back to article London flatmate (Julian Assange) sues landlord (government of Ecuador) in human rights spat

Housemate from hell Julian Assange is taking his landlord, the government of Ecuador, to court to stop its officials from, allegedly, running roughshod over his human rights. The WikiLeaks supremo is fed up with being essentially held in near-solitary confinement in an Ecuadorian embassy broom cupboard in London, England. In …

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Re: Is the apt saying here...

Judging from Eucador's complaints about his lack of personal hygiene and lack of proper care for his cat, maybe he already was.

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Time to wake up and smell the koffee

Assange doesn't seem to understand that the embassy has protected him from prosecution for his crimes and that he's been a very unsavory "guest". Hopefully Assange a fugitive from justice will soon have a lot more to complain about when he is evicted.

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Headmaster

"steps foot"

No. Just no.

The phrase is "sets foot", shortened from "sets [his/her] foot". Alternatively, "takes a step".

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Anonymous Coward

See you in court?

Presumably his case is unlikely to be taken very seriously when the “victim” inevitably refuses to attend the hearing.

What next? Take himself to court for instigating this arbitrary detention?

I worry for him (maybe worry is the wrong word) that eventually Ecuador may decide to punish him for wasting the court’s (and everyone else’s) time. Unlike the Swedish and British legal systems he is currently dodging, I suspect the Ecuadorean one may be rather less courteous.

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So he DOES respect the law!

Oh, he's suing!

And here's me thinking fleeing bail, and hiding out in an embassy to escape the law, meant he didn't respect it.

... What do you mean, 'he's making a mockery of the law by suing his hosts'?

Ah well. As long as he's required to attend court in person to give evidence.

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Trollface

Re: So he DOES respect the law!

It should be funny. The court says that he has to be in there person, or give testimony over video link. Oh look, his internet access is blocked and he's holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. Well sorry, thats cased dismissed right there...

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Re: So he DOES respect the law!

By default UK courts expect witnesses to give evidence in person, and only offer the use of video links under extreme circumstances - e.g. witness identity needs to be protected, or where a witness is considered too vulnerable and/or traumatised to give evidence in front of an open court. In this case the reason for wanting a video link would be that the witness is on the run from UK authorities for bail jumping, and wants to give video evidence so they can avoid risk of capture. I don't think any judge is going to grant permission for that, so this legal action will likely fizzle out fairly quickly.

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The whole rationale for Assange's hiding is, err, problematic.

The argument is that the Swedish allegations are all false, and once Assange talks to the Swedish police there will be no issue, since it was all just a misunderstanding/stitch-up which has been resolved in the interim, etc. But Assange is afraid of going to Sweden because the Swedes will hand him over to the USA.

But anyone with half a clue knows that probably the least restrictive extradition treaty is not the Sweden/USA one, but the UK/USA one which can be summarized as being met by a request written on a cocktail napkin by an intern in any prosecutor's office.

So if the fear is extradition to the USA, the best move would have been to answer the arrest warrant and go to Sweden. The worst move was to fight extradition *in the UK*, because if there was a plan to extradite him to the USA, HMG would be fully complicit... the most they'd ask is for a "no death penalty" undertaking, unless that would annoy that nice Mr Trump, in which case they'd avoid even that request.

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Thumb Up

I've been saying that exact same thing since the whole fiasco started.

It just shows how much our "friend" here knows about geopolitics. Sweden isn't a NATO member. The Swedes used to try to get radar locks on the SR-71 back in the 80's and were successful a number of times when they got the SAAB JA-37. The UK is and has been since the beginning, they're also one of the stronger members of the Alliance which has a definite interest in keeping the US happy. Sweden also has a fairly tough extradition treaty with the US, and I doubt they'd extradite someone over what can be considered a Political crime or allow an extraordinary rendition on their territory.

The UK has a very loose extradition treaty with the US, where basically if Uncle Sam wants your ass they're going to get you from the UK in all but a very few and long fought cases. And I strongly doubt that there would be much, if any, resistance from the Security Service or whatever you call Special Branch nowadays to the CIA yanking someone off the street.

And really, even if the US decided to say fuck it and sent somebody to kill him, they'd do it, embassy or not. The Special Collection Service and/or the artist formerly known as US Army Intelligence Support Activity have quite likely been inside the embassy he lives in while he's been living there. They're very good at it. Ecuador isn't a huge target, but they do have a number of human and drug trafficking routes which do warrant some attention. Simply put, If they wanted him dead, he would be but he's not that important, however much he thinks he is.

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"But anyone with half a clue knows that probably the least restrictive extradition treaty is not the Sweden/USA one"

With a European Arrest Warrant in place the UK couldn't have extradited him to the US anyway. He'd have had to be sent to Sweden. If he'd succeeded in appealing the warrant here then he would have been at risk had the US applied for extradition. It's a moot point whether the then US administration would have bothered with him. The US administration now seems to want to get their little hands on him.

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Anonymous Coward

The charges he will face in the USA are in a section of 18 USC with the maximum penalty is death just like his charges decades ago. The UK will not extradite if the section of law has the death penalty but Sweden will if the specific sub-charge doesn’t or if the other country pinky swears they won’t execute. If he gets handed to the USA, he is looking at 18 years in Leavenworth for each charge.

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"The UK will not extradite if the section of law has the death penalty"...

... unless they decide they don't want to upset Trump, in which case...

Yes, I know the situation with Kotey and Elsheikh is a "mutual legal assistance" issue, not fully an extradition, but make no mistake, Javid is a scumbag on a par with May ("out of ECHR!") when it comes to human rights. If the UK declines to follow long-established policy for no reason other that to curry favor with a foreign power, no-one should seriously expect the UK government to provide any real support to people accused of capital crimes.

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Lefty-character assassination

... if you can not argue based on evidence and real-world realities, go for the mud-slinging instead.

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"Yes, I know the situation with Kotey and Elsheikh is a "mutual legal assistance" issue, not fully an extradition, but make no mistake, Javid is a scumbag on a par with May ("out of ECHR!") when it comes to human rights. If the UK declines to follow long-established policy for no reason other that to curry favor with a foreign power, no-one should seriously expect the UK government to provide any real support to people accused of capital crimes."

Fine, but how well did that go down with the Judiciary? Not well, if I seem to recall. Extradition requests can be blocked by the Home Secretary, but can also be blocked by the Judiciary. And they will block any request without a guarantee of no death penalty.

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WTF?

Assange is a prick, but this is insane. Something I learned when I was a kid is that you don't shit on your own block unless you're prepared for the consequences. Apparently our six toed alleged rapist never learned that very important lesson.

If I were Ecuador's foreign ministry I'd have a few burly diplomatic security types toss him out the front door into the waiting arms of the filth.

Given the constant state of anarchy and systemic attention deficit disorder that the Trump administration embodies, they would likely never even notice unless someone from the Met goes on Fox and Friends to talk about it, and I really don't think that CIA's SAD or JSOC are about to go do wetwork in the UK.

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Joke

and I really don't think that CIA's SAD or JSOC are about to go do wetwork in the UK.

There's certainly no need for them to get their hands dirty. They could just contract it out to the Russians.

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Apparently our six toed alleged rapist never learned that very important lesson

I feel myself compelled to correct you: Assange does not have six toes, or six fingers. The rumor may have been started by a heavily modified picture of him that was sometimes used by the reg.

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Facepalm

Re: contract it out to the Russians

They don't seem very competent these days, The GU anyway (often misnamed GRU). The SVR are a lot smaller (GU boasts it has x6 as many field agents). Maybe they are more efficient, though I think they mostly do industrial* espionage rather than assassinations or abductions.

[* Actually these days most State run espionage is for commercial rather than the Deighton / Le Carré style spy story. Ian Fleming's Bond was maybe Wish Fulfilment, hence the locations, drink and woman for desk jockey. His brother, Peter, might have been a real spy]

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Anonymous Coward

There's certainly no need for them to get their hands dirty. They could just contract it out to the Russians.

Why do that? Get the Saudis to offer him asylum in their nearest embassy or consulate. Before he knows it Assange will be in kit form, and dissolving in a bucket of acid, and all of the Western world will be saying "Oh, yeah, right, he started a fight, slipped on a banana, fell down a toilet and inadvertently pulled the handle as he went in. We believe that, so carry on."

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"Iron Mike Pence"

Iron , as in 'iron hoof'?

Yes I know, politically incorrect, but...yeesh

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Re: "Iron Mike Pence"

Maybe in Pence's own mind, if he can string a coherent sentence together that someone didn't write for him and I have my doubts about that.

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Re: "Iron Mike Pence"

Yes I know, politically incorrect, but...yeesh

Definitely the wrong track there. After all, we know that he himself believes that he can't be left alone in a room with any woman who isn't his wife.

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arrogance

what an arrogance jerk. He should be grateful to Ecuador for putting up with him. He should be toss out to the curve.

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Re: arrogance

Tossed out to the curb, I think you'll find. Like you do with the rest of the trash.

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dak
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Re: arrogance

No, I think you'll actually find it is "tossed out to the kerb".

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Re: arrogance

They could always call-in the Saudis for a spot of house cleaning. :)

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Re: arrogance

I would like to report you for abuse of the English language.

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Childcatcher

Won't someone think of the cat?

I feel much more sorry for the cat than for JA. It seems he isn't willing to empty its litter tray. I'm sorry, but when a cat agrees to live with you, emptying the litter tray is part of the deal, and you can't delegate it.

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TRT
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Re: Won't someone think of the cat?

Did he agree to look after Mrs Slocombe's pussy?

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Re: Won't someone think of the cat?

"when a cat agrees to live with you"

Did the cat get any say in the matter?

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Coat

Re: Won't someone think of the cat?

@TRT

Did he agree to look after Mrs Slocombe's pussy?

That really is an uncanny resemblance!

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Re: Won't someone think of the cat?

I would not wast your time - the cat is clearly Putin's inside Dog.

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Anonymous Coward

I sense a revoking of citizenship coming soon. I'm guessing they can't kick him out till that happens. The current American government won't think twice about extraditing him, he should have walked when it was still Obama. Trump will go twitter crazy when they get him probably calling him a traitor which would make no sense but what tweets of his do?

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Boffin

If the current US government want to extradite him, why haven’t they requested extradition from Ecuador? They’ve had extradition treaties since 1839

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Because the Equadorean law does not allow extradition of its own citizens?

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Orv
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Do you really think Donald "I Love Wikileaks" Trump is going to be interested in punishing him? The only way Trump won't let him walk is if a Democrat praises him.

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What exactly is his long term plan. Die in that embassy in another 40 years? What is he waiting for exactly?!

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He's waiting for us to all bow down and worship him. Nothing less will do.

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In my opinion, he's waiting a couple more years for the 10 year statute of limitations on those 2 Swedish rape charges to run out. The Swedes can always re-request extradition, if he leaves early.

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My gaff, my rules

Which bit are you not understanding, Jules? The door's over there, BTW.

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Asylum

This looks somewhat analogous to Political Asylum in the UK and other Western countries.

Those who seek Political Asylum are disproportionately likely to be troublemakers, attention-seekers, or just plain crooks: after all, the silent majority don't incur the wrath even of pretty nasty governments, and persecution by more brutal organisations - like religious nuts - that aren't recognised governments doesn't qualify for asylum.

And some of them do sue countries that have given them asylum (and in Blighty get Legal Aid for it).

Compare some of the foreign criminals who argue Human Rights to avoid deportation, and one might argue Assange looks like a harmless also-ran by comparison.

Maybe Ecuador will eventually do to him what Blighty eventually did to Abu Hamza after all those years of legal battle? Then we can see if anyone cares about him enough to do more than go through the motions of arresting him for skipping bail.

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Re: Asylum

"Those who seek Political Asylum are disproportionately likely to be troublemakers, attention-seekers, or just plain crooks:"

Evidence please!

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Re: Asylum

Evidence please!

Assange is evidence.

Before dismissing that, note a couple of things:

  • I didn't claim (nor would I) anything about all asylum seekers. Or even any weaker quantification beyond a comparison with the general population.
  • Evidence and proof are of course very different things.

So yes, a sample of 1 can be evidence - and is easier to quote here than any more detailed or authoritative report containing stronger evidence. Just apply Bayes' Theorem using the sample we're discussing.

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Assange isn't evidence

of anything other than the fact that Assange is a prick.

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Re: Asylum

Big flaw in your reasoning...

He never claimed political asylum, he has stated over and over that he specifically didn't claim asylum, but instead some completely unheard of 'refugee' status, that he created himself.

Another problem, is that he is an Australian citizen, claiming refugee status in Ecuador, but he can't decide if he's a refugee from Sweden (where he applied for residency and heavily praised their courts in announcing that) his home country of Australia, or the UK, a country he decided to travel to solely to avoid interview/arrest in Sweden.

He 100% doesn't fit any of the accepted refugee categories, which is why no-one accepts his claims, and why it always makes me laugh when he says 'we've a 100% record for truth' when they have a 20% record on truth (and dropping all the time) - they have a 100% authenticity record with released documents, so far, but that's a very different thing.

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TRT
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It's reassuring...

Tidy your room, take better care of your cat, clean the bathroom after yourself, eat your greens, you're only allowed visitors your parents approve of. Or you don't get any internet.

It's reassuring that a normal upbringing really does prepare one for adult life, even one in the public limelight and at the highest echelons of international diplomacy.

Now take out those papers and that trash, or you don't get no spendi' cash. If you don't scrub that kitchen floor. You ain't gonna rock and roll no more. Just finish cleanin' up your room. Let's see that dust fly with that broom. Get all that garbage out of sight. Or you don't go out Friday night... ah.

Yakety yak (Don't talk back)

You just put on your coat and hat And walk yourself to the laundromat.

And when you finish doin' that. Bring in the dog and put out the cat

Don't you give me no dirty looks. Your father's hip; he knows what cooks

Just tell your hoodlum friend outside. You ain't got time to take a ride

Yakety yak (Don't talk back)

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from through the fog

30-ish years ago some fuel station chain (Shell? I forget) was branding and selling oldies mixtapes on the cheap. And we listened to 'em. But now I'm thinking:

You're feeling so weighed down

Forget the losses and burn down

Fall into city lights

Nothing else is easy

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found it.

Cruisin' Classics Vol. 6 must be the only one we had. Of course, 'oldies' just means 'that stuff they play mercilessly over the muzak system at Magic City Shopping Center' because that town is weird. You can't see it in the 11th photo here but I kid you not, that funeral home facing the lake has its sign lettering done up in PINK NEON.

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Anonymous Coward

Devious masterplan?

Maybe he is planning:

1. Create enough shit - literally, as it turns out - to be taken to task.

2. Counter with enough vaguely plausible accusations to drum up a court case.

3. Be taken to the Ecuadorian mainland for the hearings.

4. Lose the court case.

5. Walk off into the Ecuadorian crowd.

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Re: Devious masterplan?

"Be taken to the Ecuadorian mainland for the hearings."

That means transiting the UK. Are the Ecuadorans going to give him diplomatic protection to stop him being nabbed for bail jumping on the way? I doubt it.

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