we'd probably still be on dodgy ground going in. Though not in cutting off power, water and sewage services.

Final point. The embassy is UK territory. It's not Ecuador, it's under our law. It's just we have a law implementing international agreements on diplomacy that makes things complicated.

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Re: What happens

But the embassy stops at the front door. If they come out into the street (e.g. to get away from a fire) then they are no longer in the embassy.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What happens

if the fire alarm goes off.

Plods will extend perimeter, and check anyone trying to leave the scene, potentially using preventive arrest if it gets too complex to deal with there and then. The benefit of a small embassy is a low volume of personnel that cam go in and out.

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FAIL

Re: Brewster's Angle Grinder Re: What happens

"First he orders the fireman's uniform, with full facemask...." Nice try, but wouldn't work. The firemen would have to be invited onto Ecuadorean territory - as such the identities of the firemen going into and coming out the building would be noted by the coppers.

".....Then he starts the fire and slips away." Then he just gets arrested. Sorry to ruin it for you but coppers aren't all as think as you would like to "think".

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How does he pass his time...

.. I wonder how the tunnel is doing?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How does he pass his time...

They have almost tunneled through to the back of the public bogs at Knightsbridge underground station. They are just looking for a Pommel horse and some passable ID papers.

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Re: How does he pass his time...

Do you mean the VPN tunnel so that he can keep running Wikileaks from inside the Embassy? Because, you know, the fact that he is locked in an Embassy means what to someone that runs an on-line enterprise?

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Thumb Up

Re: How does he pass his time...

"They have almost tunneled through to the back of the public bogs at Knightsbridge underground station"

Excellent. All we need to do now is orchestrate a mass toilet blockage to result in gallons of the brown stuff surging back through the tunnel.

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Coat

Re: How does he pass his time...

Lots of leaks at the same time should do that ... Ok I'm going

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Happy

Re: How does he pass his time...

"Excellent. All we need to do now is orchestrate a mass toilet blockage to result in gallons of the brown stuff surging back through the tunnel."

A 'backflow surge' (thinks dreamily of Far Cry days).

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Anonymous Coward

Roger the Lodger

He must be going stir crazy in there. I know I would. Still, and as with all sieges, the embattled will crack eventually.

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Re: Roger the Lodger

That couch is going to be famous some day. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if it ended up at Sotheby's.

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recalled

The real reason the ambassador was recalled was due to the stress of working in the same room as assange.

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Joke

Re: recalled

Or maybe she dozed off and woke up with Assange all over her.

<-- Lawyers, please note the Joke! icon.

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Re: recalled

Notice the icon is to the right unless you press to see all comments then it's on the left. Lawyers, might choose not to understand that.

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Re: recalled

"Notice the icon is to the right unless you press to see all comments then it's on the left. Lawyers, might choose not to understand that."

That would not make one iota of difference. To understand why, recall that a UK lawyer has already paid due attention to online customs, rituals and language where Sally Bercow's 'innocent look' is concerned. Thus any lawyer stupid enough to take this seriously - and I grant there are a few who like to bang their pointy heads against the wall, as St Jules' lawyer demonstrates - will find themselves experiencing difficulty... ...not that I imagine they will not first pay due attention to the effect on their image, as Jemima Khan may have done.

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Anonymous Coward

I wonder if he's cracked their systems yet? Presumably they've got some 'state secrets' which could garner some interest on Wikileaks. Maybe they're just holding off on publishing what he has managed to steal from their systems, until after he is out of their Embassy?

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That would be funny if he did, but doubtful that he would that irresponsible.

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Joke

Ah so thats why they let him stay there, he has something on them

<--- LAWYERS SEE THE JOKE ICON

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LAWYERS SEE THE JOKE ICON

I don't know what you're worrying about. El Reg would never, ever, reveal your real name or email address, now, would they!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: LAWYERS SEE THE JOKE ICON

So it's only the NSA packet intercepts we have to worry about then :-D

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> but doubtful that he would that irresponsible.

irony tags.. there must be some irony tags on this. Mustn't there?

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Anonymous Coward

That would be funny if he did, but doubtful that he would that irresponsible

Hahahaha - I like your humour.

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Devil

If I were in the CIA...

I'd plant something really, really, REALLY juicy on one ore more of the Ecuadorian embassy computers and wait to see if/when Julian the Ass gave into temptation and first snooped and then blabbed.

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Happy

Re: James O'Shea Re: If I were in the CIA...

"....and wait to see if/when Julian the Ass gave into temptation....." Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure his legal team, highly alarmed by St Julie's ability to shoot himself in the feet, will have been round to explain to him exactly what happens to whistleblowers in Ecuador (http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/06/17/ecuador-end-assault-free-speech). They probably also bring him extra-strong condoms too, just in case!

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Anonymous Coward

It does make you think what he has on the current Ecuadorian government that they continue to let him stay, presumable rent free. I wonder if I can just rock up at a foreign embassy and stay rent free for a year or so, one of those nice gaffs in Portman Place maybe.

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Nothing needed...

I doubt he has much if anything on Ecuador, but he doesn't need to. The smaller countries of South and Latin America are so TIRED of American intervention in their internal politics and affairs that helping Assange is just a stick back in the eye to the US. No compensation needed, no threats needed - the enemy of my enemy is my friend. And Assange has some well-off connections that I am sure are happy to help the Ecuadorians with the expenses, and perhaps a bit more, if you catch my drift.

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FAIL

Re: Nothing needed...

"The smaller countries of South and Latin America are so TIRED of American intervention in their internal politics and affairs [...]"

Ecuador, the country which suppresses free speech, whose judicial and policing systems are the envy of Juntas everywhere, the country which is sending back a Belarus man to his home country, in spite of fears for his safety and well being... ...ah yes, the country which has a reputation in the human rights sphere that is recognised for its brutality. Yup, I'm sure they want the US to keep their noses out. Sho' thing. Uhuh.

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Trollface

Re: Nothing needed...

It's not about what a wonderful country Ecuador is or isn't, they enjoy poking the US in the eye as much as anyone else. Assange is that poke in the eye*.

Basically, they're trolling the US, and to a certain amount the UK as well. I'm not sure what Sweden thinks about the whole situation.

* (stop sniggering at the back there!)

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Facepalm

Re: phuzz Re: Nothing needed...

".....they enjoy poking the US in the eye...." Yeah, I'm sure that's how it started out, just Socialist shitz and gigglez, but now they've realised they're stuck with A$$nut stinking up the joint and molesting the cleaners. Patino has a problem - he sacked the "jobs-for-good-socialist-girls" ambassador Alban because she couldn't get the UK to ignore the law and just let A$$nut fly off to Quito (you can just imagine Patino and Correa scratching their heads - "what is it with these Europeans and actually upholding the law?"), but Patino has just been told by Hague (politely) to stuff it. Meanwhile, poor old Alban takes the hit when the whole A$$nut mess was dropped in her lap by the Ecuadorean embassy's consul, Fidel Narvaez, who plotted A$$nut's bail-jumping episode in the first place. Of course, Narvaez wasn't looking for something to keep the sheeples' attention away from the way Correa has gradually destroyed freedom of the press in Ecuador..... No, of course not!

Meanwhile, back in Langley, they're probably still in stitches over the mess A$$nut and Correa have managed to create for themselves.

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Happy

And in a few years when the tables have turned everyone who had a hand in keeping him in "prison" shall themselves be in prison for ten times as long, ...... if they ever live through the table turning episodes.

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"And in a few years when the tables have turned everyone who had a hand in keeping him in "prison" shall themselves be in prison for ten times as long, ...... if they ever live through the table turning episodes."

Am I to understand that you have been 'dreaming' or something? Or was this irony I wonder out loud. "Stupid boy".

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Happy

And in a few years when the tables have turned everyone who had a hand in keeping him in "prison"

That's Julian Assange himself. His current incarceration is purely voluntary.

shall themselves be in prison for ten times as long

That'd be a bugger for poor Julian. So he'd get 10 years in a small flat in Knightsbridge sleeping on a sofa to pay for the year he's already put himself through...

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