back to article US puts Assange charge in too-hard basket - report

US authorities have decided not to prosecute Wikileaker-in-chief Julian Assange, because to do so would mean also mean prosecutions of US-based media, according to The Washington Post. The Post says it has had some off-the-record chats with Justice Department officials who have said it's proving hard to build a case against …

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this should be good

gets out popcorn.

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Re: this should be good

"This one clearly has a long way to run"

Unlike Assange, who only has about twelve feet to run before he hits a wall...

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Re: this should be good

Next step is sweden will drop requests for him to give evidence. Once that happens he'll leave the embassy and get porridge for breaking UK bail restrictions :-)

That was of his own public choosing too. Oh the irony.

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And of course....

... even if they _have_ 'changed their minds' - what would therebe to stop them changing their minds again if Mr A became more attainable than he is now? For whatever, um, 'action' they might decide to take?

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Re: And of course....

Let's be clear, he's broken bail and contempt of court might be in order the moment the fuc^H^Hine gentleman crosses the threshold. Then he can go for his tape trial.

And he owes the Met a load of cash for having to police the darn embassy. London taxpayers, this man costs you money. I think it's safe to say he's burnt his narcissistic bridges with anyone who has actually tried to deal fairly with him.

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Re: And of course....

The silly thing is that, because he has broken bail in the UK, he will go to jail in the UK. If he had gone to Sweden and hired a competent lawyer, it is probable that the rape allegations would have been quashed.

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Rob
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Re: And of course....

Nope he won't go to UK jail, he'll get extradited to Sweden as the order still stands between Sweden and the UK.

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"broken bail and contempt of court"

It reminds me of Central America during the 1980s. I also doubt the decision about how to police Assange had any input from Assange and was entirely politically driven.

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Re: And of course....

Sweden allow extradition on Death Penalty charges to USA? Not possible.

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Re: And of course....

"Nope he won't go to UK jail"

He possibly will, before being extradited. He broke his bail conditions. I don't give a toss about whatever else he did and what happens next, but the fucker stuck his fingers up at our entire legal system and cost us a fortune when he decided that he didn't agree with what the court said.

Money and fame gave him far more chances than any of the rest of us would have got, and I despise the little shit for it.

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Re: And of course....

Well, more than likely. But he doesn't face any jail time in Sweden, so I'm sure the UK will send him off with a large 'Please return when wallet has been emptied' sticker.

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Assange still wont leave.

Because then he wont have as big of a soapbox to stand upon to sprout his bullshit.

I hereby introduce the Julian Assange drinking game. Have a shot of your favourite spirit each time he says the following during his next press conference and he is asked about these revelations;

"Theyre Lying"

"i don't trust them"

"...blahblahblahblah Rendition blahdyblahdyblahblah..."

"if they cant tell the difference between insurgents and reporters, how can I be sure they wont confuse me for a terrorist?"

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Oh really?

Is this like that time President Obama said "we're not going to scramble jets to catch a thirty year old hacker", then grounded the Bolivian President's jet on the basis of a rumor?

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Re: Oh really?

The chilling fact about that is the shotgun approach. America contacted every country on the planes flightpath to refuse airspace. All the countries complied against a sovereigns plane.

ye gads the NSA must have had some serious internet browsing history for those people.

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Rumours

Did this rumour come from Assanage himself, news about him has been a little quiet of late ? Snowden has taken front place is stealing all the limelight.

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Re: Rumours

"Snowden has taken front place is stealing all the limelight."

Quite right, too.

Snowdon is an ex-NSA employee who got his own story, got it out and made himself a wanted man.

Assange just passed on what someone else is rotting in jail for getting and rolled around the world on the back of it, lapping up media attention.

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Re: Rumours

Snowdon is an ex-NSA employee who got his own story, got it out and made himself a wanted man.

Whereas St Jules(™) made himself a w*nking man? I mean, there are not THAT many reasons to go that embassy..

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Re: Rumours

"Whereas St Jules(™) made himself a w*nking man?"

He made himself a media celebrity and more than a little rapey.

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Black Helicopters

As Admiral Ackbar said...

"It's a TRAP!"

Now I feel dirty for knowing a quotation from Star Wars.

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Beat me to it

Sure smells like one.

Don't feel dirty, it could be worse. Know any Michael Bay movie quotes?

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Re: Know any Michael Bay movie quotes?

Just make the sound of lots and lots of REALLY REALLY big explosions, and you've pretty much nailed any of them.

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Big Brother

Just because the US doesn't want to prosecute because it makes them look bad doesn't mean he is out of danger.

I am sure Assange knows this and stays away from windows lest he be assassinated by one of the snipers 500 meters from the embassy....just waiting patiently for him he forget as he admires the view from a window.

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Big Brother

Don't be fooled

By the 'lone gunman' theory. There will be many, many more.

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"I am sure Assange knows this and stays away from windows lest he be assassinated by one of the snipers 500 meters from the embassy....just waiting patiently for him he forget as he admires the view from a window."

Tinfoil hat, sir?

Or are you seriously suggesting that the US of A is camped quarter of a mile away, happy to blow away an Australian, sat in an embassy, in the UK?

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lest he be assassinated

Not a chance. It would take a seriously deluded and deranged politician, umm, wait. Back up. They are. OK, anew: I doubt if anyone is stupid enough not to realise that killing Ass ange would turn him into a martyr. That would be stupid at a galactic level. Ah, politicians. Hmm, there may be a risk after all.

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If the US wants him dead - he wakes up right next to a Tomahawk and the USA will be so sorry for the mishap and is investigating the error in coordinates. Just aks the guys in the Chinese Embassy to Serbia...

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Paris Hilton

Sounds more like a US Honeypot trap

So they can persuade him to leave ... then, Gotcha!

Smarter to stay facing the four walls he knows than others he doesn't.

HOW MUCH has Plod cost the UK Taxpayer to watch Assange so far, I wonder?

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Re: Sounds more like a US Honeypot trap

>HOW MUCH has Plod cost the UK Taxpayer to watch Assange so far, I wonder?

£3.8m, apparently.

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Re: Sounds more like a US Honeypot trap

£3.8M might round up a few indirect costs as well, but certainly keeping watch on the place for a bail jumper is not cheap. The courts should pass all the bail bond money to the Met, as a contribution to the cost of watching the place.

The balance - perhaps Ecuador might like to contribute setting as they've had better security over the past year? 24h cover and all that.

In the spirit of Assange's biting, chewing, adding relish, swallowing and defaecating of the hand that feeds him, do you think we'll see him leave the Ecuador embassy with pockets stuffed with their sensitive material? Must be hard to keep it secret in a small flat. I feel sorry for the ambassador who ever let him cross the threshold, they have a real infestation problem.

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Re: Sounds more like a US Honeypot trap

It's not really a trap if both sides know full well he won't go for it.

It's either an entirely genuine "we don't really care any more", or an attempt to muddy the waters and get some anti-Assange PR going - because the average disinterested punter will assume (not bothering to study all the history of the case) that he's being a tool by staying in the embassy. It's a pretty obvious tactic for the US to take.

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Re: Sounds more like a US Honeypot trap

£3.8 M is indeed a lot of money.

I am pretty sure they don't spend anything like that on the average european arrest warrant, or commit officers 24/7 to stake out a place on the off chance they might be able to grab the target.

It's almost like there is something else about this Assange fellow that they're so interested in.

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Yeah right....

Until the next election looms and whipping his Ass(ange), pun intended will be a sure fire vote winner in certain parts of the US where the average I.Q. is in single figures.

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Do they think Assange is stupid?

Why is he going to trust an empty promise? It isn't legally binding. It's probably a ploy to try to coax him into leaving the embassy, and an obvious one at that.

Besides, even if they don't prosecute, there are plenty of other ways the US government could make an example of him. The sexual assault charge for one. A little more political leaning and they can make sure that the extradition ends in conviction. Assange goes behind bars for a good few years, his reputation is tainted by a rape conviction, and with any luck someone will shiv him in jail. Problem solved.

Or they could simply arrange an 'accident.'

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Re: Do they think Assange is stupid?

Last time, I promise ;o)

He is NOT going behind bars for ANY number of years. Sex By Surprise carries a maximum penalty of a 7,500kr fine. Apart from that, there are no other charges. He left Sweden after checking that the prosecutor's office had concluded their investigation. He challenged the extradition, true, but in law never wilfully defied it. As far as Sweden is concerned, he is charged only with a misdemeanour offence with a set maximum penalty as above. If he is found guilty and fails/refuses to pay, then charges involving jail time MAY be brought, but that hasn't happened yet. In the UK, he faces a charge of breaching bail conditions, which is way more serious and which, depending on the judge, could very easily result in a stiff custodial sentence..

Incidentally, anyone else confused as to why Sweden has felt the need to invest what must be millions of kronor to hear the case against someone which, if successful, might add around 500 quid to the national coffers?

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Re: Do they think Assange is stupid?

What if Sweden can proof that he had an STD while doing sex without a condom? In quite a few countries this changes the game. There is the matter of a blood-test that he has constantly refused...

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He can't leave

Asshat can't leave the embassy. Ever. He committed an offence in UK law, when he broke his bail conditions, for which he would be rightly tried and punished - then extradited to Sweden.

The irony being that most British prisons are probably more spacious and comfortable than his current confinement, and any sentence he received for a rape conviction would likely have been shorter.

Snowden is different and he really should stay in exile, as the charges inevitably awaiting him are serious enough to see him locked up for the rest of his natural life. Matters of conscience won't be any defence against the OSA.

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If it did declare it has no plans to haul him into its territory...

... then nobody would believe them.

Just saying, It would be like Gordon Brown declaring that none of the bailout money would be used to pay bankers' bonuses.

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Re: If it did declare it has no plans to haul him into its territory...

"Just saying, It would be like Gordon Brown declaring that none of the bailout money would be used to pay bankers' bonuses."

or indeed any politician of any persuasion promising anything.

Why insist on embarrassing yourself with your naive and outdated party political evangelism. Nowadays all parties stand for the same thing: power without responsibility. All party leaders are fronts for the same loosely based money/influence cabal and if they covered their faces you wouldn't be able to tell which one was lying to you.

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Re: Why insist on embarrassing yourself with your naive and outdated party political evangelism...

Alright, Russel? You missed an opportunity to plug your new DVD, there.

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It was only the rape charge has was scared of. He was never really scared of extradition to the US, for if he had been, he would scarcely have come to the UK, the US's closest ally, a country with a much more watertight extradition deal with the US than Sweden has.

The risks of extradition from the UK to US were always at least as high, and by any reasonable standard much higher, than those from Sweden.

Sweden's extradition treaty to the US specifically excludes political offences, which means spying. Even now Sweden is refusing to extradite to the US a US citizen accused of spying on Americans on behalf of Cuba.

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Joke

Progress in the penal system in the UK - double punishment :)

Even if he is cleared of alleged crimes in Sweden, he is guilty if crimes in the UK (breach of bail - undisputed).

Having completed whatever sentence is laid down within the UK, we're then going to send him to Australia and never let him back!

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"Having completed whatever sentence is laid down within the UK, we're then going to send him to Australia and never let him back!"

What makes you think Australia would take him? I notice our Government (headed by the Emu lady at the time) didn't exactly rush to his defence (as they did for, Oh for example, convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby)

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'What makes you think Australia would take him?'

Deporting criminals from Britain to Australia? C'mon, you're making it too easy...

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As Firedog goes, so goes the nation...

as Firedoglake notes, WaPo's original piece noted the assuring line that they wouldn't arrest Assange now, but "might be in 6 months". How reassuring. Fortunately they memory-holed that tell, and went with a completely fuzzy ambiguous "maybe it's over maybe it's not it's so tuff how could we know?" framing.

http://dissenter.firedoglake.com/2013/11/26/until-the-grand-jury-is-entirely-disbanded-wikileaks-should-remain-skeptical-of-us-officials-statements/

One might wonder that if busting Wikileaks means busting the NY Times that maybe indeed Wikileaks was acting as a news organization (seems they got better bang-for-buck in the Arab spring than our overthrowing Libya), but then we'd have to consider other issues like whether The Reg violated the Official Secrets Act (I saw your PGP offer) and who knows where that would lead... no more punny jokes about ladies' naughty coverings plus quadruple-sexual-entendres and more sticking to staid technical issues...

Wikileaks also reminds that the kerfluffle over their activities also involved intimidating PayPal, Visa, et al. After 3 years and Snowden's revelations, perhaps the side effects were more the intent than actually getting hold of some Aussie in a Swedish brothel/Ecuadorian embassy. Hardly a complaint about bugging AP reporters' phones en masse, or throwing that NY Times guy in jail. We've all got that security state spirit these days, even as we forget whatever 9/11 & the Tube bombing were about.

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WTF?

Note. This is *not* official. Some guy off the record said it to a reporter.

Bet your freedom on such an "Assurance?"

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A what a beautiful set up. With Ecuador and GB talking about a solution to the Assange problem this is the straw that gets St. Julian send to martyrdom. Palm Sunday he'll be out of the embassy and into sweden. trial on Good Friday and (after GB waives charges of breaking bail) touch down in Sydney on Easter Sunday.

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Nothing to see here...

non-story, rumour and hear say.

All risks still exist, even if this is officially declared, there is nothing to stop them recanting once he steps outside, or over a border.

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Believe but verify!

To paraphrase Ronald Reagan... In any case, I wouldn't trust the US DOJ if they told me the Earth was round unless I got it in writing, certified and notarized, and then I have my doubts and would parse the wording of the document most carefully for caveats and loopholes. IE, never trust a lawyer, especially a government one!

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dirty work

The US might not want to soil its hands smacking down the free press.

But Assange is in the UK which has no such qualms, and has a long track record of dutifully doing Uncle Sam's dirty work.

The UK is happy to send spooks round to the Guardian to make them destroy hard drives, something the US (at least publicly) distanced itself from. I am sure if they were to throw Assange in some hole, or prosecute him for his role in the leaks, the US might publicly remove itself but would no doubt be patting its little pet nation on the head in private... and throwing some more juicy funding to GCHQ.

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