back to article Julian Assange wins at hide-and-seek game against Sweden

Sweden's director of public prosecutions has today suspended an investigation into Julian Assange regarding rape allegations. The vitamin D-deprived WikiLeaks founder tweeted a pic of himself to celebrate the news: pic.twitter.com/dDvB1Vekhg — Julian Assange (@JulianAssange) May 19, 2017 The pale WikiLeaks boss has been …

Anonymous Coward

Re: Ecuador.

Why not? Remove all the embassies whose staff who do not agree with human rights - and there would be a fire sale in London.

The whole point of an embassy is that you cede territorial jurisdiction to its physical space and to the contents of its diplomatic bags. It is the front line of diplomatic relations between countries - whether they are pals or putative enemies.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ecuador.

On the whole accused rapist thing, the emphasis should be on ACCUSED. I have a friend who was once about to be jailed for rape when he came clean that he was hacking a teacher's grade book, verified by logs and his knowledge of the teacher in question's credentials, at the time (and yeah, he got expelled for that, but it was better than the alternative). I've another friend who was forced out of the closet because he was with his boyfriend at the time that he was supposedly raping a woman. And I myself was once accused of the crime by a disgruntled ex, but when it supposedly happened I was at an ice hockey game 200 miles away.

This is not to disparage real rape victims, who deserve all the support we can give them, but it must be remembered that innocent until proven guilty is there for a reason. And if a woman should want to drag a man's name through the mud for whatever reason there is no easier way for her to do so than to accuse him of rape, so we must insist on more than just her say-so when the accusation is made, unpopular though that way of thinking seems to be.

Accused rapist != rapist.

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Re: Ecuador.

And I have a friend who was raped in the parking lot of a bar by a stranger and suffered debilitating trauma for years afterwards. And another who was raped by an ex in front of her infant son when he dropped by for a 'visit'. Two sides of every coin.

Julian should just stop being a douche and go stand up for himself in Swedish court. Everything he has done since makes him appear guilty. And considering the hurdles women face in reporting sex crimes, I'm inclined to believe the reason he doesn't is because he knows he did something wrong.

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Orv
Silver badge

Re: Ecuador.

I'd wager for every false rape accusation there's 20 women who never reported being raped because they didn't think they'd be believed, or feared retribution. I know at least two personally, and I don't know that many people.

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Re: did something wrong.

Or possibly because he did something he doesn't believe to be wrong, but knows is illegal. Not the first time.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ecuador.

Apparently the accusers aren't accusing him anymore since years ago, imagine?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ecuador.

I'd wager for every false rape accusation there's 20 women who never reported being raped because they didn't think they'd be believed, or feared retribution. I know at least two personally, and I don't know that many people.

In myy experience - equally as anecdotal as yours - demonstrably false rape accusations outnumber ones that could possibly be true pretty significantly. And I know of a number of men who rotted in prison for years despite having done nothing before their accusers came clean because the jry failed to hold them as innocent until proven guilty.

Overall my best guess is that roughly half of all rape accusations are false and roughly a quarter of real rapes go unreported. Then again in this area the burden of proof seems to be on the accused in such cases, so it could be different in an area less inclined to immediately assume guilt.

Anon because I have been called all sorts of dirty things for being the alibi of an accused rapist. She hit on him and got pissed when he stayed loyal to his girlfriend and rejected her drunken advances - and to be clear her advances included trying to undo his jeans after being told to buzz off, and yes, I saw it. And the thanks he got for his loyalty? He was arrested on ficticious rape charges the next day and his girlfriend dumped him. When I defended him the police and DA were pursuing some crazy conspiracy theory about how we were in cahoots before a woman came forward as another witness and confirmed our version of the story. Only then did they drop the case. I share that to illustrate how big a problem it is in this area.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ecuador.

"Overall my best guess is that roughly half of all rape accusations are false and roughly a quarter of real rapes go unreported. "

Wubba wubba wubba!

That sounds like you talk to guys and not women. And yes, there are totally false rape accusations thrown around, although many don't get further than the cops asking a few questions. But somewhere between 5-10% of rapes get reported, and maybe half of those go on to be an actual investigation (ie pressed charges).

It is a real pain, and a waste of time all around, but any credible report of a sexual crime needs to be investigated. Most false complaints are solved after 5-10 hours of police investigative work is done on them. As in you case, a couple of interviews and it's sorted, reputation damage aside.

My personal experience is *every* woman over 25 I've known has either been raped, or something damned close. Most multiple times, often by the same attacker. About maybe 10% of the guys I've known have been accused of any sexual crime, and the ones who have raped people seem pretty unable to accept it. You know, that the drunk 15 year old totally wanted it etc. So I think your numbers are waaaay off.

For vindictive stuff, it's the family accusations of stuff against kids, since that isn't quick to disprove.

Since I image you'll be all "piffle, mens have it worse" just remember that about ten percent of victims of sexual assault are male, but you won't hear anything about them. Being falsely accused of rape will lose you some friends, admitting you where raped will lose your entire social circle. I'll take hate and anger over pity, at least you're a real person to other people.

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Re: Ecuador.

> The whole point of an embassy is...

I'll tell you what it isn't, and that is for sheltering wanted men from the justice of the host nation.

I think a few people went off on one about his guilt or innocence, well I don't know either way, but he is wanted by the police to face justice and Ecuador has used it's embassy placed in a special trusted position to undermine our justice system in a way equally regardless of his guilt or innocence.

It's not on.

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Silver badge

Personally I've got a pretty low opinion of Assange as a person and from his public behavior I believe it is entirely possible that he is exactly that kind of douchebag. That said, the accusation doesn't make it so.

All the same I believe his fears of extradition to the US and harsh treatment therein are completely justified. I also believe he missed his best window of potential freedom. Had he left the embassy six months ago Obama would have probably been inclined to leave him alone. I mean how would it look if the man commuted Chelsea Manning's sentence and then went after Assange? Now though? With a lunatic^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^hTrump at the helm? Yeah, he's got more reason to be afraid than ever.

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Gold badge

I'm pretty sure he was a dead issue in the US as so much time had passed with not much happening. But then he started overtly interfering in the elections - he didn't just dump the Clinton emails on Wikileaks, he kept releasing new bunches at inconvenient times throughout the campaign - to make sure it got maximum and continuous coverage.

Of course it may be that he thought Clinton had a grudge against him. Or that the US are out to get him and so Trump might be grateful and save him. However Trump has the attention span of a gnat, doesn't appear to reward loyalty for very long and is totally self-obsessed. So nailing Assange might look to him to be a way of "proving" that it wasn't Russian influence that won him the election after all.

The only reason I don't automatically assume Assange is a rapist avoding his just deserts is that I think he might be genuinely paranoid enough to believe all the bollocks he spouts about the US being out to get him. Even though he was talking about becoming a Swedish citizen, and only fled their supposedly US corrupted system after the rape charges were about to be made. The very night before his appointment with the prosecutors in fact.

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"doesn't appear to reward loyalty for very long and is totally self-obsessed"

You could say that about both of them.

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Terminator

No offence intended towards any character in popular fiction

But what is the Swedish word for "weasel"? No offence intended towards any Mustela genius either. I don't see how the Swedish pronouncement will make a tinker's cuss of difference to Assange. Though in the wacky world of bureaucracy, it may make a difference to Ecuador. His choice is the same: indefinitely remain a virtual prisoner (unless/until Ecuador gets tired of the opera), free to speak; or become a real prisoner "free" of any protections of international diplomacy, wanted forever by the relentless State of Destiny, known not for Scone but for extraordinary rendition. Because semper fie, he won't be getting a real tan anytime soon, except possibly in an exercise yard. Australians are so very careful about sunburn these days.

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Re: No offence intended towards any character in popular fiction

"But what is the Swedish word for "weasel"?"

Its almost the same word as lads and lasses in the north of England say it. (From Lancs.)

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Black Helicopters

Timing

Someone has decided now that it's better to have him out of the embassy than stuck in it.......if Assange does get to leave, he should be extremely wary of pointed umbrella tips, glowing tea and girls wearing 'LOL' t-shirts.

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Who needs Enemies with Friends like These and Her, Theresa

Has not the UKGBNI Prime Minister, Ms Theresa May, not told the world and his dogs that any decision to now prosecute Assange for anything is down to Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), for it is she who decides on police action and if it is in the public interest to seek a conviction and punishment/imprisonment for the greater public good?

FFS, Thanks Theresa, for nothing … I do not forgive and forget.

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Assange said...

or proclaimed that "In Sweden, indefinite detention is a policy".

Yep. The country where he lived briefly -- I don't know, tell me, Swedes -- they don't intern people. You really have to piss swedes to go to gaol.

Just like England, where we don't intern people who seriously piss off coppers.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Assange said...

There are actually some *Nordic* cases of that kind of thing.

For example the imprisonment until death of James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell

in Dragsholm castle 40 kilometres west of Copenhagen

He pissed off a Norwegian lady, you see.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Throndsen

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Hepburn,_4th_Earl_of_Bothwell#Escape_to_Scandinavia_and_imprisonment_there

There is legendarily a groove worn in a circle in the stone floor around a stone pillar to which he was attached by chain.

Woman scorned, and all that.

Kind of relevant in this case, allegedly to do with the older accuser being rather miffed at the attentions of the younger one to Assange, regardless of any honey trap activities. There is allegedly evidence of the miffed-ness in SMS messages.

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The case for the defence

In the unlikely event that there's anyone who hasn't made up their mind, the case papers from the extradition hearing are here.

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Since we have invested so much money in St Julian of Assange, why don't we sell him to the highest bidder?

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Bronze badge
Happy

Swedish Meatballs Are MY Favorite

...one can not be faulted for assuming from recent developments that rape by ANYONE in Sweden is no longer considered to be a crime. Between the NAZIs, the Muslims and people like Assange Sweden is simply incapable of prosecuting them ALL.

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I just love these people whose minds were already made up 5 years ago

This is the most ridiculous international legal case I have ever seen.

Sweden issues an international arrest warrant for a guy who had already been cleared to leave their country after they questioned him on Swedish soil the first time around. Then after he leaves the country they decide to re-open the matter - likely after back-channel pressure from one of those exclusive club-members with 5 eyes.. The way they've been after him you'd think he blew up the Swedish parliament or something.

Assange and his legal assistants offered many many times over the years to speak to the Swedish prosecutors, but they refused to take a plane flight to the UK to do so and instead created this ridiculous circus where the cost for the UK to babysit him all this time has probably exceeded 1000 times what the cost of traveling to London would have been to interview the guy who they claim they "do not have physical access to". (Yeah, I suppose that's code for "physical access to kidnap him, chain him to a wall and send him for US-style "extraordinary rendition"" in one of those peachy "black sites" the US loves to use when they want to avoid the inconvenience of legal and publicly-known detention.)

The Swedes waited something like 5-6 years before they bothered to travel to the UK to interview him and then a few months later they drop the case.

It's ridiculous, it's absurd, he should be a free man.

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Re: I just love these people whose minds were already made up 5 years ago

You're a bit wrong on some of that...

Assange left Sweden six days after Prosecutor Ny first contacted his lawyer to request an interview (a second-stage interview, the potential preliminary to a prosecution). Apparently in the intervening week his lawyer was unable to speak to him, although the public knowledge of this was muddied by the lawyer falsely claiming that no request had been made - these facts were admitted by his lawyer in Woolwich Crown Court; see http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/assange-lawyer-admits-he-was-wrong-over-interview-2208622.html

Assange having not returned to Sweden in the subsequent two months, a European Arrest Warrant was issued at the end of November 2010, after the Swedish arrest warrant had already withstood a challenge (meaning the Swedish judicial system found that there was a potential case to answer). This was challenged and upheld three times in the UK, with the judgement being quite clear that the charges in the EAW were serious enough to warrant extradition: However, what is alleged here is that Mr Assange “deliberately consummated sexual intercourse with her by improperly exploiting that she, due to sleep, was in a helpless state”. In this country that would amount to rape.

The reason that the Swedish prosecutor demanded that Assange present himself in Sweden for questioning is that this second-stage interview is the prelude to arrest (unless the results of the interview suggest that arrest is not warranted, e.g. convince the prosecutor to suspend or drop the case). So travelling to London to interview a man already a fugitive from both Swedish and British arrest warrants is an absurdity: if the outcome proceeding with the prosecution then it just upholds the existing warrant which he is already defying. As we know in the end the Swedish prosecutor did "interview" him (actually she got to watch an Ecuadorian prosecutor interview him with the results later being supplied in Spanish) and evidently the arrest warrant wasn't dropped on the basis of that interview.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I just love these people whose minds were already made up 5 years ago

Details of the interview in London

http://www.smh.com.au/world/swedish-prosecutor-ingrid-isgren-arrives-to-interview-julian-assange-at-the-londons-ecuadorian-embassy-20161114-gsp7wn.html

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Re: I just love these people whose minds were already made up 5 years ago

ahem....I linked above to the court records. I hadn't made up my mind until I read them. To give you a flavour:

The Court rejected Mr Assange’s contention that under the law of England and Wales consent to sexual intercourse on condition a condom was used was remained consent to sexual intercourse even if a condom was not used or removed. (paras 86-91)

But hey, don't take my word for it. Read the documents then make up your own mind.

I might be biased as I've a daughter in her 20s. Personally I'd convict the bastard.

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Silver badge

Re: I just love these people whose minds were already made up 5 years ago

And I really dislike people who refuse to read the court records and so continue to believe falsehoods.

He ran from an active rape investigation, and when the EAW was upheld, he ran from that as well. He's still running.

He's a fugitive suspected rapist. No more, no less.

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WTF?

Why are not the criminals described on Wikileaks's documents facing the law as well? their crimes are way, way more serious than a false rape accusation.

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Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was not a nice man. But he knew enough to be interesting.

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Anonymous Coward

Why the freaking fashion for namedropping Sasha these days? The Soviet Union voted itself out of existence 26 years ago. Is it in some historical revisionist HHer garbage site somewhere?

It's like the endless Churchill said this that or the other Daily Stormer type bollocks.

Churchill surely liked wiping out their heroes, of that there is little doubt, unlike the "quotes".

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Anonymous Coward

When does the embassy building lease expire?

Moving day would be fun.

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Anonymous Coward

I do rather like it when

A minor scrote (aka: toe-rag) frustrates the very establishment to its core.

+1 for the little guy, guilty or not.

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European Arrest Warrant?

Does it meant that the hard Brexit will solve his British problems within less than 2 years?

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Silver badge

Re: European Arrest Warrant?

No. The UK will still need a bilateral extradition agreement with the EU and in all likelihood that will look very much like the current EAW initially until and unless a different agreement is later negotiated. An all new agreement will likely take years. I suspect many agreements and treaties with the EU will be based on existing rules and regulations simply to get something in place quickly while negotiations continue for new arrangements.

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Who are these people?

There seem to be an awful lot of comments here by people who either work for the US or UK government, or relish slavery and being kept in ignorance.

Assange has merely been doing what good journalists have always done - and what is their bounden duty to do. What the people who uncovered the Watergate scandal and many others did.

Without discovery and revelation of information about what governments are doing, citizens have no idea what is being done in their names and with their money. If those who criticize Assange want to live in a Western version of the USSR or Nazi Germany, that's fine for them - but many of us prefer freedom.

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Re: Who are these people?

I do not criticise him for running WikiLeaks as such. I may criticise him for not running it terribly transparent (accounts?), for washing his hands of Manning, and certainly for being a pompous git and running away from a court case.

Snowden is in a different league.

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Anonymous Coward

Sofia Wilden “talked to her [ultra militant lesbian] friends afterwards she understood she had been the victim of a crime". The only crime that happen is regret and rejection. You don't make breakfast and take your rapist to the train station then buy them a ticket. This shit makes me sick.

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Anonymous Coward

What we've got here

is failure to communicate. Some men you just can't reach.

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