back to article Assange fights extradition in court

Julian Assange's lawyers are in court now to fight his extradition to Sweden by arguing that prosecutors have failed to follow correct procedures. Swedish authorities want to question Assange in relation to alleged sex offences. But his defence solicitors claim that prosecutors must charge him with an offence, and therefore …

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  1. Ru
    Flame

    Awesome stuff

    "Lawyers for Swedish prosecutors told the court that the warrant had been issued for the purpose of prosecution, even if specific charges had yet to be made."

    I'm not quite sure where to begin. My outrage floweth over. They'll be breaking out the terrorism laws next, no doubt,

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    wikileaks

    It's ironic that his defence are demanding the Swedish authorities provide all the evidence when it's already on wikileaks.

    On a more serious note, if they want to extradite just to question him, why can't they question him here ?

  3. DavCrav Silver badge

    Kind of confused here

    "They also question whether the alleged conduct, even if proved, would qualify as an offence in the UK."

    Does this mean that if France (say) has a different law to the UK on some issue (and obviously they do, otherwise we would all have the same laws) then you cannot be done under a EAW if you leg it to the UK?

    "Assange's defence team also said that his onward rendition from Sweden to the US would breach his human rights."

    I was under the impression that in order for this to take place both Sweden *and* the UK would have to agree, so actually it's *harder* then if Assange stays here?

    I'm not making any comments about the merits of the case, or anything else, but the former point is genuine: is that true about EAWs? The latter point is more that the defence team appears to be appealing based on dodgy ground. But you have to love the irony of "Assange's lawyers also claim that his privacy rights have been breached", when Assange is head of an organization dedicated to publishing things people want to keep quiet.

    And I say again before people downvote this post because my head isn't inserted in Assange's, well, ass: I'm pointing out that the defence lawyers are protesting based on what appears at first blush to be mostly hot air. They should really expand on the you-cannot-extradite-someone-for-questioning angle, and drop the rendition-to-the-US FUD.

  4. Fsck
    FAIL

    Double standards much?

    "[Assange claims] his privacy rights have been breached because extracts of the prosecution file have been made available to the media"

    Wait.. what?

    1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Boffin

      @AC wikileaks..

      The legal documents from Assange's Swedish team didn't appear in Wikileaks. No sorry Assange would have put a stop to that. But they were leaked out to a different site.

      What the defense is arguing is that they don't have *all* of the evidence that the Swedish Authorities have. Apparently the Swedes only presented enough evidence that they thought would be enough to charge Assange.

      What is definitely interesting is that the Defense is on one hand arguing that Assange hasn't been charged yet... and on the other hand demanding to see *all* of the evidence that the Prosecution has collected as if he were charged.

      That in itself is very interesting.

      1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

        @ Ian MG

        "What the defense is arguing is that they don't have *all* of the evidence that the Swedish Authorities have. Apparently the Swedes only presented enough evidence that they thought would be enough to charge Assange."

        No, what the defense is arguing is that they have *sod all* evidence, not from the official channels anyway. Leaks in the media are not something you can mount a legal defense against.

        "What is definitely interesting is that the Defense is on one hand arguing that Assange hasn't been charged yet... and on the other hand demanding to see *all* of the evidence that the Prosecution has collected as if he were charged.

        What the eff are you talking about?

        They are saying that

        1- he isn't charged so there's no ground for extradition

        2- they just remind everyone that IF he is to be charged some day, they need to see all the evidence (which is a legal requirement, as you cannot defend yourself when you don't know what you are accused of).

        Hope that it cleared it a bit for you, you sounded confused.

        1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
          WTF?

          @ElReg!comments!Pierre

          Ok, junior, I'll go slow for you...

          You wrote:

          "What the eff are you talking about?

          They are saying that

          1- he isn't charged so there's no ground for extradition

          2- they just remind everyone that IF he is to be charged some day, they need to see all the evidence (which is a legal requirement, as you cannot defend yourself when you don't know what you are accused of).

          Hope that it cleared it a bit for you, you sounded confused."

          Ok, let me explain my response.

          The defense is making two arguments.

          1) He hasn't been charged therefore he shouldn't be extradited.

          On this point the Swedish prosecution have argued that they intend to charge him once they can question him. This makes perfect sense when you consider Assange left the country with the understanding that he would make himself available for questioning. Which he hasn't. Once he has returned and is questioned, they will formally charge him.

          (And this is legal.)

          2) The prosecution has presented evidence to Assange attorneys and I suppose to the British courts showing that there is merit to the extradition and that within the Swedish laws, he is guilty of rape. Rape is one of those 32 crimes where one does not have to show a duality of the crime. The defense is arguing that the Swedish government is withholding evidence. Which BTW, I believe that they can do until they formally charge him.

          The point is that the defense is doing a hail marry.

          It would be interesting to see if the courts block the extradition at all.

          1. Mephistro Silver badge
            Black Helicopters

            @ Ian Michael Gumby

            "This makes perfect sense when you consider Assange left the country with the understanding that he would make himself available for questioning"

            AFAIK the case was closed and he left the country. And then the case was reopened, a move that was generally considered quite unprecedented in the context of the crime, which is called 'rape' in Sweden but it's not what you'd call 'a real rape' . To put things in their right perspective, extraditing Assange for this 'crime' is like extraditing someone to another country for an unpaid traffic ticket.

            The whole case stinks.

            1. Scorchio!!
              Grenade

              Re: @ Ian Michael Gumby

              "AFAIK the case was closed and he left the country."

              No it was not. Assange was supposed to have returned to the police for more interviewing and agreed to, but he left the country for the UK. I call that 'flight'.

            2. david wilson

              @Mephistro

              >>"AFAIK the case was closed and he left the country. And then the case was reopened, "

              What's the actual source for that?

              What public announcements were made by the Swedish authorities that the case was closed?

              >>"To put things in their right perspective, extraditing Assange for this 'crime' is like extraditing someone to another country for an unpaid traffic ticket."

              That says a great deal about your idea of 'perspective'

        2. Scorchio!!

          Re: @ Ian MG

          "What the eff are you talking about?

          They are saying that

          1- he isn't charged so there's no ground for extradition"

          Well no, extradition is not being sought on the basis of a charge; extradition is sought on the basis that, whilst in a Swedish legal jurisdiction, he agreed to remain in the country and return to the police to resume and finalise questioning, but he FLEW the country.

          Really the Swedes should have been a little more savvy to the fact that Assange was a flight risk. This of course means that they will be a lot tougher in future. Assange's selfishness, mendacity and slipperiness have made a rod for the backs of other suspects.

          1. david wilson

            @Scorchio!!

            >>"...extradition is sought on the basis that, whilst in a Swedish legal jurisdiction, he agreed to remain in the country and return to the police to resume and finalise questioning, but he FLEW the country."

            What's the source for that information?

            1. Scorchio!!

              rE: @Scorchio!!

              ">>"...extradition is sought on the basis that, whilst in a Swedish legal jurisdiction, he agreed to remain in the country and return to the police to resume and finalise questioning, but he FLEW the country."

              What's the source for that information?"

              I'll get back to you on this, I hope by tomorrow night. I have to search about 160 Mb of archival material, and I am uncertain of a search key. However, I expect to be back before he is likely to know whether or not he has a one way trip back to the land he skipped.

              I suspect the Grauniad is one source.

            2. Scorchio!!
              Thumb Up

              Re: @Scorchio!!

              Not the one that I seek, but this is a beginning:

              "Assange understood in August that Swedish authorities were seeking to question him about sexual misconduct charges, but the WikiLeaks founder left the country anyway, fearing a "media circus," according to someone who spoke with him at the time."

              http://www.vancouversun.com/story_print.html?id=3943427&sponsor=

              See also:

              "Over the following several days, prosecutors spoke about wanting to question Assange, though also dropped heavy hints that they wanted to wrap up their investigation rapidly -- with the most likely outcome being a closing of the file.

              [...] (new data/new lawyers)

              In their official statement, prosecutors added that the original "molestation" investigation of Assange -- which was never officially closed -- also would continue and "will be extended to include all allegations in the original police report... There is reason to believe that a crime has been committed. Based on the information available, the crimes in question come under the heading of sexual coercion and sexual molestation, respectively."

              http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/12/07/us-wikileaks-assange-charges-idUSTRE6B669H20101207?pageNumber=3

              Not that I place too much weight on Wikipedia, there is an interesting reference there which is now partially superceded by the BBC Radio 4 report that I referred to between 17 and 18.000 GMT:

              "Swedish investigators reinterviewed the two women, wanting to clarify their allegations before talking to Assange but he left Sweden on 27 September, according to statements in UK court, and refused to return to Stockholm for questioning in October, according to Borgström. According to Assange's lawyer, Mark Stephens, Assange made repeated attempts to contact the prosecution, spending over a month in Stockholm before obtaining permission to leave the country, with the Swedish prosecution stating an interview would not be required.[140]"

              https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Julian_Assange

              We now know from the BBC that, far from being forthcoming, there were no responses from the Assange legal side to repeated attempts to contact them, and that his UK defence rep now agreed that he did have a record of these attempts, in spite of earlier denials. It is always best to avoid having your phone record subpoenaed, as a disciplinary can end careers (ACS:law is of salutory reminder value here). This may be why his UK legal team announced at that time that they could not find him, but later recanted, saying that he had not gone into hiding. A large inconsistency in the tale. A black hole.

              I'll be away on Thursday and have some preparatory research to pull together tomorrow. Though I'm burning the candle at both ends I'm determined to pull out the report that I have.

              Meanwhile do eat some popcorn on my behalf.

              Before I go, I'd like to point out that Assange claimed in his Radio 4 interview some days ago that the Swedish legal system was practically of 'banana republic' standard. Oops. It looks almost as if he is pulling out all of the stops here, claiming that he won't get justice, trying to rope the Swedish prosecutor into the extradition hearings. I don't think that the lawyer has been very much in charge of Assange's case. I think that Assange has been trying to do a Wikileaks PR job on everything the shotgun can hit.

              Let me know if this is not enough. I have a damned big archive on the twit.

              1. david wilson

                @Scorchio!!

                Thanks.

                Given the various claims flying around, it would be nice to know exactly what was said between Julian (and legal team) and the Swedish authorities regarding Julian's departure from Sweden.

                Has that been leaked yet?

                1. Scorchio!!

                  Re: @Scorchio!!

                  "Given the various claims flying around, it would be nice to know exactly what was said between Julian (and legal team) and the Swedish authorities regarding Julian's departure from Sweden.

                  Has that been leaked yet?"

                  I've found nothing yet. I suspect the Swedish authorities are more capable of keeping their lips zipped than the leaker and his team. I'll keep an eye out whilst I'm on the road. BBFN.

    2. Dante

      Government / Corporate privacy != Individual's privacy.

      It's quite easy really.

    3. Danny 14 Silver badge

      indeed

      its a funny thing the law.

    4. Gerardo Korndorffer
      FAIL

      RE:

      No double standards, government documents are not the same as citizen's documents.

      1. Chris Miller

        But the leaked documents are (apparently) from the Swedish Prosecutor

        So they *are* government documents. The fact that they may contain information relating to an identifiable individual is not something that appears to have been much concern to Mr Assange in the past.

        1. byrresheim

          Well actually this has been much concern

          to Mr. Assange and to Wikileaks, that is why they published the US Cables via established Media NYT, Grauniad, DER SPIEGEL ...

          Those media outlets actually redacted the cables that were published - a few thousand up to now out of a quarter million obtained. (And not several hundred thousand published, as some careless authors are wont to write)

          In Germany there has been one career very publicly ended, a young careerist talked to much to our friends and your allies, thereby breaching confidentiality - ironic, is it not, that he fell himself victim to a breach of confidentiality.

          To my knowledge, Mr. Gates (who, you will agree, is in a position to know) has said that there has not yet been an instance of revenge against informers because of Assange's publications in Afghanistan. If you know better, please share.

          Apart from Schadenfreude, I fail to see any merit in your argument that Assange has forfeitet his right to privacy in Sweden because he helped publish documets that somewhat embarrassed the US.

      2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
        Grenade

        @Gerardo Korndorffer

        Your argument fails on so many different levels.

        First, Assange believes and argues for complete transparency, he doesn't make a distinction. After all a corporation isn't the government and if its a private corporation, should they not have the same rights to privacy as an individual?

        So by your logic, Wikileaks should treat leaks about individuals as off limits, right? Then a private corporation, like a private bank, should also be off limits.

        Now if you want to argue that the banks have allegedly broken the law therefore, private or not, they are fair game... need I remind you that Assange has allegedly committed rape, and thus he too is not exempt from having his dirty laundry aired.

        Then there's the issue of a private citizen versus a public figure. Assange has made himself a public figure. So just like Lindsay Lohan's latest jewelry hiest, Assange is fair game for the press.

        1. Gerardo Korndorffer
          FAIL

          No failure in argument

          You still confuse what a public institution, a corporation and a citizen are.

          A public institution is a shared body that belongs to all of us, in effect we as citizens own it and thus should be entitled to control it.

          A corporation is a privately owned body that operates under the rules that we, the citizens, have imposed over it, its right to privacy is at the very best limited to keep it safe from competitor's unfair use. Unfair practices are to be be shown.

          A citizen is the basic element of society, the very foundation of it. You as a citizen are the own that should hold the power, goverment officials are your employees, and a corporation operates under your rules. Do not allow them to tell you otherwise.

          Unless a citizen is a public figure, a citizen has every right to privacy. If a said citizen is a public figure, then unless the documents show/prove such citizen to have committed an unfair/criminal act such citizen holds every right to privacy. Leaked documents do not prove Assange as a rapist, thus there was ill intent in the leak.

          Bear in mind, if you don't know what things really are then you are easily manipulated.

          1. Scorchio!!
            Happy

            Re: No failure in argument

            No, you confuse the matter; Assange has appointed himself to be the guardian of public morals and of politics. He is no more exempt from public scrutiny than, say, Toni Bler. He can expect intense pressure on him WRT his personal life.

            He is a public figure, he is now a matter for public scrutiny. No Platonic noble myths here.

            I made my comments in the light of these things, namely that Assange as a public figure who intends to determine or divert public policy has to be scrutinised.

            Your arguments are feeble and appear to depend on Assange being a private figure. He is not. From the very first moment he stood behind a lectern and leaked, from the very moment he said that he was going to change things, from then on he put himself into the domain of public life and will be treated as such. It does not matter how much you moan and whine. Cope with it.

            As to the leak, the identification material on the leaked fax demonstrate quite clearly that it can only have been leaked from the offices of his UK public defender, to whom the fax was addressed, from his Swedish defender.

            Bear in mind that if you do not pay attention to detail you can easily be misled. HTH. HAND.

      3. Scorchio!!
        FAIL

        Re: RE:

        "No double standards, government documents are not the same as citizen's documents." (Gerardo Korndorffer)

        What utter bollocks, what hogwash.

        When someone sets themselves up, appoints themselves as a guardian of public morals and attempts to direct or divert public policy down a route they have chosen, they *must* be scrutinised.

        Political history is literally littered with the corpses of millions of innocent people whose deaths occurred simply because one or two demagogues decided it should be so. Think for a minute about the Gulag Archipelago, documented by the late Alexander Solzhenitsyn, in which at any given time Stalin had some 10 million prisoners on starvation rations, beatings, torture... ...oh no. Never again.

        So, not just Assange, but people standing for election must be carefully scrutinised before standing for election. The self appointed moral Billy Grahams of this world need to be under a microscope.

        1. Gerardo Korndorffer

          I don not agree

          If the leaked documents actually proved him to be guilty of rape, then I'd say go for it, the rest is just propaganda with ill intent.

      4. Scorchio!!

        Re: RE:

        "On Monday, The Guardian published “WIKILEAKS: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy.”

        The content of the book infuriated the organization. WikiLeaks said on its Twitter page, “The Guardian book serialization contains malicious libels. We will be taking action.”

        [...]

        One bombshell included is that WikiLeaks paid Holocaust denier Israel Shamir €2,000 to represent the organization in Russia."

        http://news.yahoo.com/s/dailycaller/20110202/pl_dailycaller/guardianbookassangepaidholocaustdeniertorepresentwikileaks

        Pay back is a biotch, right? Clearly this man deserves no privacy at all. Apparently he is riddled with baggage and bad stuff.

    5. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      As I understood it...

      They are saying you can't be extradited for something which is not an offence in the country being extradited from, not that you can't be extradited for something where the description of the offence is slightly difeerent. For example, You could be extradited from the UK to France for murder, as both countries have laws covering murder, even though they are unlikely to be identical. However, you could not be extyradited to a fictional third country where the wearing of hats is illegal, for wearing a hat in the UK.

      That's how I read it anyway.

      1. DavCrav Silver badge

        That's fine, but...

        "However, you could not be extyradited to a fictional third country where the wearing of hats is illegal, for wearing a hat in the UK."

        That's fine, and perfectly reasonable, except that the (alleged) hat-wearing took place in the country where hat-wearing is illegal.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Hat-wearing

          That's right. Usually you can't be extradited to a country X, where hat-wearing is illegal, from a country Y, where hat-wearing is not illegal, even if you really provably did wear a hat while in X. That's just the general principle, of course. There are loads of exceptions.

          Is it still the case that France won't extradite a French citizen under any circumstances? If so, I raise my hat to our Froggy Comrades. Not that I was wearing a hat, of course, so please don't extradite me.

          1. Alpha Tony

            @Hat wearing

            I'm confused.. I thought he was being extradited to face charges of NOT wearing a hat?

        2. Scorchio!!
          Thumb Up

          Re: That's fine, but...

          ""However, you could not be extyradited to a fictional third country where the wearing of hats is illegal, for wearing a hat in the UK."

          That's fine, and perfectly reasonable, except that the (alleged) hat-wearing took place in the country where hat-wearing is illegal."

          But that's the point! Jules allegedly DIDN'T wear a hat, but it wasn't his alleged failure to wear a hat per se that mattered; it was the consequences (potential or actual) of failing to wear a hat, and that he failed to wear a hat counter to the instructions of the woman in whose body he placed that part of his anatomy that was hatless.

          I thank the OP for unintentionally selecting such a good analogy. This is what is known in archery as a 'cock up'; the cock feather being on the upper side of an arrow when it is fired results in a misfire. Almost like firing on blanks. Hah.

      2. JohnG Silver badge

        Re: As I understood it...

        The NatWest Three were extradited to the USA for things they did in the UK (allegedly) that were not crimes in the UK but were crimes in the USA.

        As Assange's case has such a high profile, maybe it will have the positive effect of showing up deficiencies in the European arrest warrant and extradition arrangements.

      3. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
        Boffin

        @Loyal Commenter.. Google is your friend...

        Here's the law...

        First check out :

        http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/police/extradition-intro1/extrad-part-1/

        Pay attention to the following 2 paragraphs:

        "Extradition hearing

        The extradition hearing should normally take place within 21 days of arrest.

        If the judge is satisfied that the conduct amounts to an extradition offence and that none of the bars to extradition apply (the rule against double jeopardy; extraneous considerations; passage of time; the person’s age; hostage-taking considerations; speciality; the person’s earlier extradition), he is required to decide whether the person’s extradition would be compatible with the convention rights within the meaning of the Human Rights Act 1998.

        If the judge decides that question in the affirmative, he must order the person to be extradited.

        Dual Criminality Test

        The framework decision contains a list of 32 categories of offence for which the 'dual criminality' test is not needed. The offence must carry a maximum sentence of at least 3 years in the issuing state.

        If the conduct for which extradition is sought is not covered by one of these list offences, then the conduct must be an offence in both the issuing and executing states. Also, if any of the conduct for which extradition is sought was carried out outside the issuing state, the conduct must be an offence in both the issuing and executing states."

        -=-

        So the argument of 'duality' that is where the charge has to be a crime in both locations is moot if the charge is one of the 32 categories...

        Which leads us to this site:

        http://mle.ncalt.com/MLE/data/PL_LGL_NLD_01_02/D12400.asp

        Note the following:

        "Notes:

        (i) Schedule 2 contains the European framework list, which is reproduced from article 2.2 of the European framework decision, as defined in section 215.

        (ii) Schedule 2 can be amended, by order made by the Secretary of State, thus ensuring the list corresponds to any changes made to the European framework list.

        (iii) The UK has reduced the sentence requirement for extraditions for the 32 generic offence categories (listed below) from 3 years down to 12 months.

        (iv) 32 'offences' are listed, which in reality they are better described as forms of conduct (as they are in schedule 2), for the descriptions are generic rather than of a detailed legalistic nature - the purpose is to describe broadly since there are differing versions and understandings of offences, even of common offences such as homicides, across the European Union. "

        And now the fun part.

        In the list... you can see the following charge:

        "28 Rape."

        So in a nut shell, Assange is being charged with RAPE so that the duality test does not apply.

        See isn't this fun.

        The more you ask, the more you know.

        1. PT

          @Gumby

          "So in a nut shell, Assange is being charged with RAPE so that the duality test does not apply."

          Your point is undermined by the fact that Assange hasn't actually been CHARGED with anything.

          1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
            Grenade

            @PT

            Do you actually read the documents link to within the article?

            If you did you'd see the Swedish response to the point erroneously raised by the defense.

            Actually if you read my posts on this article you will find the quote already documented.

        2. Alpha Tony

          @Ian Michael Gumby

          "28 Rape."

          Okay... But playing devil's advocate here... not for any definition of rape that appears in English law.

          You seem to be saying that the name of the offence is what's important and that if (for example) France changed the name of their littering offence to 'rape' I should be extradited for that chewing gum wrapper that I dropped by the Eiffel Tower in 1994...

          1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
            Alert

            @Alpha Tony... you cheeky devil you...

            Not!

            Sorry, but if you look at some of my posts, specifically the one where I mention "28 Rape",

            "(iv) 32 'offences' are listed, which in reality they are better described as forms of conduct (as they are in schedule 2), for the descriptions are generic rather than of a detailed legalistic nature - the purpose is to describe broadly since there are differing versions and understandings of offences, even of common offences such as homicides, across the European Union. "

            -=-

            And this too was raised by the defense team with one of their expert witnesses on English Law...

            The Swede's answer is that what the English consider Rape is not what matters but what the Swedes consider Rape since the alleged Rape occurred in Sweden.

            The actual Skeleton reply document goes in to a lot more detail explaining the charges and if you want a more exact answer, please check that document out.

    6. The Original Ash

      Re: Double standards much?

      I, as an a private citizen, have the right to privacy. My private documents, my home, my possessions, should be safe from unwarranted inspection or seizure by anybody I do not wish to to do such.

      Government bodies, as elected representatives of the people, have no right to privacy whatsoever *when performing the duties bestowed upon them*. They must demonstrate beyond any doubt that they are accurately, and to the best of their ability, performing the functions they are expected to, and they should be accountable to those who put them in that position via accountability through public inspection of the documentation of their work.

      When they are private citizens, they have the same rights as any of us. When they are politicking, they should be transparent and open in their actions and words.

      I hope that's cleared that up for you.

      1. Scorchio!!
        Happy

        Re: Re: Double standards much?

        "I, as an a private citizen, have the right to privacy. My private documents, my home, my possessions, should be safe from unwarranted inspection or seizure by anybody I do not wish to to do such.

        The leaked documents have identification material on them; they are copies of a fax sent from his Swedish to his UK defender. Someone on the receiving side made a basic security error and gave away the source of this information. I don't think he deserves any sympathy, only ridicule. It's the same sort of sloppiness that resulted in the GPS co-ordinates of Afghan informants being left in leaked material. Foot. Shot. His own.

        1. david wilson

          @Scorchio!!

          >>"The leaked documents have identification material on them; they are copies of a fax sent from his Swedish to his UK defender. Someone on the receiving side made a basic security error and gave away the source of this information."

          If it *is* anything to do with his UK legal team, if they're claiming the leaks are prejudicial to his case, I'd be interested to see what action will be taken against them, or whether they could be required to say whether or not they gave Julian copies.

          1. Scorchio!!

            Re: @Scorchio!!

            ">>"The leaked documents have identification material on them; they are copies of a fax sent from his Swedish to his UK defender. Someone on the receiving side made a basic security error and gave away the source of this information."

            If it *is* anything to do with his UK legal team, if they're claiming the leaks are prejudicial to his case, I'd be interested to see what action will be taken against them, or whether they could be required to say whether or not they gave Julian copies."

            A good point, but I wouldn't want to hold up the poor fellow's extradition process. Perhaps a punishment for the heads of his legal team? :p

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @DavCrav

      "I was under the impression that in order for this to take place both Sweden *and* the UK would have to agree, so actually it's *harder* then if Assange stays here?"

      Not sure about that. If it was France -> Sweden -> US then he might stand more chance because France doesn't have the Extradition Act 2003, which contains provision for the US to accuse someone of a crime against US law and the UK to require *no proof at all* before surrending the accused.

      "But his defence solicitors claim that prosecutors must charge him with an offence and therefore disclose the evidence against him, in order to qualify for extradition ..."

      The law says (Extradition Act 2003 Part 1, Paragraph 2, Section 2):

      "A Part 1 warrant is an arrest warrant which is issued by a judicial authority of a category 1 territory and which contains-"

      "particulars of the circumstances in which the person is alleged to have committed the offence, including the conduct alleged to constitute the offence, the time and place at which he is alleged to have committed the offence and any provision of the law of the category 1 territory under which the conduct is alleged to constitute an offence" (Part 1, Paragraph 2, Section 4, Subsection c)

      Not sure if that constitutes 'disclosure of the evidence against him" in its entireity; that will depend on the judge sitting at the hearing.

      * Sources:

      The Extradition Act 2003: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/police/operational-policing/extradition-act-2003?view=Binary

      The Extradition Act 2003 (Designation of Part 1 Territories) Order 2003 No. 3333: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2003/3333/pdfs/uksi_20033333_en.pdf

    8. The Original Ash
      Happy

      It all depends

      You can be extradited for only certain crimes. I don't have an exhaustive list, but this isn't one of them.

      You can't be extradited without charges first being brought against you; Speculative extradition is not permitted.

      If I break a law in France, then flee to the UK, I will be charged with an offence in France, and should I ever return to France and be detained I will be prosecuted for those crimes. I will not necessarily be extradited for prosecution unless the crime is quite grievous in nature.

    9. Scorchio!!
      Thumb Up

      Re: Double standards much?

      ""[Assange claims] his privacy rights have been breached because extracts of the prosecution file have been made available to the media"

      Wait.. what?"

      More than that, the leaked copies are of documents faxed from his Swedish defender to his UK defender, and the leaked documents are as seen from the UK defender's perspective. That is, the covering letter to these documents is from the Swedish to the English defender. That is, the UK defender either has bad security or leaked the documents to muddy the water.

      Experienced leakers ought to know better than to betray identifying material. It is a basic principle of intelligence. I find myself wondering about those Afghan informants, whose GPS co-ordinates were left in leaked material. It's the same sort of basic error, and it is consistent with a sloppy operation. Assange appears to have shot himself in the foot. Then there is the childish, circular logic employed by his UK defence (percolating down to this forum). If there is anything like justice in the UK this man is going to Sweden, tomorrow.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    It's an EAW

    He has no rights to defend it in the UK, he must be extradited with all haste, the UK authorities must not delay processing Sweden's demand in any shape or form. At least, that is how the UK has dealt previous EAWs.

    If the UK can fight/delay Assange's extradition, why can't they show the same zeal for others? At least Sweden has a proper judicial system unlike, say, Greece. Just ask Mr. Symeou (to name but one). Abandoned to rot by the UK. Guess he mustn't have been able to blackmail the right people.

    So there you go people, if you want "justice" in the UK you either need the money or the dirt (and Assange has both).

    1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Boffin

      @AC

      I'm sorry, you've lost me.

      This isn't the UK fighting/delaying to extradite Assange. This is Assange fighting the extradition. If his lawyers can make a credible argument then the UK courts have to let him stay.

      Its not a question of the UK Government showing zeal for others or any zeal at all.

      Assange may be a douche bag, but he's still afforded the same rights as anyone else.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Ian

        That's my point - under the EAW he has no rights. He must be extradited within 90 days (actually, 10 days, he gave himself up); no exceptions; no appeals; no nothing. It does not matter if the offence if a crime in this country or not, our courts have no authority over an EAW (as that was how we implemented them).

        Instead he is allowed to swan about London, so he is actually getting afforded more rights.

        1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
          Boffin

          @ AC

          I'm not an expert on EAW, but I believe the time period is based on due process and a speedy trial. The fact that he's fighting the extradition means that the 'clock' has stopped and that he's not being held or illegally detained.

          Were he to have surrendered and not fought the extradition, he would have had to be produced within 10 days. Appealing the extradition doesn't count. So if he loses the appeal, he'd have to then re-surrender and he'd be shipped back within 10 days.

          The only 'afforded right' would be bail and I believe that is at the discretion of the court?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Not entirely...

          "under the EAW he has no rights. He must be extradited within 90 days".

          This is not entirely true.

          First, it has (obviously) to be a valid EAW. That is what Assange's lawyers are currently challenging.

          Second, the Human Rights Act trumps everything else.

          Assange is not being afforded more rights than anyone else but he does have the money and lawyers to assert his rights. Which he is.

          1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
            WTF?

            @AC Not entirely true.

            There is no Human Rights Act issue here.

            Its a simple extradition of a man who has been accused of Rape in Sweden and there is a EAW on the table so that he may be sent back to Sweden to face those allegations and be charged with a crime.

            The whole Human Rights Act is a ruse and even that is bogus on so many levels.

      2. Scorchio!!

        Re: @AC

        "Assange may be a douche bag, but he's still afforded the same rights as anyone else."

        Ah then, using Tom Sharpe's words through the character of Police Commandant van Heerden in Riotous Assembly, "waste disposal then".

        I only feel able to type these words because I am still angered by this:

        "The title said he told international reporters: 'Well, they're informants so, if they get killed, they've got it coming to them. They deserve it.' The book continues: 'There was, for a moment, silence around the table.'"

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1351927/WikiLeaks-Julian-Assange-new-book-Afghan-informants-deserve-killed.html

        He didn't take the damn GPS data out. Douche bag indeed.

        1. david wilson

          @Scorchio!!

          If the journalists reporting those remarks are correct, I think it'd show pretty conclusively that Assange himself is no journalist.

          1. Scorchio!!

            Re: @Scorchio!!

            "If the journalists reporting those remarks are correct, I think it'd show pretty conclusively that Assange himself is no journalist."

            I was outraged when I read them. It is of the order or worse of a French queen saying "let them eat cake", thinking that like her the common people of France could switch from bread to cake in the event of a shortage, but at least she could be described as naive in a better way than deliberately condemning people who were 'leaking' for self protection, on the ground. This man apparently has no insight and with it seemingly condemns others to death.

            The quoted words give a good search result. As I have forgotten to bring my archive with me I cannot give you the links that I found. However, what about this from my temporary goody bag:

            http://news.bbc.co.uk/panorama/hi/front_page/newsid_9393000/9393841.stm

            http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,744718,00.html#ref=nlint

            Of course he, like Jules, wants monneh.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why don't we.....

    Transport him back to Australia, and give their legal system all the enjoyment of extraditing him somewhere.

    Sorry, I'm just really, really board of this guy, first he's frighted of the big bad USA, then its the legality of the process, why do I think he's actually guilty as hell, and just doesn't want to face the music.

    I'm sure it'll be much easier to deport him to his homeland, and they have a much more robust way of dealing with T*&ts.

    1. Alfred

      Because...

      ...the laws covering when we can and cannot deport someone are very clear, and he does not qualify for deportation.

      "I'm just really, really board of this guy,"

      Oh, well, if you're tired of reading about him but you don't want to moderate your own reading experience and instead want the rest of the world to adapt the news to your tastes, why don't you just fuck off?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      What, again?

      It was transporting his ancestors that got us in this mess to begin with.....

    3. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Bored?

      Sorry, had to point that one out.

      If Assange gets to go back to Australia, then it would mean that the UK violated a treaty with a fellow EU country. (Sweden is in the EU, right?)

      The Aussies don't want him, however they will afford him all the protection they can give him as an Australian citizen. So when he does get sent back to Sweden, and he his charged, he can then ring up his consulate and ask for legal advice.

      I'll wager they'll say " ... bad boy Julian... next time wear a rain coat or when in Sweden, if they'll let you back in.. just say no and take a cold shower. ..."

      1. Graeme Sutherland
        Troll

        Showers

        Given that the leaked documents contain derogatory comments about Julian's personal hygiene, a shower, cold or otherwise, might not be a bad idea. :)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Common Sense - Failure to Apply - or is it?

    If it is simply a matter of questioning, I'm sure the Met would lend them an interview room with a DC for a few hours, and there is nothing stopping the swedish police entering the country and talking with Assange if he was willing to do so.

    So the question has to be why are the swedish prosecuters so adamant to go to the costly process of extraditing without a viaable charge on the books, if a few phone calls, a 2 hour flight and a bit of common sense would resolve the "we want to question" issue?

    1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Grenade

      @AC Common Sense?

      I'm sorry... but maybe being a Yank, I've seen too many police and legal dramas in my day.

      Common sense says that the Swedes have enough to charge Assange. But that they want to question him and depending on his answers charge him with a more serious crime. They haven't charged him because he left their jurisdiction and made himself unavailable to be questioned.

      I would also suspect that they would like to get him to clarify some of the information that they have against him. Giving him time to prepare an alibi or excuse? C'mon. Get real.

      You're making the assumption that the charges aren't viable. Somehow the Swedes who know their law seem to think they are viable, hence the extradition...

      And you're right. A simple 2 hour flight to Sweden for Julian would be enough to question him. So why won't he make the flight? You know back to the jurisdiction where the officers of the law in Sweden can actually then charge him? Oh that's right. Lets forget about the fact that the Swedish Police only have jurisdiction in Sweden?

      1. despairing citizen
        Headmaster

        Re: @AC Common Sense?

        "I would also suspect that they would like to get him to clarify some of the information that they have against him. Giving him time to prepare an alibi or excuse? C'mon. Get real."

        You havent seen enough TV court stuff, we call this DISCLOSURE (UK & US), the police have to give him all the evidence in advance of a trial, so that he can prepare his defence.

        1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
          WTF?

          @despairing citizen

          Perhaps you missed the point Assange's very own lawyers have made...

          He has yet to be charged. Therefore the Swedish courts do not have to provide all of the information that they have. Just enough to assure the UK courts that its really a rape allegation and that he'll be charged in Sweden.

          So yes, the prosecution cannot withhold evidence during trial, but we aint there yet.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        What?

        "And you're right. A simple 2 hour flight to Sweden for Julian would be enough to question him. So why won't he make the flight? "

        Since Assange is presumed to be innocent, I don't really see why he should be expected to put himself out to help these Swedes.

        If I wanted to punch someone's lights out, I would go round their house and do it. I would ring them up and ask them to come around my place so I could duff him up.

        If they want to question him, they know where he is. They could jump on a plane talk to the guy and then fuck off back. It would be a hell of a lot cheaper and quicker.

        Hell, they could pick up the phone if they just wanted to speak with him. This IS the 21st century people!

        1. Andus McCoatover

          Agree.

          A simple 2-hour flight for the Swedish Plods, on expenses, would be enough to question him.

          Or, as Skelband says, this is the 21st century. UK Plods and Skype? Well, if it's too difficult for the plods to use Skype, dunno how they'll cope with airport "Elf and Soft Tea".

        2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
          WTF?

          @skelband...

          Ok....

          Lets see if I get this straight....

          You're in Sweden, you punch someone's lights out.

          The cops question you, but they don't yet have enough evidence to hold you. You say "Hey! I'm supposed to be in the UK for work... " They then say... ok, but you need to make yourself available and return if we request it.

          You hop off to the UK. You don't return. The Swedes then determine they have enough evidence to charge you.

          You fight extradition. You claim they haven't charged you yet so you can't be extradited. They show you that they have you on tape punching this guy's lights out. But they want you back for 'questioning' and will actually charge you with a crime.

          Now they want to question you before they charge you because they want to determine your mental state. Did you get in to a heated argument? Did you intentionally walk over and pick a fight with him? Was the basis for your fight because he was a minority and this was a hate crime? None of that is known until they interview you and at that time, they will charge you.

          Of course you get extradited, you enter the interrogation, keep your mouth shut and let your lawyer do your talking. Then they charge you with whatever they think will stick.

          Does that sum it up enough for you?

      3. Schultz
        FAIL

        Get real, Mr Gumby

        It would take a great idiot to willfully submit to an apparently hostile legal system somewhere abroad -- Mr. Assange may be a weird character, but he doesn't seem to be quite that stupid. He asserts his good rights to defend himself in the place of his choosing. If the Swedes want him, they have to present a good case that satisfies international law.

        "Common Sense" has nothing to do with it, and considering the large range of Common Sense presented in this forum, this may be a very good thing.

        1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
          Grenade

          @Sgt Shultz...

          Lets just cut to the chase.

          Here's what the Swedes have to say:

          Excerpts taken from:

          http://www.fsilaw.com/sitecore/content/Global/content/~/media/Files/Publications/IP_Media/Julian%20Assange%20Case%20Papers/Judicial%20Authority%20materials/Skeleton%20Reply%20of%20the%20Swedish%20DPP.ashx

          "11. The defence asserts that the EAW was issued for the purpose of interrogation and not for the purposes of conducting a criminal prosecution. However there is no equivocal statement or ambiguity in the warrant to substantiate this assertion. On the contrary the EAW, read as a whole, makes it plain that the warrant is issued for the purpose of a criminal prosecution."

          But lets not stop there...

          12. Clear offences are alleged, contrary to provisions of the relevant Swedish statutes; the description of the conduct identifies facts that have been established against Mr Assange; and the wording of the introductory phrase of the EAW taken in its proper context (which clearly excludes the possibility that this is a conviction case) expressly ask for extradition for the purposes of prosecution. For the importance of these features see Fox v Public Prosecutor's Office, Landshut, Germany [2010] EWHC 513 (Admin) and Mighall v Audiencia Provincial di Palma de Mallorca [2010] EWHC 568 (Admin).

          13. An attempt has been made by reference to a statement by a translator, Christophe Brunski, to criticise the translation of the term ‘lagföring’ as criminal prosecution in the EAW. The difficulty for his approach is that the official Swedish language version of the Framework Decision uses precisely this term in Article 1.1 and on the annexed form to mean ‘criminal prosecution’: ‘Den europeiska arresteringsordern är ett rättsligt avgörande, utfärdat av en medlemsstat med syftet att en annan medlemsstat skall gripa och överlämna en eftersökt person för lagföring eller för

          verkställighet av ett fängelsestraff eller en annan frihetsberövande åtgärd.

          (English version)

          The European arrest warrant is a judicial decision issued by a Member State with a view to the arrest and surrender by another Member State of a requested person, for the purposes of conducting a criminal prosecution or executing a custodial sentence or detention order.’

          14. It is impossible to suggest that the request for the purposes of ‘lagföring’ is anything other than a lawful request for the purpose of the Framework decision and the Extradition Act 2003.

          So that's what the Swedes say.

          As to your point:

          "He asserts his good rights to defend himself in the place of his choosing. If the Swedes want him, they have to present a good case that satisfies international law."

          Perhaps you don't really have a good understanding of the law and fleeing jurisdiction. Simply put. Regardless of what Assange wants, the Swedes are the law since the crime took place in Sweden. You flee said jurisdiction, the Swedes will legally issue an EAW and will demand the extradition of said suspect. That's the law. The trial will occur in Sweden. Based on the url I provided... its a very strong document and IMHO Assange had best pack a bag.

          1. Scorchio!!
            Thumb Up

            Re: @Sgt Shultz...

            "Simply put. Regardless of what Assange wants, the Swedes are the law since the crime took place in Sweden. You flee said jurisdiction, the Swedes will legally issue an EAW and will demand the extradition of said suspect. That's the law. The trial will occur in Sweden."

            This is why the interviews must be conducted by the Swedish police on their soil, plus a few other things, such as the ease with which dissimulation can be effected in low res media such as Skype, and the need to have a suspect readily and easily available for questioning by people trained in law enforcement in the appropriate jurisdiction.

            1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

              Sir

              It doesn't matter 2 shits that the Swedish Police *might* have enough evidence to charge him or not.

              They HAVEN'T charged him, so no-one should be going anywhere.

              As for the spurious 'we'll know what to charge him with when we question him' line,

              what, as they say, the fuck!

              If they have evidence, they can charge him in absentia, issue a proper EAW and then he will *have* to be extradited I expect.

              But they don't seem to want to do it the 'legal way' do they? Whyever not?

              1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
                Grenade

                Yo! Spoon!...

                Dude!

                Coming late to the game and apparently not prepared is par for the course of your average commentard.

                Have you read the linked documents in the article?

                I read Assange's Skeleton and then the Swede's skeleton. Which I guess is the base arguments for each side. (Why the English call it the Skeleton is beyond me and I'm sure some smeg head UK lawyer wantobe will explain...)

                The point is that the Swedes have already answered this point and they do intend to charge him.

                1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

                  Sir

                  "The point is that the Swedes have already answered this point and they do intend to charge him."

                  At the risk of sounding uninformed :P I was under the impression that an EAW was only valid if someone has actually 'been' charged (past tense) as opposed to 'going to be' charged.

                  I've seen a lot of rhetoric and quoted legalese, yet this point still remains to be answered does it not?

      4. byrresheim
        Black Helicopters

        Please pay attention to the timeline

        Assange did not make himself unavailable, he asked for and was given leave of Sweden. Given the, let's say interesting, associations of high ranking swedish politicians and given the interesting connections of the alleged victims of his alleged misdeeds and given the number of people who want to get even with him for reasons not in the least connected with his alleged misdeeds, it seems like common sense that he insists on his right not to go back to Sweden.

        But then he is no Yank, so there might apply another definition of common sense in his case.

  8. ahahaha you won't catch me that easy again
    Grenade

    hooray...

    ...more assange....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Grenade

      hooray... → #

      Yes, more lap-dog coporate media guff to distract from the real story -

      ...that the worlds defacto power brokers are largely a corrupt, nefarious bunch of greedy, self-interested back stabbing slimeball pieces of sh*te who will actively seek to discredit, disgrace and if necessary dissapear anyone who reveals the ugly truth about them.

  9. davcefai

    This is a little bit fishy.

    I recall reading that the Swedes stated that they will subordinate their claims to any that the US may make.

    If so Assange's rendition will be almost assured.

    In the meantime the Swedes are attempting to extradite him first and charge him later. Does anybody smell a rat?

    1. The BigYin

      This is the USA...

      ...if they really wanted him they would just come and take him. Then torture the correct answer out of him. You think our MPs would stand up to their masters?

    2. david wilson

      @davcefai

      >>"I recall reading that the Swedes stated that they will subordinate their claims to any that the US may make."

      >>"If so Assange's rendition will be almost assured."

      That' seems like a non-sequitur.

      All that is suggested is that *if* there was a USA extradition request, the Swedes would put any possible charges on one side.

      I'd have thought that wouldn't be unusual practice where extradition was sought for a graver [alleged] offence than a local one.

      However, it doesn't mean that extradition itself would be assured, merely that any local accusations would be left unpursued for the time being, so in effect he'd be in the same position wrt extradition to the USA as if he wasn't accused of anything in Sweden.

      If someone was accused of a serious crime abroad, what would be the point of going through all the motions of local proceedings on a *relatively* minor charge until it had been established whether the person could or couldn't be extradited?

    3. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Grenade

      @davcefai

      What you heard was that if the US were to charge Assange with a crime, that they would allow the US's extradition to supersede their request for extradition.

      Your conclusion of 'Assange's rendition will be almost assured' is based on the imagination of Assange and his lawyer.

      The interesting thing you haven't asked yourself is this... Why would Assange's lawyers keep touting this potential thread against Assange if in fact there was no evidence linking Assange to Manning? In short, just because the US Government hasn't found any, doesn't mean it doesn't exist and that has Assange worried.

      But this is all BS. Assange gets extradited to Sweden, they are obligated under the same EU law that doesn't allow them to extradite Assange to the US as long as the death sentence is on the table. Don't believe me? Try this quote on for size...

      "48. Insofar as complaints are made about the conditions of Mr Assange’s detention in Sweden or the likely fairness of his trial or the danger of his extradition to the USA so as to threaten a breach of 3, 6, 8 and 10 of the ECHR, Sweden as a contracting state has undertaken to abide by its ECHR obligations and to secure to everyone within its jurisdiction the rights and freedoms defined, including those guaranteed by Articles 3, 6, 8 and 10. In the absence of any proof to the contrary, it must be presumed that Sweden will comply with its obligation in respect of persons who may be extradited to it and issues alleging any basic breach of fair trial rights or conditions of detention or arising out of any threatened extradition to the USA can and should be raised by Mr Assange in Sweden and not the Courts of the United Kingdom, see Klimas v Prosecutor General's Office of Lithuania [2010] EWHC 2076 (Admin)."

      Kinda ends that twisted logic of Sweden being a puppet to the US.

  10. JimC Silver badge

    t seems pretty routine for Defence Lawyers

    to throw everything, no matter how ridiculous, up against the wall. I guess they can be optimistic that some of it might stick, and in any case they get paid exactly the same hourly rate for advancing worthless arguments as they do for advancing sensible ones.

  11. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
    WTF?

    The defense is grasping at Straws...

    "Assange's defence team also said that his onward rendition from Sweden to the US would breach his human rights.

    They claim there is a real risk that if sent to Sweden, Assange could be extradited or illegally rendered to Guatanomo Bay or elsewhere and "there is a real risk he could be made subject to the death penalty". Lawyers quoted comments from Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee in support of this claim."

    For those who don't follow US politics... Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee are *former* politicians and are not government officials. Like all Americans, they have their first amendment right to free speech.

    Their voice or opinion carries the same weight as 'Joe the Plumber' has on Congress, the USDoJ or even the President of the US.

    The fact that the defense attorney's trotted out this garbage just shows how weak an argument that they have against the extradition to Sweden.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Ian Michael Gumby

      >>"The fact that the defense attorney's trotted out this garbage just shows how weak an argument that they have against the extradition to Sweden."

      Or that part of their strategy is a trial by media such as they claim to be trying to avoid.

      Or they're doing paid PR in order to hype Julian's book sales.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      You just don't like this guy do you?

      "The fact that the defense attorney's trotted out this garbage just shows how weak an argument that they have against the extradition to Sweden."

      I think you'll find that Sweden have the weight of proof, not Assange's lawyers.

      Some of the reported "defences" are a bit dubious, but in the main, I think that they do have the legal right on their side. You can't be extradited to question someone, only to charge them. That is fact and there is no getting around it.

      1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
        Boffin

        @skelband...

        You should read the following:

        http://www.fsilaw.com/sitecore/content/Global/content/~/media/Files/Publications/IP_Media/Julian%20Assange%20Case%20Papers/Judicial%20Authority%20materials/Skeleton%20Reply%20of%20the%20Swedish%20DPP.ashx

        Its the Swede's argument rebutting the defense's appeal.

        There's a whole section on the extradition process, here's some excerpts...

        "18. The fact that a prosecutor may interrogate a person who she seeks for the purposes of prosecution does not affect the validity of an EAW, see Naczmanski v Regional Court, Wloclawek [2010] EWHC 2023 (Admin). As Elias LJ pointed out in paragraph 29; ‘there may be other objectives in addition to prosecution; plainly, the authorities may well hope that they can gain valuable evidence from this appellant concerning the activities of other criminals with whom he has been associated but, in my judgment, that does not invalidate the warrant if, as the Polish authorities have said in terms, they wish to secure the defendant's extradition for the purpose of prosecuting him for various offences which he has committed and which have been identified in the relevant warrants.’

        19. As is apparent from the extremely limited evidence on Swedish procedural law laid before the court by the defence; the case is still formally at the stage of preliminary investigation. The preliminary investigation may not in practice be completed until there has been a meeting and interrogation of the accused person. The only exception to this right is where such a

        process can have not value. See section 18 of the Manual for Swedish Prosecutors exhibit MS/2. The fact that some further pre-trial evidential investigation in Sweden might result in no trial taking place does not mean that Mr Assange is merely suspected as opposed to being sought for the purpose of a contemplated prosecution, see Patel v. The Office of the Attorney General, Frankfurt [2011] EWHC 155 (Admin) para 45. An application for detention and arrest (such as upheld in this case by the Svea Court of Appeal) can only be made if there is probably cause to establish the commission an offence by the accused person (see section 1 in chapter 24 of the Manual).

        20. Although the prosecution does not consider further information is required to substantiate the purpose of the EAW, it has submitted supplementary information, namely Marianne Ny’s statement, confirming that the EAW was issued for the purpose of conducting the criminal prosecution of Mr Assange."

        -=-

        In short I believe that the Swedes have met their burden for this extradition to go forward.

        The more you know...

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
          Troll

          Sir

          "Their voice or opinion carries the same weight as 'Joe the Plumber' has on Congress, the USDoJ or even the President of the US."

          Or perhaps even Oprah? I can't imagine her opinion counts for much either then, but she did manage to put a black president in the whitehouse.

      2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
        Boffin

        @ skelband ... just to clarify the facts...

        You wrote:"I think you'll find that Sweden have the weight of proof, not Assange's lawyers."

        At trial? Yes. The defendant is assumed innocent until proven guilty.

        However we're not at trial.

        What we are seeing is a lawful EAW being served in the UK and Assange surrendered. Assange is appealing the validity of the EAW.

        So here's the thing. The assumption is that the EAW on the face of it, is valid and legal. The burden of proof is on Assange to show that the EAW is not in fact valid.

        So for this act in the play we call Assnage, the defense (Assange) has to meet the burden of proof that the EAW is not valid.

        The Swedes have an easy job. All they have to do is counter the arguments raised by the defense. If they can do that. Assange goes back to Sweden to face trial.

        Whatever happens at trial... thats a different matter. ;-)

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If only.

    "there is a real risk he could be made subject to the death penalty"

    We can but hope...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      SYB

      If you love the death penalty so much, why don't you go live there?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Flame

        Love of the death penalty

        LOL

        Or, go die there, indeed.

        Maybe the death penalty would be a little too much - perhaps just a severe beating in a darkened alley way..?

    2. Scorchio!!
      Happy

      Re: If only.

      ""there is a real risk he could be made subject to the death penalty"

      We can but hope..."

      This reminds me of a line given the to part of Sarn't Major in Full Metal Jacket; "Hell I like you, I'll even let you fsck my sister!"

  13. Dennis Wilson
    Alert

    WTF

    You cannot extradite someone because you want to charge that person with an undecided crime, it denys the right to a defence because a defence cannot be made against the unknown.

    An extradition is completely repugnant and flys in the face of british and human rightd laws.

    1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Grenade

      @Dennis Wilson...

      Pretend that you're a soccer hooligan.

      You hop a plane to Germany to catch a match.

      While in Germany, you get pissed (drunk) and you start a bar brawl.

      Before the cops can nab you... you ditch out and get out of the country.

      But the cops caught you on cctv and identified you from your passport photo.

      So they have enough evidence to charge you. (They have footage of you in the brawl and they have identified its you in the footage by your entry photo and passport photo.)

      Now they want to extradite you, but they haven't charged you.

      Clearly you're guilty of breaking the law, but they don't know if they should charge you for

      Assault, Aggravated Assault, attempted murder, or a hate crime. (The guy you beat up happened to be a minority)

      Now just so everyone stays focused, I'm making the following assumptions:

      1) German law, like US law has various degrees of assault charges.

      2) Assault is an offense that could be grounds for extradition.

      So, what you're saying is that before you are extradited to Germany that the Germans have to first charge you with some sort of criminal assault, yet the Germans say that they will charge you with a crime once they can interrogate you.

      The point is that you can be extradited and then charged. That is of course if you believe the Swedes.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        What a big load of fail.

        Taking your soccer example, the Germans would have to determine the charges based on the evidence that they have. I believe that there, as here, you have the right to remain silent when interviewed.

        They can't legally beat additional evidence out of you to determine whether or not they can up the charges after they get hold of you.

        It's the same everywhere in the free world. The police gather evidence, determine the charge then charge you. You don't have to incriminate yourself. The extradition bit is the last stage where the alleged perpetrator happens to be out of you jurisdiction for the charge itself.

        1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

          @skelband...

          I think you misunderstood.

          In my hypothetical situation, they have enough information to charge you.

          They can charge you with at least assault, but unless they can determine your mens rhea ?sp? they couldn't prove a hate crime or any sort of premeditation.

          1. Scorchio!!
            Thumb Up

            Re: @skelband..

            "They can charge you with at least assault, but unless they can determine your mens rhea ?sp? they couldn't prove a hate crime or any sort of premeditation."

            Its mens rea, but I think that behavioural evidence count for more than state of mind. If the deed has been done mens rea are only important if the individual pleads mental state under an appropriate law. These vary from EU state to EU state. In France ISTR there is still crime of passion (crime passionelle) but not in the UK. Not guilty by virtue of insanity varies within the UK (England/Scotland), as does diminished responsibility. (From memory the latter does not exist in Scottish law and, yes, you will remember that the Libyan man convicted for Lockerbie had to be released under Scottish law, in spite of US Senators and Congressmen/women reviling "English" law.)

            What these distinctions in fact do is raise another question; whilst the Assange supporters (and for that matter the lawyers!) say he should not be extradited to another jurisdiction, it has been based on what has been shown as a mixture of (desperate I am sure) spurious, contradictory, circular and non sequitur logic. However, in this analysis this logic can be applied across the English-Scottish border, and so on. You are doubtless familiar with this from the US State/Federal perspective.

            Even in within an English jurisdiction similar problems could, at least in logical principle, be raised; what is a local bye law in Cambridge might be totally acceptable in another part of England alone. There is also the interesting question of police forces. It is normal for a police officer to arrest someone within her or his own jurisdiction (Scotland yard and a variety of national bodies excepted), but you will frequently find officers from other forces drafted in to carry out, for example, crowd control as happened recently in the case of the English Defence League marches in Luton, the mining strikes of the 80s, the eco warrior wars of the late 20th/early 21st century, and so on.

            The matter is not as clear cut and simple as the simpletons running Assange's case make out, and their spurious logic to the effect that the Swedes, in saying they would drop their case in defence to a US attempt are in fact saying they would extradite him and then allow the US to have him (which under the EAW as you note is impermissible without first applying the UK perspective under which he is supposedly currently sheltering as under an umbrella) as risible, laughable, childish and worthy of a good spanking in court. It is not unknown for presiding judges/magistrates to make lawyers approach the bench and to administer a sound spanking for utter silliness, and I would not be surprised to see some of this where the silly logic of the current defence is concerned. Wild. Flaky. Childish.

      2. Alfred

        You've got it wrong

        You can charge someone on suspicion of a crime, so long as you have reasonable suspicion, and then during the course of the investigation if a different charge would fit better, that can be arranged.

        In your hypothetical case, the Germans would charge him with whatever they have reasonable suspicion of and then extradite, safe in the knowledge that if their investigation leads to a different charge, that can be applied at the appropriate juncture.

        The Swedes, if they have reasonable suspicion, should charge. This appears to be a multi-national fishing expedition.

        1. DiViDeD Silver badge
          FAIL

          The Swedes Can't Charge - They'd look stupid

          An EAW is supposed to be issued in cases where charges have been brought or sentence has been passed and the miscreant has fled the country. Assange didn't flee the country - he made sure that Swedish prosecutors had closed the case and let him know he was free to go.

          And then you have the charge. This is not rape, this is essentially incondiderate sex. if Assange is found guilty on all counts, he could face a fine of up to 7,500 kronor. Extradition is not seriously considered unless the charges brought against the individual carry a penalty of 3 years or more in proson.

          So they can't charge him without being laughed out of court. So why are they making all this fuss? Inquiring minds would like to know.

          1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
            Boffin

            @Divided

            I don't think you've been paying attention.

            Two educational pieces have emerged...

            Swedish procedure doesn't allow for charges to be brought until they interview the accused.

            (Read a post from me. Or follow the links in the article and read the Swedish Skeleton.)

            Interviewing a person doesn't invalidate the EAW and the EAW was generated with the intent to proceed with criminal charges.

            So the Swedes are compliant with the law and thus the extradition should proceed.

        2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

          @Alfred

          And that's exactly what they are doing.

          What most, including myself have missed is that in Swedish law, they can't charge the individual until they have an actual meeting/questioning of the individual.

          Here's the relevant quote:

          "19. As is apparent from the extremely limited evidence on Swedish procedural law laid before the court by the defence; the case is still formally at the stage of preliminary investigation. The preliminary investigation may not in practice be completed until there has been a meeting and interrogation of the accused person."

          So until they get him back in Sweden, its a catch-22. Except that the EAW was explicitly made so that they can actually charge him so the UK would have to grant extradition.

          The fact is that every point raised by the defense has been shot down decisively by the Swedes.

          Since we don't know the judges in the UK or what they will do, its always a gamble. But if I were a betting man, Assange had best be packed and ready to go to Sweden.

  14. NoneSuch
    Happy

    Hello Kettle, this is Pot...

    "[Assange claims] his privacy rights have been breached because extracts of the prosecution file have been made available to the media"

    Irony, meet Julian. Julian meet Irony.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Ian Michael Gumby

    you missed some thing even simpler . The DOJ has already said they think there is no way they can link Julian directly to Manning. As such no charges can be filed .

    1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Boffin

      @AC

      What I was talking about was the fact that the defense used statements from two talking heads who are not currently representing anyone but themselves. Posturing for the next Presidential campaign. (Two potential Republican conservative candidates).

      So the defense argument fails on that ground.

      The fact that there hasn't been a charge by the US also makes the issue of the death penalty a moot point.

      Or the fact that the US hasn't used the death penalty in an espionage case since the end of WWII.

      Or the fact that if the US does charge Assange, they will agree to take the death penalty off the table so that they *can* extradite him.

      Didn't miss any of that.

      With respect to your comment...

      The DoJ hasn't made that statement. What you read was an unidentified source has stated that they haven't found enough evidence to tie Julian to the theft of documents. Yet. It wasn't an official statement.

      1. david wilson

        @Ian Michael Gumby

        >>"The DoJ hasn't made that statement. What you read was an unidentified source has stated that they haven't found enough evidence to tie Julian to the theft of documents. Yet. It wasn't an official statement."

        There's an interesting issue here, which I'm wondering about, which would seem interesting irrespective of the facts of Assange's links (or *lack* of links) with Manning.

        How would a lack of forensic evidence for a link between two people play out in a court?

        If I claimed [rightly or wrongly] to have been in touch with (and encouraged by) famous person X before collecting information to pass to them, but they denied it, would it be necessary to have physical evidence of such a connection to justify charging the famous person with conspiracy and putting them on trial?

        If the alleged communications were truly untraceable long enough after the event, if I claimed I knew I was talking to the actual person, might I have a chance of convincing a jury?

        I *could*, for example, claim that I knew I really was talking to the actual person because they identified themselves to me by telling me something only that person could know, like some specific detail of something they were planning to say publicly in future, or some particular combination of word[s] and gesture[s] they would make at a press conference, etc.

        If it's possible to get a conviction in a more normal case where one person claims another person they knew and met face to face was conspiring with them but the other denied it, why would it be impossible to get a conviction where the communication was electronic, but there actually were *potential* ways that someone could have verified to some extent they had been communicating with the correct person?

        If there was no exact evidence as to times of alleged communication, unless the accused person had some very comprehensive alibis for long relevant stretches of time, or could provide comprehensive logs of any communication traffic they could possibly have been a party to, it may be difficult to disprove the claims.

        Would it be legally permitted for someone to be accused on the basis of claims of such interaction?

        Would the *possibility* that I'd only ever been in touch with someone who had the trust of the accused person be enough to make my evidence legally useless or inadmissible?

        1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

          @david wilson

          The point I was trying to make is that it would be incorrect to assume that the DoJ has given up on their investigation. At the time of the statement, it was unknown by the unnamed person, who was quoted, that such a link exists. That is to say that the 'knowledgeable source' had no specific knowledge.

          The statement made was not an official statement representing the DoJ.

          Having said that... Manning could have been cooperating with people. Even if no direct link could be found... Manning could make a statement that Assange helped him. It would be up to the courts/jury to determine the veracity of the statement and judge accordingly.

          1. david wilson

            @Ian Michael Gumby

            >>"The point I was trying to make is that it would be incorrect to assume that the DoJ has given up on their investigation"

            Quite.

            They may have decided they'll never find proof of communication, they may hope but have failed to find anything yet, or they may have found something they're keeping quiet about.

            The newspaper story could be made up by the paper, disinformation or accurate.

            However, the issue just got me wondering whether it would even in theory be possible to prosecute someone in the /absence/ of forensic evidence of communication, but only on the word of an alleged conspirator, even if the people involved had never physically met.

            1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

              @David Wilson

              "However, the issue just got me wondering whether it would even in theory be possible to prosecute someone in the /absence/ of forensic evidence of communication, but only on the word of an alleged conspirator, even if the people involved had never physically met."

              The short answer is yes.

              In a case where you lack a body, you can still have a murder trial where an informant confesses to the act and implicates another where they detail how they destroyed the evidence.

              In those types of cases which there is circumstantial evidence, you can go to trial and let the judge/jury sort out the truth.

              So if Manning were to talk and give enough detailed statements that would link him to Assange and there is enough evidence that makes his statements credible, then Assange could be charged. Again, its up to the jury to determine how strong the circumstantial evidence is....

              HTH

              -G

              PS. While the above is true, unless there was enough credible evidence that taken on face value to be true, Assange would have a field day in a counter suit for prosecutorial misconduct. IANAL nor do I play one on TV.

      2. PT
        FAIL

        @Ian Micheal Gumby

        "Or the fact that the US hasn't used the death penalty in an espionage case since the end of WWII."

        You must not have heard of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

        "See isn't this fun. The more you ask, the more you know."

        1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
          Grenade

          @PT

          Actually that was the case I was referring.

          I mean, when was the last time the A-Bomb was dropped in war time?

          (WWII) and it was based on their work during WWII on the Manhattan project right?

          So since I'm a bit cloudy on my history... when did the Rosenbergs start spying for the Russians?

          ;-)

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Assange = Good

    I may disagree about some of the unredacted Afghanistan files, but on the whole this guy has revolutionized (i.e. restored) the role of the media, and generally shed light and freedom on the world.

    Give him his noble prize, keep him the heck out of the US.

    1. david wilson

      @VoodooTrucker

      >>"but on the whole this guy has revolutionized (i.e. restored) the role of the media,"

      By doing what?

      Before Assange, people could leak things directly to the media, or to other leaks websites.

      What Assange has really done is publicised/marketed the idea of leaking more widely, so many people would think first of wikileaks.

      That may well be a positive achievement, but even then, much of the credit goes to the people who previously gave the information that allowed wikileaks to attract increasing attention.

      >>"Give him his noble prize, keep him the heck out of the US."

      In terms of Nobel prizes, it would be like giving Henry Ford one for inventing the motor car.

      1. Adam T

        @david wilson

        Hmm I dunno if it's that cut & dry.

        The thing is, you can't give a Nobel to everyone involved, there has to be a representative (no Nobels for Anonymous then!). We could argue that Wikileaks, like the media, is just a conduit, but you'll not find many forms of media that consistently argue for the truth. Sure we've had leaks for as long as there've been secrets; the meat here isn't in the leaks alone but the whole picture - not least the fact that someone has got the balls to stand up and moon the most powerful government on the planet.

        And it's not the invention of the car that's important, it's who takes it and transforms it into something truly needed. I'm pretty sure if you invented a car that runs off small talk, you'd be well in for a Nobel Prize. That said, the Nobel's pretty useless since Obama got his.

        1. Andy Taylor

          Nobel useless since Obama?

          Don't you mean since Henry Kissinger? The reason Tom Lehrer retired from satire.

        2. david wilson

          @Adam T

          >>"We could argue that Wikileaks, like the media, is just a conduit, but you'll not find many forms of media that consistently argue for the truth."

          Well, Assange doesn't seem to be interested in propagating the *whole* truth, otherwise he wouldn't long-delay releasing things in what seems to come close to blackmail.

          >>"...not least the fact that someone has got the balls to stand up and moon the most powerful government on the planet"

          Yeah - it's not as if any *real* journalists have ever published things which embarrassed the US government, is it.

          >>"And it's not the invention of the car that's important, it's who takes it and transforms it into something truly needed."

          I just don't see that taking something that already exists and making it more well known necessarily qualifies someone for sainthood, especially if they're not exactly living hand to mouth while doing it.

          The fact is that the stuff that media companies published, they could perfectly well have published without wikileaks having been there as an intermediary.

          Wikileaks may provide an easier anonymous channel for people to use, but there'd be nothing stopping someone from mailing CDs or memory sticks with incriminating files on to one or more regular media outlets, if there was something they were really desperate to get published.

          Some people do need to get some perspective and realise that information has long been leaked to and published by various media organisations.

          The changes in technology over time mean that (absent a sensible internal control system) it can now be rather easier for information to be copied and moved around than it was decades ago - I could copy any number of documents onto a tiny memory card which would be very easy to carry out of a building, whereas previously I might have had to spend hours risking discovery while using a photocopier and then trying to get the paper out.

          Leaking now can often be far easier to do in bulk than it used to be, and that would be true with or without Julian.

          1. Adam T

            @david wilson

            Fair points.

            As I say, 'I dunno'. Not quite on the fence, but definitely I don't see that there's a clear picture of all the facts. Which is a wee bit ironic given the subject.

            I do think Wikileaks is more than simple 'another' outlet though. As you say there's no shortage of terrific journalism and sure enough they get their own share of awards and recognition, but the media outlets as we know them are flawed and, frankly I don't think people take the media seriously enough (wonder why?).

            Wikileaks doesn't suffer the stigma of the mainstream media. As long as it keeps up it's credibility then it's something for shifty people to fear. Well, it should be, but as you say; we still only get to see what they decide we should, and the veracity of that withers with each edit. Which we all hear about from, the mainstream media...

            Anyway, back to my Pig Farming for Idiots book...:)

            1. david wilson

              @Adam T

              >>"but the media outlets as we know them are flawed and, frankly I don't think people take the media seriously enough (wonder why?)."

              Seems to me that the bulk release of diplomatic trivia stuff from Wikileaks if anything made Wikileaks seem rather less serious.

              True, much was parrotted by the regular media, though arguably that was part of a process where Wikileaks itself (and its promises of future juicy stuff) became a large part of the story.

              Personally, I'd have had rather more respect for Wikileaks if it had just released stuff which seemed non-trivial.

              If that would have been going against a 'principle' of releasing everything, that'd make me wonder about the value of the principle.

              Though it does seem like the trivia release may have been fuelled more by a desire to cause maximum annoyance to the US government than a desire to meaningfully inform people.

          2. SleepyJohn
            Big Brother

            @david wilson -- It is often the little things that count

            "Yeah - it's not as if any *real* journalists have ever published things which embarrassed the US government, is it."

            I think the interesting thing about Wikileaks is not so much that it exposes major, headline-grabbing corruption scandals in powerful organisations, but that it shows the everyday behaviour and attitudes of the people who control those organisations. Beneath the public evasions, back-slapping and general insincerity lie thousands of cables showing what they really think behind closed doors.

            Very little of it actually surprises us, but a lot of it gives we ordinary folk some quite powerful sticks with which we can berate those who, with varying degrees of deceit, control our lives. We little 'uns can now keep an eye on Big Brother. And I think the style of Wikileaks enables us to do this more effectively than conventional investigative journalism can.

            Instead of ordinary folk walking in fear of being overheard by the Fat Controllers, it could now become the other way round.

            1. david wilson

              @SleepyJohn

              >>"Beneath the public evasions, back-slapping and general insincerity lie thousands of cables showing what they really think behind closed doors."

              You don't think people already knew that diplomacy involves a serious element of behind-closed-doors stuff?

              >>"but a lot of it gives we ordinary folk some quite powerful sticks with which we can berate those who, with varying degrees of deceit, control our lives."

              How does knowing all kinds of bears-shit-in-woods stuff like 'people think Berlusconi is vain' help anyone control anything?

              >>"We little 'uns can now keep an eye on Big Brother."

              You're expecting that leaks of trivia will continue at the same rate even after Manning gets made an example of, and despite the obvious possibility of identifying leakers being made easier in future?

              Or that people would actually pay a huge amount of attention to Bulk Trivia Pt 2?

              I'm waiting to see the sea change in democracy that the release of the trivia causes.

        3. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
          Coat

          @Adam T.

          Actually it is cut and dry.

          Wikileaks likes to consider itself a 'whistle blower' website. That is that a 'whistle blower' is actually whistle blowing a criminal activity.

          We look at Wikileaks, What criminal activity had they actually outed?

          No War Crimes.

          No criminal activity by diplomats.

          Just information to try and embarrass the US Government.

          So in their leaks, have they created peace or have they created a situation for more war and strife?

          Only time will tell.

          1. Tin Pot
            Thumb Up

            Nail, head.

            They have fuck all to do with Truth or Freedom of Speech or Whistleblowing.

            What does that leave? Why could they possibly want all this attention?

            1. Scorchio!!

              Re: Nail, head.

              "They have fuck all to do with Truth or Freedom of Speech or Whistleblowing.

              What does that leave? Why could they possibly want all this attention?"

              It has already been noted that there is some risk here that St Julian of Assange may be an attention whore. However the truth is probably more complex, as the nick 'Mendax' might indicate; Jules appears to think himself a 'noble liar', and this might explain why he acts as though he is an authoritatively good man doing the right thing; his hx appears to indicate that he will have studied Plato's Republic.

              It seems to me likely that he extrapolated from Plato's 'noble lie' or 'magnificent myth' argument. This is concordant with his attempts to be autocratic WRT Wikileaks, and that appears to be confirmed by the existence of a splinter organisation that regards Wikileaks as being too much driven by and 'about' one man, St. Jules.

              Jules may have dropped out but he didn't drop out.

          2. Gerardo Korndorffer
            Pint

            At last something I agree with...

            (...)

            No War Crimes.

            No criminal activity by diplomats.

            Just information to try and embarrass the US Government.

            So in their leaks, have they created peace or have they created a situation for more war and strife?

            Only time will tell.

            (...)

            The only saying of yours I agree with.

            (The rest make me believe you don't understand that individual rights should be upheld, what individual rights are, and that Swedes could have saved time & money by taking a flight to question Assange, or using teleconference as some judges have done in the past, I distinctly remember a spanish judge questioning a London resident from Spain). Extradition for questioning? Bollocks!

            Going back to your post, one would expect better from a whistleblowing site.... I'd like to see chinese secret documents as well...now that would be interesting!!

            BTW providing chosen excerpts of information to WikiLeaks should be any information agency's next move...ahh they just don't make manipulators like they used to.

            1. david wilson

              @Gerardo Korndorffer

              >>"and that Swedes could have saved time & money by taking a flight to question Assange.."

              I guess LOT comes down to what was really said when he left.

              If he was actually told that any future contact could be by video, or that the Swedes would visit him, that'd be one thing.

              If he agreed to come back if asked, or if he was told 'we may need to speak to you in future', or if he gave the impression he'd be back fairly soon anyway, it'd be another matter.

              The thing is, the more I hear, the less I believe I could trust Julian when it comes to what was said, and I'm not sure I'd trust any of his lawyers either.

              Personally, if *I* was in Swedish law enforcement/investigation, unless I'd explicitly told someone wanting to leave the country that they'd never have a need to return (which I doubt I'd do), I'd expect them to come to me rather than have me go to them, and I wouldn't make an exception for anyone, especially not someone famous.

              I wouldn't want to be stuck in future with having to either keep people in the country in case I ever wanted to speak to them again, or risk having them leave, possibly ending up with me having to charge them before I'd finished an investigation or needing me to follow them wherever they'd chosen to go.

              And for all the people crying 'Conspiracy!', if the Swedes did come here, interview him and then charge him, would that really make you the least bit happier?

    2. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
      FAIL

      Nobel prize?

      Before wikileaks starting spouting off, the South Koreans generally believed that if North Korea started imploding, or started a war with the south, China would come to the rescue to ensure it's ally would'nt go down the toilet.

      Thanks to wikileaks everyone now knows China does'nt really care who runs Korea so long as they are friendly enough to China.

      So the next time North Korea rattles its sabers, the south will go 'yeah f**k off ,have some 155mm artillery rounds to take with you' thus resulting in another Korean war with all the suffering and death that will involve.

      Instead of the previous 'dont do that, have a food shipment' policy the south used to use

      1. SleepyJohn
        WTF?

        Believe the Chinese?

        I find it hard to imagine any North or South Korean leaders believing anything the Chinese said or implied about anything. It seems to me that an awful lot of these leaks have simply confirmed what the peasants have always known about the masters - that they uniformly lie, cheat and ruthlessly manipulate in order to get what they want.

    3. Tin Pot
      WTF?

      Nobel

      Naively publishing a huge volume of US Classified material of which he has no clue of what is in it deserves a prize in what category?

      Prize plum?

      Or prehaps you were referring to his self-publicising and revenue generation?

      Prize for Entrepeneural Endeavour...

      No - then maybe it was for his success in convincing the vast majority of Register commenters that naively publishing confidential information is a victory for Freedom Of Speech and Assange is somehow a good person?

      Woolly-thinking Prize.

      If someone asks me to nominate someone for a Nobel Prize , I'll vote for someone who knows what they are doing, aren't doing it for money, and doesn't dupe the public or try to ride on an unspecific anti-American sentiment whilst actually hurting virtually all the countries that *aren't* US.

  17. Pat Volk
    Badgers

    @Ian Gumby

    Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed for espionage in 1953. U.S.Code does still have the death penalty on the books for espionage (not sure if/when that was changed), but only in times of war. Assange is too high profile I think to be renditioned, and if the US took action, the backlash would likely be more breaches of security.

    The irony of this is when dealing with classified information, copies are at the same level, and need to be registered and safeguarded. Someone seriously screwed the pooch here on the security side. The data released shows a lack of compartmentalization, which I think is the rush for DHS to get their grubbies on intel data to legitimize themselves. In the name of security, the basics were disregarded, and now nobody can use USB drives in the DoD. Now they probably won't allow DVD's either.

    The US (although I can't speak for my fellow americans) would best be served if he were allowed to slink away, and not be martyred in the process physically, or legally.

    1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

      @ Pat Volk

      Sorry I couldn't remember the exact dates of the espionage and the trial. It was post WW2 concerning the bomb. I believe the gravity of the crime did justify the death sentence. (Sorry, I really do fear the bomb getting in to the wrong hands, especially in today's world.)

      With respect to Assange.

      He's a little twat who think's he's a big man for thumbing his nose at the US.

      He's not on trial for anything to do with the leaks... yet. The DoJ is still investigating.

      If charged, they would have to extradite him under the condition of removing the death penalty.

      I think that the investigation should play out.

      If Manning talks and they do find enough evidence... then Assange should face trial. (He could potentially face trial in his homeland of Australia too btw... )

      But lets get back to what we have in front of us.

      Assange's lawyers attempted a hail marry.

      The response by Sweden pretty much shoots them down.

      With respect to this whole US death penalty thing... The Swedes in writing would not hand over Assange unless the death penalty is off the table. They said so in writing.

      (See: http://www.fsilaw.com/sitecore/content/Global/content/~/media/Files/Publications/IP_Media/Julian%20Assange%20Case%20Papers/Judicial%20Authority%20materials/Skeleton%20Reply%20of%20the%20Swedish%20DPP.ashx)

      Its actually a good read.

      While I do agree with your assessment that we should let this guy crawl back under his rock... unfortunately, when he waived his undersized manhood at the US... he made it necessary to respond.

      He's lucky that its the US and not Russia. They don't care what the world thinks...

      1. Mephistro Silver badge
        Stop

        @ Ian Michael Gumby

        "If Manning talks and they do find enough evidence..."

        The last I heard from Manning is he was being held in solitary confinement, without almost any access to the outside world, without clothes or furniture in his cell, being controlled by cameras 24/7* and awakened by a siren at random intervals. With this treatment, in a few months more Manning won't only talk, he'll say whatever they tell him to say. He'd confess to murdering Kennedy and having caused the Credit Crunch, if asked.

        As for the evidence... electronic evidence is extremely easy to forfeit.

        * In most of the West we would call this treatment TORTURE.

        1. Scorchio!!
          FAIL

          Re: @ Ian Michael Gumby

          "The last I heard from Manning is he was being held in solitary confinement"

          Not likely. He receives visitors. That is by no stretch of a balanced imagination solitary confinement.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Black Helicopters

          @Mephistro

          You just don't seem to get it.

          Manning isn't a civilian, he's in the military. The military have harsher rules, and by military, I don't just mean the US military but all of the military around the world. Military justice is much harder than their civilian laws and justice of their respective countries.

          Manning is being kept within the guidelines of the law.

          As to his conditions... you seem to think you know a lot more than you do.

          Manning was put on suicide watch until it was deemed he wasn't a threat to himself.

          Oh there's more...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Thumb Down

            @ AC Tuesday 8th February 2011 15:05 GMT

            "Manning isn't a civilian, he's in the military. The military have harsher rules..."

            So it's OK to torture them?

            "Manning was put on suicide watch until it was deemed he wasn't a threat to himself"

            And that 'suicide watch' thingy consists mainly in a treatment that seems devised to destroy his sanity? Could you please explain us how awakening him with a freaking siren at random intervals helps prevent his suicide? And the lack of clothes? Paper clothes have been used in this kind of situations for years.

      2. dylan 4
        FAIL

        re "He could potentially face trial in his homeland of Australia too btw..."

        Actually, he couldn't. The Australian government has already been chastised by the Solicitor General for saying "he should be charged", all legal advice to date supporting the contrary opinion that nothing he has done in the operation of Wikileaks (that is so far known) is in contravention of any Australian law.

    2. Scorchio!!
      FAIL

      Re: @Ian Gumby

      "Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed for espionage in 1953."

      That was then and this is now. In the 57 years between now and then there have been quite a few US spy cases, and I'd like you please to enumerate the number of executions that have taken place in respect of these cases?

      What's that you say? Speak up? 'None' you say?

      Thought so. Besides, the Americans are still scratching their heads. They can't top him because he's not running free in the open. So nasty accidents involving the Assange/Wikileaks Borgia mobile, and no Georgy Markov type umbrellas, or better yet no HIV infected honey traps. Damn, the CIA really farked up there didn't they? They could have arranged something really neat, in the form of a suicide honey trap, infected with stuff that would kill both her and him within days. Ebola perhaps, not to be mistaken for e-Bola.

      Perhaps he could have gone skating on a pond with weakened ice. The CIA really have screwed up in arranging for all of these legal hearings. It makes sense to take these people out with extreme prejudice, but in innocuous and innovative ways. Umm, "Bit like the Equaliser, really" ;-)

  18. cor
    Big Brother

    So why did the Swedish Public Prosecutor dismiss the 'case' first time round?

    Only to 'rethink' *months* later after the US spat out its dummy over Wikileaks?

    C'mon US of A, show some of that "freedom" and "democracy" that you're always trying to spread in oil-rich countries.... ahem... I mean societies repressed by dictators, communists and other evil.

    Choose your poison :

    Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.

    ~Adolph Hitler

    During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.

    ~George Orwell

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @cor

      >>"So why did the Swedish Public Prosecutor dismiss the 'case' first time round?"

      >>"Only to 'rethink' *months* later after the US spat out its dummy over Wikileaks?"

      Pity that's not true.

      After the first quick assessment of the case there was an initial arrest warrant, which was quickly rescinded after a longer look by a second prosecutor (though still within 24 hours of the start),

      Then a third prosecutor was appointed who had a different opinion to the second one on the possibility of rape charges, but that happened about a week later, not '*months* later'.

      >>Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.

      >>~Adolph Hitler

      Indeed.

      How's that working out for you?

  19. SleepyJohn
    Big Brother

    Let us just throw him to the dogs, why not?

    Julian Assange has clearly upset a lot of powerful people by revealing dubious actions on their parts to the peasants, information that arguably the peasants who pay their wages should have a right to know. Whatever the truth of the rape allegation (and it sounds very dubious to me*), or the legal technicalities of the extradition, or the likeability or otherwise of Mr Assange, I think we need to be very careful about allowing him to be manipulated into the clutches of a mob that is baying for his blood, for no reason I can see other than to shut him up and extract vengeance. There are good reasons for making extradition quite difficult.

    * Woman spends night with man - wakes up with penis inside her !?

    1. Scorchio!!

      Re: Let us just throw him to the dogs, why not?

      "Whatever the truth of the rape allegation (and it sounds very dubious to me*)[...]

      * Woman spends night with man - wakes up with penis inside her !?"

      (What follows has "Allegedly" in front of unproven matters) The agreement was to use contraception and, in Swedish law, it is rape to do otherwise. There would thus have been some form of trust on the woman's part and, if all of this is correct, there would appear to have been a breach of said trust.

      If this is the case it follows closely that this man, whose apparently poor sexual hygiene and general hygiene have also been discussed and has been noted by Swedish police, is not at all trustworthy.

      1. Tin Pot
        Thumb Down

        Logical argument

        You've posted a lot of sense, and not to mention the case has not been proven one way or the other, but even as someone who generally despises Assange there is no logical step from a man's behaviour in bed as to his general character.

        At least I hope not, otherwise we're all in trouble. ;)

        1. david wilson

          @Tin Pot

          >>"there is no logical step from a man's behaviour in bed as to his general character."

          >>"At least I hope not, otherwise we're all in trouble. ;)"

          Speak for yourself.

        2. Scorchio!!

          Re: Logical argument

          "You've posted a lot of sense, and not to mention the case has not been proven one way or the other, but even as someone who generally despises Assange there is no logical step from a man's behaviour in bed as to his general character.

          At least I hope not, otherwise we're all in trouble. ;)"

          As I've regularly and consistently noted there are precedents in the histories of career criminals. His multiple infractions in an Australian jurisdiction, resulting in 24 charges including

          1) stealing passwords from US Air force 7th Command Group in the Pentagon;

          2) for hacking computers at two universities;

          3) hacking computers at two telecommunications companies;

          4) hacking computers to monitor the Australian Federal Police investigation into *his* criminal activities.

          for which he was convicted and sentenced, but on the basis of forgiving reasoning that had absolutely nothing to do with due process and a psychiatric evaluation.

          As if immediately to demonstrate his insightlessness and thereby the poverty of the lenient sentencing handed down, after sentencing he said to the judge "Your honour, I feel a great misjustice [sic] has been done and I would like to record the fact that you have been misled by the prosecution". (This misspelling caused me to experience déjà vu, as Mike Tyson said he'd been done a 'misjustice'...)

          His rootless childhood, by accounts spent avoiding a stalking father, leaving him to the indisciplined educational principles of his mother who saw no use for state schools, these things appear to have contributed strongly to his lack of sense of what is right and what is wrong.

          As if to confirm this, in his insightless Radio 4 performance he avoided the issue, saying his accusers had got themselves in a 'tizzy' about unprotected sex. A tizzy? I do hope that counsel for extradition have borne this material in mind as they argue in favour of extradition; it appears to show a complete lack of insight and empathy into his alleged victims' plight. A tizzy indeed by 'god'.

          If he is guilty of rape as outlined, and the reports of his behaviour during and after are accurate (including hygiene) then there are many consistencies here.

          His behaviour shows a consistent theme (not conforming to rule following, which is typical of a number of psychopathological disorders) and, aside from the fact that his behaviour in bed and simultaneous poor sexual hygiene is alleged to be serious (which is backed up by his insightless comments on the matter on a national news programme), I would say that the theme of not following normative and legal values of rule following probably touch almost everything in his behaviour; it is a root psychological function.

          In response to your point, the man does indeed appear to be eminently avoidable and unsupportable. If the allegation proves true, crimes of sexual assault are very serious and depend on a fundamental flaw in the functioning of a human being, and the lack of empathy frequently involved is chillingly present in psychopaths.

          Should the allegations prove correct, the behaviour may well in substantial part stem from a lack of emphasis on learning to behave co-operatively and sensitively with others and, as I type these words, I remember that the 16 year old mother of his child flew when the police approached him on his misdeeds, that she called their son a 'monster' (public self report by son), and that son, father and grandfather appear to have these traits in common. This seems to suggest more than mere phenotypical causes of behaviour, but genotypical ones also

          So, tell me about your fears again. As you do remember that he intends to generate cash from his memoirs, from a pay wall and that he already has a salary in excess of £80,000, in contrast to the £15,000 Manning received for his defence, and of his recent reaction to losing control over his intended source of revenue, 'his' material, the leaked files.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Erk?

    "Assange's lawyers also claim that his privacy rights have been breached because extracts of the prosecution file have been made available to the media."

    But according to what I'd read the documents seem to have leaked from the defence side. Kind of an interesting argument isn't it, leak your own personal info and then claim the prosecution in invalid because your privacy has been breached. If that works then nobody needs ever be extradited again.

  21. Knochen Brittle
    Paris Hilton

    Prosecutrix Complex

    Just to focus on one issue -- of the four allegations [not criminal charges] on the Swedish EAW-sheet [ http://alturl.com/3n85m ], the most serious [potential 4-yr stretch] and probably only one IMHO for which JA could possibly be extradited, is the offence of RAPE - defined by Swedish Penal Code [ http://alturl.com/y8udt ] as:

    ~~~~~~~~~

    Chapter 6: Section 1

    Para.1: A person who by assault or otherwise by violence or by threat of a criminal act forces another person to have sexual intercourse or to undertake or endure another sexual act that, having regard to the nature of the violation and the circumstances in general, is comparable to sexual intercourse, shall be sentenced for rape to imprisonment for at least two and at most six years.

    Para.2: This shall also apply if a person engages with another person in sexual intercourse or in a sexual act which under the first paragraph is comparable to sexual intercourse by improperly exploiting that the person, due to unconsciousness, sleep, intoxication or other drug influence, illness, physical injury or mental disturbance, or otherwise in view of the circumstances in general, is in a helpless state.

    Para.3: If, in view of the circumstances associated with the crime, a crime provided for in the first or second paragraph is considered less aggravated, a sentence to imprisonment for at most four years shall be imposed for rape.

    ~~~~~~~~~/law

    The facts alleged in Ny's EAW to constitute the offence are recited, under 'Description of the circumstances in which the offence was committed', at page 4, point 4 as, "Assange deliberately consummated sexual intercourse with her by improperly exploiting that she, due to sleep, was in a helpless state" - in other words, the Prosecutrix has cut'n'pasted from Para.2 an edited legal definition of the offence into a box supposed to contain a description of actual events ... which may seem a harmless cart-before-the-horsing mishap to some, but actually indicates the abuse of dishonestly fitting the facts around the law to secure an extradition/conviction, a point reinforced by the knowledge that in other EAW cases before British courts, these details on facts relating to alleged offences can run to several pages of text.

    If, as alleged in the skeleton defence argument [ http://alturl.com/7baio ] at p.46, para.109, Ny has additionally suppressed from the British Court's consideration available evidence of Wilén's subsequent SMS to a friend that this morning-after-the-night-before action occurred while she was "half-asleep" ... that is a [legally] significantly different state of affairs than what is made to appear on the 'upgraded' EAW, which, by design, describes a technical rape in Swedish law if, at the moment of penetration, she was literally sound asleep, even if this were immediately followed by [effective] retroactive consent, mutually whole-hearted Ugandan Negotiation of the Morningwood issue, then brandy and cigars all round.

    i.e., saying someone was 'in a helpless state due to being half-asleep' just does not have the same inculpatory effect as 'fully asleep' regarding a presumptive incapacity to consent [an issue in British law, but not, apparently, Swedish], and the attempt in this case to falsely convey the latter impression strongly indicates bad faith [mala fides] and malicious bias on behalf of the Swedish Prosecutrix.

    Furthermore, if Wilén's actual complaint that JA failed, after consensual condom-free sex, to submit to an AIDS test has been converted, as it very much appears, into a contrived criminal case in order to coerce him into a procedure he is under no legal obligation to comply with, or any other improper reason, then this is another, more fundamental, abuse of process.

    The Swedish Crown Prosecutions Office website describes [ http://alturl.com/njs2m ] the requirement on its Prosecutors to "be objective when he or she initiates a prosecution ... [and] give due consideration to anything that could changes the situation with respect to evidence." As the same standard obviously also applies during the preliminary investigation of allegations [where this case remains in Sweden], Marianne Ny has demonstrated complete disregard for the hefty responsibilities required of her public office and has abused due process, the EAW procedures, the British judicial system and the rights of JA in large measure.

    If she set out to make a name for herself in this case, she has undoubtedly succeeded, but looks set to land in roughly the same competence category as the inimitably inept Andrew J. Crossley. The British courts will certainly not be fooled into acceding to such prosecutorial abuse and I predict she will be seeking alternate employment shortly, whilst defending an overwhelming personal libel suit.

    Paris, 'cos she'd have made a better fist[ing] of this case!

    1. david wilson

      @Knochen Brittle

      Reading:

      >>"improperly exploiting that the person, due to unconsciousness, sleep, intoxication or other drug influence, illness, physical injury or mental disturbance, or otherwise in view of the circumstances in general, is in a helpless state."

      don't you think that that covers partial impairment?

      If it explicitly mentions unconsciousness *and* sleep, drug influence, etc, that suggests that in the case of drug influence, an impairment less than unconsciousness is still a relevant impairment.

      To me, if someone started doing something to a person who was even half asleep that they reckoned they wouldn't get away with if the person was awake, that's taking advantage of someone being sleep impaired.

      1. Knochen Brittle

        @ DW

        Yes, it covers any degree of impairment and even the slightest amount is relevant, however, I am not critiquing the provisions of the Swedish law, rather the ways in which their prosecutor has, contrary to official obligation, sought to 'fix' the actual facts of the matter around the law in order to present a distorted picture to the British courts, to improve the chance that an extradition contrary to the interests of justice may proceed smoothly. My contention is that such underhanded tactics should never be allowed to succeed in any self-respecting judicial system.

        Your final point is well put and taken as a general principal, but does not accurately reflect the factual situation in this case - regardless of her state of wakefulness when the 'action' started, upon becoming fully aware, she did expressly 'let him continue', which constitutes consent in British law, thus precluding any further discussion of prosecution for rape. In other words, as JA correctly guessed that her consent would promptly follow, no improper advantage was taken.

        The Swedes are trying to have him extradited on the mere legal technicality that her somewhat delayed consent does not matter, and are making a very poor job of it.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Joke

        half asleep?

        (...)To me, if someone started doing something to a person who was even half asleep that they reckoned they wouldn't get away with if the person was awake, that's taking advantage of someone being sleep impaired.

        What if he could get away if the other person wa awake? Because he might have...and probably thought he could.

        If my missus had to wait for me to be fully awake before having an ..errr intercourse she'd be tried for rape in Sweden...it will be better for her that we don't visit Sweden lol

  22. Scorchio!!

    Just in

    On Radio 4 news; Assange's counsel acknowledged that he had in fact been contacted several times by the Swedish authorities, who said that they had to interview him face to face; to confirm this or not, under close questioning, he consulted his mobile phone records.

    Oops.

    Another flake chipped away from St Julian Assange's face. I wonder if he is in a 'bit of a tizzy' about that.

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