back to article Julian Assange to UK court: Put an end to my unwarranted Ecuadorean couch-surf

WikiLeaker-in-chief Julian Assange has asked a British court to withdraw an arrest warrant against him, hoping that this would finally allow him to stop his unending Ecuadorean couch-surf. His defence counsel, extradition law specialist Mark Summers QC, told Westminster Magistrates' Court today that the British bail arrest …

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  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Any other bail dodger would, of course, rightfully expect arrest but he's sooo special.

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      I read that as badger. I think I need some sleep.

    2. Robert Heffernan

      The guy is a wanker...

      ... But this is a bit different in that as soon as the UK police grab him, he is off to some dark hole in some 3rd world country where the law is just a suggestion where the CIA will work on him then vanish him.

      1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: The guy is a wanker...

        Bzzt.

        Assange is a friggin drama queen.

        Publishing the leak is somewhat protected. There's a SCOTUS case that offers some protection.

        That's not what's worrying him.

        He jumped bail and he's going to end up either being tossed out or have to go to a hospital and then get arrested and sent back to Australia.

        The truth... many countries will close their boarders to him over his antics.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The guy is a wanker...

          Boarder? Such as a boarding school student?

  2. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Oh do fuck off.

    You broke the law. In the UK. Now pay for it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh do fuck off.

      As much as I dislike arseange I disagree with him getting arrested and shipped off to land of the free.

      1. anothercynic Silver badge

        Re: Oh do fuck off.

        He's not being arrested and shipped off to the land of the free. That that might happen while he's in jail for bail dodging is another animal altogether. But then again, he can do the whole song and dance then anyway. Or his besties in the Ecuadorian embassy can petition the UK for his release given he'll be an Ecuadorian citizen...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Oh do fuck off.

          Don't be so f*cking naive.

        2. gnasher729 Silver badge

          Re: Oh do fuck off.

          "He's not being arrested and shipped off to the land of the free."

          He will get arrested, and will go to court for jumping bail. He might get shipped off to the USA although that might be unlikely, but I'm not quite sure what this "land of the free" is that you are talking about.

          And Sweden is of course free at any time, while he is held in the UK for jumping bail, to ask for him to be extradited to Sweden to face rape charges. And I'm not sure of statutes of limitation apply when you know about the charges and avoided prosecution by jumping bail.

          1. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

            Re: Oh do fuck off.

            "...but I'm not quite sure what this "land of the free" is that you are talking about."

            Irony, perhaps? Or maybe just sarcasm.

            1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

              Re: Oh do fuck off.

              Irony, perhaps?

              Irony? Isn't that just a cheaper form of Steely?

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Oh do fuck off.

            "And I'm not sure of statutes of limitation apply when you know about the charges and avoided prosecution by jumping bail."

            IIRC the reason they withdrew the EAW and suspended enquiries is precisely because of the time limits. They can be reactivated quite quickly once it looks like there's a realistic chance of getting their hands on him.

          3. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Oh do fuck off.

            "He will get arrested, and will go to court for jumping bail. "

            Where he will get a fine and told not to do it again. (first offence, original charges dropped, etc)

            Anything else would amount to a (rightfully) appealable breach of the guidelines which tie down what a judge can impose despite the politics of a case.

            Of course it's likely that immigration will be waiting at the courthouse door, waiting to deport him as an undesireable person, and put him on the next flight to Sydney via LAX.

            1. Michael Thibault

              Re: Oh do fuck off.

              "Sydney via LAX"

              He'd probably prefer a flight with a stop-over in NY, so he can go couch-shopping in New England. LA is just too hot.

        3. PNGuinn Silver badge
          Go

          Re: Oh do fuck off.

          Or his Ecuadorian friends could apply for his extradition to his new homeland for not paying his hotel bill ...

          Or the UK could deport him to his new homeland after he's served any sentence handed out to him for skipping bail ...

          I wonder - has the UK got any arrangement with said country to allow him to serve his sentence there? Or even with Oz?

          I mean, however desirable, a stay in on of Her Majesty's luxury hotels does cost us.

        4. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: Oh do fuck off.

          Assanage?

          Here's his future...

          He's going to be leaving the Embassy one way or another. We know its getting close because his lawyer is crying about the jumping bail charge. He already has an Ecuadorian passport and the thing is that he'll argue that he shouldn't be sent back to Australia but to Ecuador.

          The UK will most likely deal with him and send him back to Australia because that was the passport he used while entering the country. That's what scares Assange the most. He's still an Aussie citizen. If the US wants him... that's where he's most vulnerable if the US wants him.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Oh do fuck off.

        "As much as I dislike arseange I disagree with him getting arrested and shipped off to land of the free."

        At the time he skipped bail the US didn't appear to be thinking of extraditing him and if they'd put in a request they'd have been queued up behind Sweden. The US might well have thought that ignoring him would have hurt his ego so much as to have been the more effective punishment. Now, possibly with Assagne's help, the current POTUS lacks that degree of subtlety.

        AFAICS Assagne's situation is entirely of his own making. Or, to put it another way, he's made his bed sofa and now he must lie sit on it.

        1. disgruntled yank Silver badge

          Re: Oh do fuck off.

          Given that Wikileaks splashed a lot of Clinton's emails, the POTUS probably thinks that Wikileaks is a grand operation. Now, his ability to think the same thought for any length of time is limited, and the fellows in the three-letter agencies probably don't care for Assange, so I don't entirely blame Assange for being jumpy about this.

          1. Rich 11 Silver badge

            Re: Oh do fuck off.

            his ability to think the same thought for any length of time is limited, and the fellows in the three-letter agencies probably don't care for Assange

            All that someone from a TLA would have to do is photoshop a long beard and a turban on a picture of Assange and Trump would be yelling, "Lock him up! Take his ass to Gitmo!"

        2. Uffish

          Re: entirely of his own making.

          I think having very good reason to be scared of the big bad eagle had something to do with it.

      3. LucreLout Silver badge

        Re: Oh do fuck off.

        As much as I dislike arseange I disagree with him getting arrested and shipped off to land of the free.

        Ok, why?

        Do you disagree because you don't think he fled Sweden to avoid arrest?

        Do you disagree because you don't think he broke UK law by jumping bail?

        Do you disagree because you don't think he broke the law in the USA?

        Or is it just that you disagree because you don't like the USA?

        There's no actual evidence the USA will ship him anywhere, even to jail, because they've not even made a request for him at this stage.

        That he broke the law in Sweden is debatable. The appropriate place for that debate is not here, it is in their courts.

        That he broke the law in the UK is not debateable, the offence of bail jumping is complete.

        That he broke the law in the USA is again debateable and again the appropriate place for that debate is in their courts.

        I'm struggling to find any greater reason in your post than "I don't like Aermica", which frankly, is hardly the point.

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

          Re: Oh do fuck off.

          "There's no actual evidence the USA will ship him anywhere, even to jail, because they've not even made a request for him at this stage."

          No-one forces a diplomatic jet to land and be searched just to get their hands on a bail-jumper avoiding minor crimes.

          He's got every right to be fearful of being 'disappeared'.

          1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Oh do fuck off.

            I'm an idiot, my memory has done me a dis-service and I mixed up my absconders. Of course it as Snowden who prompted the jet incident.

        2. Uffish

          Re: any greater reason.

          Tell that to the people flown around the world free of charge by that nice Uncle Sam to wherever they could be most effectively tortured.

          Just because Americans can be rightly proud of the USA doesn't mean that they don't have some things to be ashamed of, and POI to be scared of.

    2. deadlockvictim Silver badge

      Re: Oh do fuck off.

      What law did he break in the U.K.?

      He may have broken the law in Sweden, hence the extradition request.

      He has dodged an extradition request from Sweden and he may very well be officially wanted by Big Brother, but he hasn't actually broken any U.K. laws, to the best of my knowledge.

      I still think that he should stand trial under a Swedish court and that both the Swedish and Ecuadorian governments should come to an agreement about holding a valid Swedish trial inside the Ecuadorian embassy.

      The problem actors in this scenario are the Five Eyes. If they didn't want Assange so much, he could've been extradited to Sweden years' ago. It is the Five Eyes that are obstructing justice.

      1. Raphael

        Re: Oh do fuck off.

        he broke the Law by skipping out on his bail. Regardless of whether or not he is innocent of the crime he was originally being charged with, skipping on bail is illegal.

        1. FlamingDeath Bronze badge

          Re: Oh do fuck off.

          Killing civilians in dubious false flag induced wars is also illegal, just sayin

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: skipping bail

          plenty of Aussies skipped bail and went to Europe. Alan Bond, Christopher Skase, and no doubt hundreds of successful English have done the same over the years. Most have returned at some point, barely a few disgraced or otherwise.

          In this case however, it is not about investor funds, companies going bust, Directors going to Court... it is about politics, a journalist, a website, and a #%^ load of powerful interests, not to mention every TLA you can think of.

          So if anyone should be let off for lack of a real, sustainable purpose of extradition, (and a totally inappropriately handled affair), it is the one, lone journalist (paranoid or otherwise), who has spent his whole life defending the freedom and democracy our forefathers and mothers created. The same freedoms in which we all recline comfortably whilst waiting for the doomsday clock to save us from Earth's obliteration (or the multiple global tyrannies descending in a way that upsets our happiness, and which we (not just the TLAs) can't be arsed defending ourselves against.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh do fuck off.

        >The problem actors in this scenario are the Five Eyes

        I didn't know Assange had five eyes! Even more mutated than expected.

      3. deadlockvictim Silver badge

        Re: Oh do fuck off.

        True. He did skip bail and that is illegal.

        Well, I'm glad that the U.K. government treats breaches of these sort with the appropriate severity.

        It is a heinous crime.

    3. david 12 Bronze badge

      Re: Oh do fuck off.

      >You broke the law. In the UK. Now pay for it.<

      Yes. Let's confiscate the bail money.

      Now that's done, since the penalty is paid, the original warrent can be canceled.

  3. Not also known as SC Silver badge
    WTF?

    Expensive

    It does seem strange though that British tax payers have had to pay (according to the Guardian) over £11m by October 2015 for police to guard the embassy to prevent Assange from escaping. How many other alleged rapists have this amount of money spent on them to bring them to justice, especially when the original charges have been dropped? How many other bail jumpers would this amount of money be spent on trying to bring them to court? Why is this man so special?

    (I'm not commenting on Assange, his personality, political beliefs or alleged and actual crimes - just the fact that the UK government seem to be spending a disproportionate amount of money on this)

    1. JimmyPage Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Expensive

      All very valid points. But not really the issue.

      The bottom line is Assange jumped bail, and risks making UK law look even more asinine that it is.

      That simply cannot happen. Otherwise every foreign criminal will simply jump bail in the UK.

      Furthermore, Assange is manifestly the author of his own downfall.

      If I were in the UK foreign office, I'd have a quiet word with whoever has sight of UK->Ecuador trade, and see if I could recover the millions from them. Because the bottom line is Assange is a squalid alleged rapist, not some freedom fighting hero. Shame on Ecuador for falling for the Assange hype-machine, along with any similarly hoodwinked El Reggers who (still) prattle on about some fanciful US snatch squad just waiting to whisk the Blond one off to Waterboardsville.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Expensive

        I disagree.

        Very prominent criminals are not followed with this diligence.

        And for example these fine gentlemen have not received the same treatment:

        https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/uks-most-wanted-criminals-faces-14044080

        or these more serious ones:

        https://inews.co.uk/news/world/russian-crime-london-mcmafia/

        So it should be obvious that this is not about justice.

        1. heyrick Silver badge

          Re: Expensive

          "So it should be obvious that this is not about justice."

          Do you not think that if they let up on him for one miniscule little second, he won't be out the back door and out of the country before anybody can clap two hands together?

          That won't be justice.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Expensive

            He’ll be out of the country before anybody can clap hands, and given his track record, he’ll do a press conference to tell the world about it - telling anyone who feels like it that if there’s a warrant, wander into the nearest embassy & roll the dice ...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Expensive

        @JimmyPage

        re: "Otherwise every foreign criminal will simply jump bail in the UK."

        Isn't that exactly what diplomats who commit an offence do?

        1. DavCrav Silver badge

          Re: Expensive

          "Isn't that exactly what diplomats who commit an offence do?"

          No, they are protected by the Vienna Convention from charges in the first place, should the other country not waive it. Assange isn't a diplomat, despite Ecuadorian efforts to do so.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Expensive

        No - the bottom line is that the handling of Assange is very disproportionate compared to how other bail skippers have been handled.

        The bail skipping claim appears to be only an excuse for something else, or else they would have focused those resources on something rather more important instead.

      4. Uffish

        Re: Expensive

        My humble opinion is that the police were there because the UK was pissed off with Ecuador, that and to stop the Americans making an even bigger mess of things.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Expensive

      Why is this man so special?

      Very simple, because he upsets the political establishments by showing them up as the lying idiots they are.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Expensive

        Or because justice has to not only be done, but be seen to be done. He's a very public figure, and everybody knew his exact whereabouts. Justice would not appear to have been done if he was allowed to abscond from his bail conditions, and then the country, despite his whereabouts being known.

      2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Re: showing them up as the lying idiots

        We don't need Assange for that. Given half an excuse our politicians go on television and do that all by themselves.

    3. Alister Silver badge

      Re: Expensive

      Why is this man so special?

      Because he considered himself to be above the law, and took delight in flaunting it.

      How many other bail jumpers would this amount of money be spent on trying to bring them to court?

      Not many. But how many other bail jumpers have claimed political asylum in a London Embassy and then held regular press-conferences so we don't forget him?

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: Expensive

        But how many other bail jumpers have claimed political asylum in a London Embassy and then held regular press-conferences so we don't forget him?

        Often they weren't press conferences. So there'd be some hype for some new announcement, but the press conference turned out to be St. Julian promoting his latest book. Wonder if proceeds of crime could be applied?

        I also wonder if other nations are looking at the issue, and dreading getting more bail jumping guests if Assange is not prosecuted. Once Assange has answered that charge, then he'd be free to leave the UK. Quickly.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Expensive

        Because he considered himself to be above the law, and took delight in flaunting it.

        And when he finally does get released after processing for jumping bail, he's going to be sooooo pissed if nobody else wants to arrest or extradite him. You're yesterday's man Julian, get used to ti.

    4. Not also known as SC Silver badge

      Re: Expensive

      All very good points. Just annoyed that my tax is being used for this when there are so many other things which the money could be spent on. Liked the comment about trying to get the money back from Ecuadoreans.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Expensive

        "Just annoyed that my tax is being used for this"

        Maybe, just maybe it wouldn't be your tax if everyone else paid tax.

    5. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: Expensive

      "It does seem strange though that British tax payers have had to pay (according to the Guardian) over £11m by October 2015 for police to guard the embassy to prevent Assange from escaping. How many other alleged rapists have this amount of money spent on them to bring them to justice, especially when the original charges have been dropped? How many other bail jumpers would this amount of money be spent on trying to bring them to court? Why is this man so special?"

      The money was spent before the charges were dropped. And how much money should be spent trying to arrest rapists? At what point do we say "sorry, love, I know you got raped, but it's, like, really hard to find him, so we won't bother. Much easier to go after speeding motorists instead".

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