back to article UK and Ecuador working on Assange escape mechanism

Ecuador's foreign minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa says the country is working with the UK to find a way for Julian Assange to leave its embassy. Espinosa is attending the 47th General Assembly of the Organization of American States in Cancun and told reporters there that Ecuador and the UK are talking about doing something …

Anonymous Coward

Just build a big wooden horse, hide him in it and send it as gift.

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Devil

Shown the Ecuadoor

Would he be safer from the bad guys in Ecuador?

Probably not.

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Re: Shown the Ecuadoor

This is made possible because the US is losing it's grip on other countries, such as the UK. Ecuador has maintained its sovereignty for a long time already, so Assange may well be safer there than where he is now.

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Re: Shown the Ecuadoor

Assange - The Rector of Stiffkey for the Internet Age

[With due apologies for besmirching the reputation of the late Harold Davidson]

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Re: Shown the Ecuadoor

At least he avoided ending up in the territory of that famously sycophantic, US-lapdog, Sweden.

Instead he stayed in the UK knowing that they never kowtow to the yanks, or bow down to their imperialistic demands.

Wait, do I have that the right way round?

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Happy

Re: Shown the Ecuadoor

The Swedish Chef is a CIA plant! Keeping an eye on the subversive Muppets. Miss Piggy is a commie you know.

And Kermit is a radical green...

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Re: Shown the Ecuadoor

"At least he avoided ending up in the territory of that famously sycophantic, US-lapdog, Sweden.

Instead he stayed in the UK knowing that they never kowtow to the yanks, or bow down to their imperialistic demands."

And he did this thoughout a period in which the US government showed absolutely no interest in him - no charges, no extradition requests, nothing. Now, there is some suggestion that the new administration sees things differently.

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I hope the talks are kept brief and there's an end in sight to squandering tax payer's money on that showboating joker.

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A recent Radio 4 Book of the Week was the account of the man hired to be Assange's ghost writer . As it turned out, Assange kept promising to provide notes and read through the drafts but never did, stringing the publisher along.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08vk79l

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Anonymous Coward

As it turned out, Assange kept promising to provide notes and read through the drafts but never did, stringing the publisher along.

Hang on, someone actually believed Assange's promises? LOL

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I recently listened to that very program and having turned sour on Assange it was both a good story and good confirmation that my early feelings were right (when friends were lauding his selflessness).

The recent article about his announcement of big news which he then said he would make later was

instructive less by the text than by the photo...it almost seemed as if the photographer had to take special care to make the few there seem to be just part of a larger group.

It was also wonderfully ridiculous to see him standing on the small balcony, just above the street. A position which if it were another floor or two higher might have conveyed a sense of privilege, of prestige but as it was, it was ludicrous. But he seemed to behave as if he were giving an audience rather than an abbreviated statement.

He may have a trove of previously acquired files but I don't know that he is accomplishing much now; more still beating an old drum. I don't think history will judge him kindly; I hope his warts and all will be a continuing part of whatever story is told. I think Dickens could have done justice to the final meanness of Assange's character.

Something no one has asked (on other forums about him) is what about the money people who trusted him lost when he jumped bail? Judging from the radio program he has a very bad habit of not paying his bills, especially those of his lawyers, so why would he treat friends differently? I wonder if they still consider themselves his friends?

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Anonymous Coward

It was also wonderfully ridiculous to see him standing on the small balcony, just above the street. A position which if it were another floor or two higher might have conveyed a sense of privilege, of prestige but as it was, it was ludicrous. But he seemed to behave as if he were giving an audience rather than an abbreviated statement.

Yes, I wasn't exactly taken by his Urbi et Orbi attitude either. Oh, how he wishes we would forget he's but a measly fugitive from justice and a potential rapist*.

* That the investigation has been suspended is by no means the exoneration he tries to spin it as. His frantic antics to avoid these investigations suggests there is definitely something to these allegations or he would have brazened it out in a blaze of publicity.

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Anonymous Coward

Timing

I didn't think there was any educated person who didn't notice anything suspicious about the timing or the Sweedish charges.

If you pretend there is a trial using the available information in the media, then by using the American standard of reasonable doubt, Assange is innocent. But even that is over thinking the issue. The accusation arose after Assange posted the Iraq leaks.

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Go

Why not just send a squad of Assange look-alikes to the embassy. then he can walk out with them while the police dither trying to guess which one to arrest - See Pale Fire by Nabokov or I was Sadam's double, etc.

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Getting out of the embassy shouldn't be a problem - the 24/7 police presence was abandoned in 2015, when the total cost had already hit £11m. It's reassuring to know that the Met Police are so well resourced that they can spend that amount of money on keeping one bail jumper holed up, isn't it?

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Addressing the implicit dig here - at the moment the Met is so stretched that some officers are working 30 hour shifts and they've been working 14 day weeks. That's 30 hours with only toilet breaks and maybe munching a donut in the car, 11 hours rest (including commuting and eating), then 30 more hours day after day.

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when the total cost had already hit £11m

Assange will be very worried now Cressida Dick's in charge. Shooting a South American dead only results in a £175k fine and a rap on the knuckles for H&S failings.

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You are Dianne Abbott and I claim my £5

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Not forgetting to put the entire blame onto the SRR.

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Re: so well resourced

When that money was spent, he was more than just a bail jumper. There was a European Arrest Warrant on him, which we were obliged to honour. Now that warrant has been dropped, it is purely a local matter, so perhaps it can be resolved.

On the other hand, the case itself hasn't been dropped, and the Swedes have said they will revive it if Assange ever comes within their reach. I think Assange has to be careful here. If he spends any time in police custody, the Swedes might act.

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Re: so well resourced

When that money was spent, he was more than just a bail jumper. There was a European Arrest Warrant on him, which we were obliged to honour.

You reckon the Met would spend £11m trying to enforce random European arrest warrants? Whatever one's sympathy for Assange, or lack of it, it's difficult to conclude other than that there's been a strong political dimension to this from Day 1 - which has only served to make his paranoid arguments more credible.

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"when the total cost had already hit £11m."

Unless that was a special job filled by officers on overtime, or they employed extra officers to account for that job, then the actual cost was a few less officers available for other duties. I'm sure it caused extra costs to be incurred but I take that £11m with a truck load of salt.

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Re: so well resourced

Credas,

There's no need for politics here. When was the last time a suspected criminal ran into a London embassy? This is something to be discouraged. So it needs to be seen to fail. Both to other crims, and embassies who might enjoy causing trouble.

Plus, if you very publicly take the piss out of the criminal justice system, it'll almost certainly try to bite you back.

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Re: so well resourced

"There was a European Arrest Warrant on him, which we were obliged to honour. Now that warrant has been dropped, it is purely a local matter, so perhaps it can be resolved."

The original reason for him being given bail (the EAW) has disappeared, so his lawyers could probably get the breach of bail issue resolved fairly easily (e.g. he surrenders to the court, the government keeps the bail money from his friends, he walks free). He could then vanish to Ecuador or wherever, before the Yanks have a chance to dream up some charges and submit an extradition request.

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Re: so well resourced

> The original reason for him being given bail (the EAW) has disappeared, so his lawyers could probably get the breach of bail issue resolved fairly easily (e.g. he surrenders to the court, the government keeps the bail money from his friends, he walks free)

Possibly, but it's by no means a given. He did jump bail, which is contempt of court. It doesn't matter whether you think you're being tried for something that's bollocks, you're expected to comply with the court's orders. Deliberately ignoring them isn't something that will be looked on kindly, and that's all on Assange to be honest. He seemed perfectly happy with our legal system when taking his case through every level, and then legged it when it was obvious it wasn't going his way.

The bail money is gone either way, and I suspect he'll get more than a ticking off when he eventually presents himself to court. One thing is for sure, though, should he ever get nicked again, he's well and truly burnt any chance of getting bail ever again. Though that, of course, will also be part of a conspiracy against him...

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Re: so well resourced

"Possibly, but it's by no means a given. He did jump bail, which is contempt of court."

The standard penalty for a first time bail breach is a dressing down in court and "don't do it again"

This is usually the case even for habitual bail breachers (personal experience with a local thug causing trouble). Treating him differently would set things up for a messy set of appeals despite the publicity associated with what he did.

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Re: so well resourced

Unfortunately judges do treat high profile cases differently to low profile ones. So he might get a stiffer penalty, as it's public, in order to make a public point. Which is the downside of facing the criminal justice system if you're famous - the upside being you probably get better lawyers.

But it comes down to time. If he surrenders himself in the expectation of getting just a slapped wrist from the magistrate, he needs to be seen that day by the magistrate, and then deported to Australia that day. Otherwise he's going to be in cusody (being a bail-jumper he's an obvious flight risk) and at that point Sweden can nab him again. I can't see the wheels of justice turning that quickly.

Obviously if the conspiracy theories are to be believed, so might the US. Though even if true, they'd have to move pretty damned fast. If he genuinely believes the US stuff, and I think he is possibly that paranoid, then how's he ever going to leave the embassy?

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Diplomatic pouch?

What are the rules for these? Would it be possible to ship him out in a box with airholes, and the UK be prevented from searching it?

Better yet, would it be possible to ship him out in a box without airholes?

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Re: Diplomatic pouch?

A box without airholes is better known as a casket.

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Re: Diplomatic pouch?

This trick has been tried before - though it was Nigeria I think and the person in question had been kidnapped. British police seized the diplomatic baggage at the airport and opened it.

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Re: Diplomatic pouch?

As in the Umaru Dikko affair. The plan was though to have him locked in a crate with an Israeli doctor supervising him IIRC, the doctor ended up doing 14 years for abduction.

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Coat

Re: Diplomatic pouch?

"A box without airholes is better known as a casket."

Handy. No need to move him from one box to another for his burial.

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Holmes

Re: A box without airholes is better known as a casket.

And your point being?

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Anonymous Coward

Quito

Nicer climate for sure... But in this part of the world he could be disappeared in a heartbeat. So he shouldn't go! Not that he'd be badly missed unlike Snowden.

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The worst thing in the world for Assange...

would be for the US government to just ignore him. The second worst thing would be the press to ignore him.

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Re: The worst thing in the world for Assange...

It'd also be the smart thing for the US to do, as it'd help discredit Assange as a paranoid nutjob. But given who's running the place at the moment, I suspect that's less likely to happen.

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Re: The worst thing in the world for Assange...

Isn't that what they've been doing for the last few years? The USA had repeatedly said they were not interested in him - the only person who keeps saying this is the twat himself.

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Re: The worst thing in the world for Assange...

It is, but it doesn't have quite as much impact while he's holed up because the conspiracy theorists just say that he's holed up because the US want him. When it'll really make a difference, is when he's in easy, easy reach and they do nothing

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Re: The worst thing in the world for Assange...

"discredit Assange as a paranoid nutjob. But given who's running the place at the moment"

Takes one to know one.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The worst thing in the world for Assange...

The official line in the US might be that they are not interested in him. However, all it needs is one slimpy pole climibing DA to think that arresting Assange would be a sure fire route into the Governors mansion/a Senate seat or worse, President then all bets are off.

It think that Assange is affraid of is being [cough-cough] spirited away/removed by men in Beige Raincoats from a British Police Station, onto a US Jet and be out of UK Jurisdiction before any legal attempts to block it could be started. He'd probably surface in Gitmo a few years later.

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Joke

Re: The worst thing in the world for Assange...

Donald Trump: "Who's this Julian fellow?"

Jared Kushner: "He's a paranoid nutjob."

Donald Trump: "Great! Make him secretary of state."

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Re: The worst thing in the world for Assange...

Given the nature of the original allegations in Sweden that sparked this whole sorry saga off, Assange and Trump might find they some interesting anecdotes to swap, and maybe some hair-care tips too.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The worst thing in the world for Assange...

removed by men in Beige Raincoats

Nowadays they're black. You're thinking of Columbo, but that was a while ago :).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The worst thing in the world for Assange...

"The worst thing in the world for Assange would be for the US government to just ignore him"

of course, if they really want to discredit him, they could give him a job working directly for Mr Trump ....

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Re: The worst thing in the world for Assange...

"discredit Assange as a paranoid nutjob. But given who's running the place at the moment"

Takes one to know one.

The thought just crossed my mind that they could end up the best of buddies.

There's nothing stranger than life.

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Is Transportation still on the legal books?

I know it's been ended a long time ago, but I wondered if there's anything they forgot to remove about sending prisoners to Australia. It would solve everything.

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Trollface

Re: Is Transportation still on the legal books?

Hang on, convicts yes, but we do have limits!

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Headmaster

Re: Is Transportation still on the legal books?

Maybe I missed something, but given he's an Australian citizen we don't need transportation rules to send him to Australia, his citizenship guarantees we can return him as a prisoner.

We just have to take him into custody first...

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Re: Is Transportation still on the legal books?

We need to find a way to make it clear we're dumping him back on his Ozzie countrymen and not on Trump, then I'm sure we can take him into custody for the half hour it takes to dump him on a plane back to the land where everything is trying to kill you.

Not suggesting it will kill him, it's just his home.

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