back to article Swedish judge explains big obstacles to US Assange extradition

A senior judge from Sweden’s supreme court, Justice Stefan Lindskog, has told an Australian audience that Julian Assange’s argument he cannot stand trial in Sweden without being extradited to the USA is not as black and white as the wikileaker would have us believe. Lindskog yesterday told an audience at the University of …

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  1. Steen Hive
    FAIL

    Yeh right.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repatriation_of_Ahmed_Agiza_and_Muhammad_al-Zery

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Are you insane?

      Or do you think the Swedish politicians are?

      For a start, that was a deportation, which is completely different - all countries have a fast way to send people back to their home country, even to refuse entry immediately, and the only way to avoid that is a believable asylum claim.

      Assange is not a US citizen.

      What do you think would happen to a politician found to have either signed off on or presided over a fast-track extradition to the USA for anybody, let alone Assange?

      How many days would they survive after it became public?

      They'd get the PM's "complete support" within hours, and be out on their ear within two days!

      No matter what evil deeds you might ascribe to elected politicians, their first and foremost priority is keeping their job, followed closely by getting re-elected.

      They only do this kind if thing if they think nobody is watching - and frankly, the longer Assange stays in that embassy, the more likely it is that everyone will forget about him.

      On top of that, it's much easier for the US to extradite from the UK than from Sweden, if that had been the goal then the Swedes would have been asked not to serve their warrant and the US would have gone for him direct. They didn't, presumably because the US justice people don't think they have a case, no matter what their nutjob senators say to the hoi polloi.

      It's also pretty certain that had he gone to Sweden in the first place, he'd be out or cleared by now and able to do whatever he felt like.

      Instead he's feeding his persecution complex, and much as the ambassador might be enjoying poking two fingers up at the UK, they aren't going to let him stay there forever. Sooner or later it will fit their goals to throw him out, and then he'll be on a plane to Sweden, where he will now be refused bail and have to spend any pre-trial time in jail.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Sooner or later it will fit their goals to throw him out,"

        Do you know if that will be the Nones, the Ides or the Kalends of Sooner or Later? I'm placing a wager with the book makers

      2. Psyx
        Thumb Up

        Re: Are you insane?

        Stop press: Whiny, lying, attention-seeker, chicken-shit has been whining and lying for years.

        1. Mad Mike

          Re: Are you insane?

          "Stop press: Whiny, lying, attention-seeker, chicken-shit has been whining and lying for years."

          True. But, it doesn't mean he isn't right. Only time will tell. Are you suggesting he should hand himself over and let himself become the proof? It would end it once and for all, but depending on whether he's right or not, might be dangerous to him.

          Interestingly, the US prosecution of Bradley Manning is interesting in this regard. Whilst he undoubtedly broke their secrecy laws and his contract of employment, many countries have whistleblower legislation that 'should' protect someone who reveals illegal acts etc. Some, but by no means all, of what he did was exactly that. So, I either deduce that the US doesn't have that sort of law, that it doesn't apply to the 'state' or 'military' or that they simply don't care.

          1. Chad H.

            Re: Are you insane?

            Oh Mike, if he was right, the US would have just grabbed him off the street here in the UK, rather than gone to the superflous effort of extraditing him to a third country under a warrant that prevents onward extradition.

            Either the US is terrible at this, or its not happening. I think its the latter.

          2. Psyx
            Pint

            Re: Are you insane?

            "True. But, it doesn't mean he isn't right."

            Just because the Swedish justice system or the UK justice system doesn't see how he could possible be extradited, it doesn't mean he's right? No it doesn't. But it means that he's almost certainly NOT right. A minuscule possibility does not deserve the same weight of argument as the other 99% of probability.

            "Only time will tell."

            Not for as long as he declares himself above the laws that you and I have to bother obeying. That's what's so sodding irritating: He's declared himself above the laws, based on the fact that he's a celebrity, has rich friends and money, and is paranoid.

            "Are you suggesting he should hand himself over and let himself become the proof?"

            Of course I am.

            Why should he be able to ignore laws, especially after having gone through every damn Court in the nation, with the most expensive lawyers and generous bail conditions money can buy. Every day he dodges our legal system is another day of insults to all of us who have to face trial and potential punishment for our own actions.

            The man is basically giving a big F*** You to the entire British public and our legal system, and likewise to Sweden. He has declared himself above our laws, because he is afraid, paranoid and egotistic. Frankly: F** him. I no longer care about the US Government, or even if he's a rapey git. I care that he ignores MY laws and flaunts them.

            "So, I either deduce that the US doesn't have that sort of law, that it doesn't apply to the 'state' or 'military' or that they simply don't care."

            Manning is a serving member of the military, meaning that he signed to agree that he would be subject to the US Military Code of Justice: A legal system that supersedes the civil system. Before attacking 'subset' legal systems that are more important than national laws though, remember the importance of the Geneva Conventions and international laws.

          3. Malcolm Weir Silver badge
            Meh

            Re: Are you insane?

            @Mad Mike: the US has whistle blower laws, but the purpose of those laws is not to protect those who reveal information of misconduct _by_ the government, but to protect those who reveal it _to_ the government.

            Plus, Manning voluntarily signed up to a different judicial system (i.e. joined the Army), and voluntarily signed various agreements in return for a security clearance (which he was not obligated to sign as part of his time in the military).

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "(Manning) signed various agreements in return for a security clearance"

              I wonder how that defense (I signed various agreements in return for a security clearance) would have played at Nuremberg after WWII?

            2. Mad Mike

              Re: Are you insane?

              @Malcolm Weir.

              I agree with what you say, but is an agreement valid if it is used to suppress evidence of a crime? Clearly so if the crime is being committed by the state/powerful enough people. As you rightly point out, I'm sure most people would like to see whistleblower laws protect everyone who reveals misdeeds by others. In reality, it only protects those who don't reveal misconduct by the government. I guess this was one of the reasons why Wikileaks (amongst others) was setup. Because governments and senior people connected to them, consider themselves above the law and appear to be so.

              Manning did voluntarily sign up to a different judicial system, but even these often have rules and regulations about misdeeds by others and making senior officers aware etc. In a sense, similar to whistleblower laws. And again, why should signing an agreement mean you have to keep evidence of misdeeds secret? This is precisely the sort of beliefs that got people like Nixon into trouble. He thought he was above the law, but found public opinion made him not. Seems like those in power these days are even more above the law than before.

              Not a good state of affairs.

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: No I can't fix your computer Re: Are you insane?

          "....Assange cannot be extradited from the UK to the US because he is an Australian citizen and the (two active) extradition treaties prevent commonwealth citizens being extradited from the UK to the US...." Unless the Oz government waives their right to intervene, which they have already indicated they would be highly likely to do seeing as they have no love for the criminal A$$nut either.

      4. Steen Hive
        FAIL

        Re: Are you insane?

        "For a start, that was a deportation,"'

        No it wasn't a "deportation", it was a kidnapping. Sweden has procedures and a legal framework around deportations - allow me to let you into a little secret you must be oblivious to under your rock - allowing intelligence agencies from other countries that practice torture to swann around kidnapping people from Bromma airport isn't in them.

        Now given Sweden's proven form in ignoring it's own laws w.r.t. removing people at the behest of the CIA, I would wager you are a few cards short of a deck yourself.

      5. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Are you insane?

        And who would have thought that life long socialist, CND supporter and conscientious objector to school cadet force - Jack Straw - would have been behind US torture flights being supported from the UK. And then lying about it later.

        1. Mad Mike

          Re: Are you insane?

          @Yet Another Anonymous coward.

          Yep. Just shows that politicians are much the same, whether left, right, centre or whatever. They all look after number one and Jack Straw obviously thought his best interest was served by bending over and taking it from Uncle Sam.

          Any politician who claims to have any particular moral compass should be laughed at until they cry. Their moral compass is entirely determined by their best interests at the time.

    2. LarsG
      Meh

      Re: Yeh right.

      You'd not trust our legal system here in the UK... Why trust anyone else, and the Americans can be very creative when it comes to breaking the Law.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Yeh right.

        and the Americans can be very creative when it comes to breaking the Law.

        Although that is the bare faced truth (extra-ordinary rendition, supra-judicial pressure for information - usually in some form of blackmail, backdoors into larger data providers, "free" software that mainly serve intercept purposes such as WhatsApp and Viber) it is always for the benefit of the US. I don't think that US wants to turn this goon into a martyr just yet. Notice how nice and quiet it has become since he got holed up in that embassy?

        1. Mad Mike

          Re: Yeh right.

          Whilst I agree to a point, I don't think we should underestimate the power of vanity. It wouldn't be the first time the US has got itself into a position through stupidity caused by vanity. Assange threatens the vanity of various people in America, not least the politicians and military. How far will they go and how stupid will they be to get him? Arguably, history tells us, a long way. They've managed to quite nicely alienate a fair proportion of the worlds Muslim population (especially Arabs) over many years due to their policies and more recently their 'war on terror'. Through a combination of act and rhetoric, they've shown they can be very stupid.

          Not that the UK is much better. UK politicians are just as bad. Take Huhne as an example. Effectively, he lied and ended up killing his career etc.etc. through vanity. He didn't want to be banned. Yes, it would have been politically a bit embarrassing at the time, but he could have turned it around and used it to show he's the same as the common man. Makes mistakes etc.etc. Instead, it hurt his vanity, so he lied about it and got others to help him. Stupidity in the extreme. Mind you, he's probably got enough pals left in Whitehall to ensure a return to politics after a suitable period 'off'!!

      2. h3

        Re: Yeh right.

        Sweden had a reputation as a pretty fair place (But feminist) for a long time. Not sure whether it was justified or not. (Think it is quite anti immigration and against minorities).

        But the Piratebay case seems to have made people more aware about what it does. (Seems like they invented criminal laws after the crimes had been committed.)

        The Swedes seem to value being the same massively (At least I thought that when I went there). One day I wore a heavy metal t-shirt (Only thing clean didn't even bring it on purpose or knew I had it). That day hassle from every police officer I passed. (Not serious but I think it is not right).

        1. Mad Mike

          Re: Yeh right.

          @h3.

          Bang on. The outside impression of Sweden is actually quite at odds with the place. They are very liberal as long as you're one of their accepted 'norms'. For instance, for many years (up until the 70s, or possibly even early 80's), they forcibly sterilized people in various classes, such as mental issues etc. It's well documented. Now, is that the actions of a liberal, accepting society that they like to portray? Not in my mind. The Swedish are actually very conservative people.

        2. NorthernCoder
          FAIL

          Re: Yeh right.

          "Think it is quite anti immigration and against minorities"

          Nope. Look to our lower left for that.

          1. asdf Silver badge
            Mushroom

            Re: Yeh right.

            >"Think it is quite anti immigration and against minorities"

            >Nope. Look to our lower left for that.

            If you are talking about the US I might point out that (unlike in Europe) the right wing anti immigration party just got its ass handed to it in the last election and is running so fast to be immigrant friendly its base is starting to rumble. As for against minorities yes our history is not good on this but today this one of the few things we seem to be progressive on. Haven't seen anything but white people running England and the UK police are no better about treating people of color. And ask Harry Connick Jr. what he thought of race relations from our friends down under.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yeh right.

      All Assange did was have consensual sex with two women, who have both subsequently gone on the record to confirm that sex was consented to.

      They got pissed off when they found out he had shagged both of them in the same week, and tried to make him get an Aids test - which he quite within his rights refused to do.

      This is just a case of women scorned, etc....Sweden should drop this farce ASAP.

      1. JohnG Silver badge

        Re: Yeh right.

        "All Assange did .... ....Sweden should drop this farce ASAP."

        Their country, their laws. If the Swedish electorate wanted their laws changed, I guess they would vote accordingly.

        The irony with this whole thing is that if it ever ended up in a Swedish court, Assange's defence team would likely be able to pick enough holes in the case to have him acquitted. Assange made everything more complicated by doing a runner before the prosecutor had a chance to question him.

  2. Rampant Spaniel

    Can he be extradited from a European country to potentially face the death penalty? I thought that was blocked?

    1. 142
      FAIL

      not a chance

      of him getting the death penalty, or even being charged with something that could potentially lead to that. That's all just hysteria from either assange's people or politicians in the states who have zero authority in the matter

    2. Scorchio!!

      That is correct but, as the judge and many others have pointed out, repeatedly, and over a very long period of time, this does not stop the argument by volume offered by Julie's fwenz.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No Need: The Lisbon Treaty re-established the death penalty within the EU and the European Arrest Warrant can be used get people fast-track extradited by one country to be prosecuted for alleged illegal activities, even activities that are not illegal in their own country.

      The countries are "EU countries" but somehow includes places like Morocco ....

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        No Need: The Lisbon Treaty re-established the death penalty within the EU and the European Arrest Warrant can be used get people fast-track extradited by one country to be prosecuted for alleged illegal activities, even activities that are not illegal in their own country.

        The countries are "EU countries" but somehow includes places like Morocco ....

        No it didn't. The EU treaties specifically ban the death penalty. Lisbon made no change to that.

        And no, the EAW doesn't apply to Morocco, or any other country outside the EU. And the High Court in London ruled that all the offences on the Swedish charge sheet were all also offences in the UK.

        I still think the EAW is a crap idea, and personally would like to see a bit less integration within the EU, and much fewer pretensions to statehood. But there's been no injustice here, and Assange would equally have been extradited to Sweden under the old system, as the High Court said in their judgement.

    4. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      I believe he could be charged with a crime that carries the death penalty, but in order to secure extradition from an EU state the courts would have to guarantee that the death penalty can't be applied in that case.

      From what I've read, the charge the US prosecutors would like to go for would be espionage. Not publishing the stuff itself, but directing Manning in getting the info off the servers it lived on. The allegation being he was giving instructions over IRC. I don't know the law, but I'd have thought that they'd have to prove he was running Manning as an agent (which seems pretty unlikely), not just helping with the hacking - otherwise they'd only be able to charge him with conspiracy as part of the hacking itself.

      Given that Manning hasn't been found guilty, and even if he is it'll be a military court that does (which has already admitted he was mistreated in prison) - it's going to be a real struggle to get any charges that'll stand up out of that process. Remember this is extradition, not a European Arrest Warrant, so they'd have to produce evidence that a Swedish court will accept as admissible and then hope the US court system would agree. I can't see any prosecution even getting off the ground, and it would probably end up in the European Court before extradition had even happened. Plus on the way there it would have to go through both the Swedish and British Supreme Courts. Great for the lawyers I suppose...

    5. Psyx
      Thumb Up

      "Can he be extradited from a European country to potentially face the death penalty? I thought that was blocked?"

      Correct.

      Makes rather a lie of his entire defence, doesn't it. He seems to basically be relying on bullsh*t and public opinion.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. asdf Silver badge
        Trollface

        international law is a suggestion only

        >Correct

        >Makes rather a lie of his entire defence, doesn't it.

        What's to stop the US from going back on its word and executing him anyway (as an American I can tell you this is almost impossible in today's political climate and honestly my guess is Obama is already getting enough heat about not being transparent and vengeful towards whistleblowers wouldn't even bother to extradite him at this point). Still what is to stop the US from executing him? EU military force hahahahahahahahahahaha? an EU embargo (lets see whose economy collapses first, considering ours is not as dependent on exports, Europe's is still largely in recession with the viability of the EU in general at times in question and and the US government can still sell government bonds at all time record low interest rates unlike most of the EU, but still admittedly both would go to to shit rapidly)? The US especially and even the UK have shown they will change international law on the spot to suit them when they really need too already. Also can't resist what happened to all that talk about the euro replacing the dollar as the currency of choice?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: international law is a suggestion only

          Yeah right because the Fed hasn't got it's xerox machines running at full tilt right now to keep you out of recession so you can spend the next 4 economical cycles failing to pay off your crippling debts. Remind me again which awesome economy is running a huge deficit and has done for years, oh and remind me who has to come fight your wars for you. We will remind you of your thoughts when you are getting your asses whupped by the norks, again.

          What is to stop the US from executing him, a treaty and the fact that if they did the US at the very minimum would never extradite another suspect from Europe. Your Chinese landlords would also come knocking for the rent in pretty quick order should trade dry up. As a product of the American education system you obviously overlooked the fact that the EU is the USA's largest trading partner.

          American exceptionalism is so last decade.

          1. Mad Mike

            Re: international law is a suggestion only

            @AC

            I agree totally. It's interesting how the biggest economy in the world seems to think it's good business to continually increase the amount they owe!! At some point, this will come back to haunt them. National debt can only continue to increase if GDP and the means to pay interest etc. continues to go up. It can't forever. At some point, GDP will stop or go into reverse and then the national debt is unsupportable. At this point, the USA is in deep trouble. This is particularly fully as China is the country owed a large chunk of that debt.

            1. asdf Silver badge

              Re: international law is a suggestion only

              This actually has a lot to do with why we are not in recession and you are as well. There is some truth to the money printing part but self destructive austerity pushed by the right has been more successful in the UK than the US so far.

              List of countries by GDP (PPP) per capita

              6 United States 48,328 2011

              22 United Kingdom 36,522 2011

          2. asdf Silver badge

            Re: international law is a suggestion only

            > so you can spend the next 4 economical cycles failing to pay off your crippling debts

            Oh you mean like a good portion of Europe is doing right now? Except many will never pay off their debts.

            >and remind me who has to come fight your wars for you

            You mean like The Great War and WW2? I guess perhaps we are even at this point.

            >when you are getting your asses whupped by the norks, again.

            Not going to happen. They can't even feed their people. A stalemate only developed because we weren't willing to nuke 3 million Chinese. In the end Mao would only end up killing the majority of them anyway with the Great Leap to Starvation.

            > Your Chinese landlords

            Still a large majority of the US debt is owned by US citizens.

            >EU is the USA's largest trading partner.

            You mean the EU depends on the US to buy their stuff. Yep that is what I said but I did admit it would quickly hurt the US as well.

            >American exceptionalism is so last decade.

            English exceptionalism is so a century plus ago. Must suck seeing a former colony make you completely irrelevant.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Assange should keep his head down.

    As far as the US is concerned, if they can't get him by fair means, there's always the alternative.

    AKA Extrordinary rendition.

    Never trust a military scorned.

  4. Local G
    Stop

    THE HONEY TRAP

    convinced Assange he was a wanted man, produced his paranoid exclamations, and put him inside the Ecuadorian Embassy.

    Sweden, by sending Lindskog to the University of Adelaide to tell us what Swedish extradition law is, must be tired of being a tri-party participant.

    The last obstacle in this travesty will be getting a safe passage out of the UK. And a binding determination of exactly what Assange owes the UK in terms of court appearances , prison time and fines. Assange probably feels he doesn't feel owe anything. Assange may want a guarantee from Sweden that they will not extradite him for any indictments handed down after he returns there.

    Parliament can pass a law to that effect.

    1. Shagbag
      Holmes

      Guarantee from Sweden

      To many times I hear the word "'guarantee" and wince.

      Any "guarantee" is next to useless to him when he's bent over in a US prison cell being pounded in the ass by Mr Big.

      Sure his lawyers will be arguing with the US's lawyers that he's being detained illegally, but while the US has him in their possession, he'll continue to be mounted by the inmates.

      What pisses me off is the disproportionate approach taken by the UK. Assange hasn't been charged with any crime in the UK or Sweden, yet Bill Haig is happy to use force to try and retrieve him.

      It is obviously entirely politically driven and I can safely conclude that Bill Haig is Obama's bitch.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Guarantee from Sweden

        He has committed a crime in the UK now, he breached his bail conditions.

        That's a crime in and of itself, and as he appears to have intended to do that from the beginning if the extradition hearings didn't go his way, he's may be up for a perverting the course of justice charge as well.

        Once he's been to Sweden the UK may well be bringing him back to face that - they get first dibs.

        Worst, Judges do not like being made a fool of, so he won't get bail again - in the UK or anywhere else.

        1. Mad Mike
          Facepalm

          Re: Guarantee from Sweden

          "Judges do not like being made a fool of"

          Why do they do it to themselves so often then? Hearing a lot of the sentences and statements made by judges, I rather thought a lot of them did like looking the fool. A certain one in the north around burglars and paedophiles springs to mind....................

        2. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Guarantee from Sweden

          "He has committed a crime in the UK now, he breached his bail conditions."

          Almost all bail breaches in the UK (especially those regarding where one must or must not go at certain hours) result in a slap on the wrist and a stern admonishment of "don't do it again". In extreme cases a fine will be levied.

          Even violent offenders are not usually locked up for repeated bail breaches, nor is a history of bail breaches sufficient grounds to oppose an offender being bailed in the first place.

          Even if an offender is locked up for a bail breach, they'll probably be out in 1-2 days. Jails are overfull, don'chanknow?

          If you don't believe me, try sitting in the public gallery of a county court for a week or so. It's mindnumbingly boring, but also scarily devoid of commonsense on the benches at times (law 101 - "It's a legal system, not a justice system").

          1. Scorchio!!
            Thumb Down

            Re: Guarantee from Sweden

            "Even if an offender is locked up for a bail breach, they'll probably be out in 1-2 days. Jails are overfull, don'chanknow?"

            It depends on the sort of offence; crimes of violence, including sex crimes, are treated differently to TDA, shoplifting and the like. That's because they are serious.

          2. JohnG Silver badge

            Re: Guarantee from Sweden

            "Almost all bail breaches in the UK...."

            All you say is true - except that Assange has exhausted all legal barriers to his extradition to Sweden and has shown himself to be a flight risk. In such a situation, he would likely be detained until extradited.

            With any luck, the Ecuadorians will find a way to smuggle him to Ecuador - and he will then end up in self imposed exile, unable to return to the EU, his native Australia, etc.

      2. AndrueC Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Guarantee from Sweden

        What pisses me off is the disproportionate approach taken by the UK. Assange hasn't been charged with any crime in the UK or Sweden, yet Bill Haig is happy to use force to try and retrieve him.

        Breach of bail conditions is a crime and as another poster said there might be other charges if it could be shown to be pre-meditated.

        William Hague has not yet authorised the use of force to go and get him and shows no signs of doing so.

        What else can you tell us about life in your world? We eat bacon here.

        1. Titus Technophobe
          Stop

          Re: Guarantee from Sweden

          what pisses me off is the disproportionate approach taken by the UK. Assange hasn't been charged with any crime in the UK or Sweden ...... and the only reason Assange hasn't been charged with rape in Sweden is that he has so far evaded arrest.

          1. Chad H.

            Assange hasn't been charged with any crime in the UK or Sweden.....

            Simply because Sweeden uses a diffrent definition!

            The stage that the Swedish case is at has been determined by the SCOTUK to be the equivalent of "Charged" here in the UK, by looking at the actions that Sweden has taken (Rather than just the label "Charged"), and comparing them to UK proceedure.

      3. MrXavia
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Guarantee from Sweden

        After seeing some of the documentaries covering US jails, I would argue that any prison time in a US jail should be considered cruel and unusual punishment and block all extradition from the EU to the US..

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: THE HONEY TRAP

      The only safe passage Assange will have is his own rear end, as long as he stays inside that embassy.

      Whatever else he has done, he has now broken enough laws that him NOT landing in jail would be a total travesty of justice. By now, Assange really *deserves* a prolonged stay with a cell mate named Bubba.

      1. Gav
        FAIL

        Re: THE HONEY TRAP

        I don't follow "Bubba"'s involvement in this. He's not mentioned in any legislation or penal system I know of, so I'm unclear how prosecuting him could ever ensure he shares a cell with Assange.

        You're not saying he *deserves* institutionalised rape, I hope? That would be illegal, and you claim to be very concerned about laws and justice.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: THE HONEY TRAP

          No, no, you get it all wrong. I am really worried about Assange feeling alone in jail, so I just recommend some company, and Bubba is known to be *very* friendly. He also shares with Assange that being a bit hazy on the "no means no" thing, so it's a good fit, if you pardon the pun.

          Besides, according to Assange it can't be rape, as long as Assange or Bubba wait until the other one is asleep.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: THE HONEY TRAP

            Why is it that I always feel so huggy when I think of Assange?

      2. Scorchio!!
        Happy

        Re: THE HONEY TRAP

        "Whatever else he has done, he has now broken enough laws that him NOT landing in jail would be a total travesty of justice. By now, Assange really *deserves* a prolonged stay with a cell mate named Bubba."

        Indeed, not so much as a honey trap as a honey moon! ;->

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: THE HONEY TRAP @AC 8:15

        "By now, Assange really *deserves* a prolonged stay with a cell mate named Bubba."

        No, that should be a punishment reserved for Child mollesters and rapists...

        I am of the opinion that Jail time only works for violent offenders and that is only to keep them off the streets, other kinds of offences can be best dealt with using other means of punishment...

        1. Scorchio!!

          Re: THE HONEY TRAP @AC 8:15

          ""By now, Assange really *deserves* a prolonged stay with a cell mate named Bubba."

          No, that should be a punishment reserved for Child mollesters and rapists..."

          And the offences that Assange is alleged to have committed in Sweden are...?

        2. Gav
          Thumb Down

          Re: THE HONEY TRAP @AC 8:15

          "No, that should be a punishment reserved for Child mollesters and rapists..."

          Did your mother never teach that two wrongs don't make a right?

          Rape is a horrible crime. Rape as a implicit punishment included with jail time is inhuman, has no place in any civilised society and makes everyone involved accomplices. Barely better than the criminal themselves. Is that the person you want to be?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: THE HONEY TRAP @AC 8:15

            Rape is a horrible crime. Rape as a implicit punishment included with jail time is inhuman, has no place in any civilised society and makes everyone involved accomplices. Barely better than the criminal themselves. Is that the person you want to be?

            I must admit your fascination with the topic is interesting, but that's merely an observation (ad hominem is not really my style), but let's just bend that one over and examine it in depth. Ahem.

            Let's begin with how we got here. Mr Assange committed an act which any decent man would not do - unprotected sex without intercourse. Given that that appears to be his preference, the likelihood of Assange giving more than some unwanted genetic material and a possible risk of pregnancy is more than trivial - in other words, you could argue it wasn't just possible rape (the court has to decide if it is), it could also be more like causing bodily harm with intent. So that's step one.

            An observation must be made here: it is credible to believe that the whole Sweden thing would have blown over if he had been man enough to have himself tested. There is, of course, the possibility he KNOWS the result would not be good, in which case it makes sense to avoid the test as it would solidify the charge even before he had that interview - I hope you kept that in mind. But he didn't offer test results, and so the wheels started grinding. If this was some sort of US setup there would not BE any doubt, and he would not have been able to quickly run away before they called him back for the second interview.

            What I find MUCH worse is that this criminal (on account of committing a crime in the UK) has wasted a massive amount of court resources and time. He took money from other people who now lost it as a consequence of him skipping bail (so you could in theory also call him a thief, but let's stay with the already proven label), and he went through 3 layers of progression in the UK legal system to keep this myth alive that he would be extradited to the US if he got to Sweden, which is total and utter BS (and he knows that too), with his supporters asking for official statements before he would "comply". Well, Assange and crew have nada to dictate, especially since Assange is well over the red line by now.

            Who will pay for that time? Who will restore the court time and resources wasted on this buffoonery? How many people seeking the slim bit of justice doled out in the UK missed it because the court's time was wasted on this criminal?

            Personally, I don't think jail time is enough. He seems very comfortable holing up in the rather small Ecuadorian embassy so it'll merely be like a change of scenery to him. From the perspective of attempting to correct behaviour this is probably not going to work - he's a martyr in his own mind.

            1. Local G
              Pirate

              Re: THE HONEY TRAP @AC 8:15

              Rape is a terrible thing. Especially if you have been convicted of it. (Assange hasn't.)

              But if you know somebody important in the US Air Force, a rape conviction is no more than rain on the tail of a duck.

              <"Responding to growing political uproar over an Air Force lieutenant general’s decision to throw out a fighter pilot’s jury conviction for aggravated sexual assault, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered an investigation into the case and a review of the provisions of the Uniform Code of Military Justice that empower commanders to overrule the verdicts of court-martial juries."> http://www.stripes.com/news/hagel-orders-review-of-ucmj-after-wilkerson-sex-assault-case-1.211333

              Lt. Col. James Wilkerson got a 'get out of jail free' card from Air Force Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin. Or you could call it a 'get into poontang free' card.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: THE HONEY TRAP

      There is ZERO need for anything special. The laws are very simple and clear, which is probably why Assange is hauling in all this bullcrap about death sentences. The man somewhat overestimates his importance.

      To wit: he had unprotected sex without permission, after a clearly expressed desire of the, umm, "recipient" to wear condoms. He used the fact that she was still asleep to start, which can be classed as either coercion or rape, but that's for a court to decide. You know a court? A normal, established process which looks at all factors and then decide if you have broken the law? The second story was about Assange trying to enter without the condom, action refused by the girl. Assange subsequently re-entered, but apparently with the condom damaged.

      So, what we see from the statements is Assange trying his level best to avoid condoms, the girls insisting, and Assange trying to get his own way regardless. Now, if Assange had been a man and had himself actually tested when asked (just to give the girls peace of mind that he had not given them anything to remember him by), it is likely that the matter would have still gone away. But he didn't. And thus is escalated, and the Swedish were left with no option that to follow THE LAW. There is no BS here about gaming the system to catch Assange, because that would have been engineered so that he would get caught the moment he walked out of the building, leaving less margin for error. No, this is about Assange not being able to keep his end in his trousers and getting his own way against the specific and clearly stated wishes of the girls. "They had a fight about it" is to me a reasonably good indication that Assange knew bloody well what that he was doing was not wanted, and in some countries this is quite simply classed as rape. You know, "no means no"?

      After that, he hauled ass to the UK and went into hiding. By then breaking bail conditions he broke UK law as well, and as this guy is surrounded by lawyers I cannot believe he didn't know that (not that that would be an excuse, but just to cut off that route). But maybe his ego made him think he stands above the law. Which is exactly why this cannot end well for Assange. He's in deep shit in the UK for a crime, and he's wanted in Sweden to answer charges that may lead to him being charged with a crime.

      And that's assuming he hasn't got HIV, because if any of those two girls now develops HIV the story will get a hell of a lot uglier, because the Swedish affair could then turn into charges of physical harm (depends on how Swedish law handles deliberate HIV infection - I think it's classed as premeditated murder in some countries but I never had cause to look it up).

      That's why Assange needs no special treatment, no special laws and no special entrapment exercises.

      He managed to do all of that on his own.

      1. Adam Inistrator

        Re: THE HONEY TRAP

        you seem o so well informed about how to slant the case against assange. probably part of some US social ops team.

      2. Mad Mike

        Re: THE HONEY TRAP

        @AC.

        Some of what you say is accepted by both parties and therefore can be treated as fact. Some of the rest is not and therefore cannot be stated as fact. In both cases, it's basically Assange v the woman (I assume they would prefer to be known as women rather than girls). So, the 'facts' are not as easy to state as you make out. In some important regards, Assange claims different to the woman. You can't simply take the womans account as fact and ignores Assanges claims.

        This entire case is largely based on vanity. Yes, we all know Assange is very vain. However, most of the politicians and other parties involved are also pretty vain as well. The case is so old now, that if the only purpose was to establish if some nasty had been transfered (HIV etc.), it would have been found by now. So, this case is largely about other things now; maybe not at the beginning, but certainly now. Effectively, it's become a vanity project by all concerned and that's not a very good position to start justice from, regardless of where your views lie.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: THE HONEY TRAP

          > So, this case is largely about other things now; maybe not at the beginning, but certainly now. Effectively, it's become a vanity project by all concerned and that's not a very good position to start justice from, regardless of where your views lie.

          You are correct that it's a case about other things now. One of those other things is about setting an example: namely that the law can't be evaded simply by running away and hoping that the case will go away. For this reason alone that arrest warrant will never go away.

          I can only assume Assange's strategy is to sit tight until Bradley Manning's trial is over and then re-assess the situation. Nothing else makes much sense.

        2. JohnG Silver badge

          Re: THE HONEY TRAP

          "n both cases, it's basically Assange v the woman (I assume they would prefer to be known as women rather than girls). So, the 'facts' are not as easy to state as you make out. In some important regards, Assange claims different to the woman. You can't simply take the womans account as fact and ignores Assanges claims."

          Which is precisely why he was supposed to have answered questions of the Swedish prosecutor, to decide if there were any grounds for court case. If there was a court case, the court would then decide, based on the evidence presented by the prosecution and his defence counsel. That's what courts are for.

          The answer was not to leave the country before the prosecutor had even had a chance to question him - that just made him look guilty and prompted the Swedes to issue an EAW to have him returned for questioning.

    5. Scorchio!!

      Re: THE HONEY TRAP

      This man is now a criminal, inasmuch that he has broken UK law and skipped bail; it was forecast, he was marked as at risk of absconding again, that is he absconded from Sweden after his lawyer had been told that the police there wanted to interview him prior to pressing charges, as is the legal requirement and process in that country. He has attempted and is attempting to abscond again, and I am forced to conclude from his 17 convictions (one case) that this criminal will do anything that he can to avoid facing the processes of criminal law. The last words of the convicting Australian judge were a warning; he would certainly face a spell in gaol in the event of a repeat offence, and indeed this will apply to any further offence of any sort. Such is the course of justice in dealing with criminals.

      How can anyone offer such unconditional support, given his history manifestly criminal acts, even accessing the police computers involved in the Australian investigative process involved in uncovering his criminal acts in or around 1997, which included breaking into a Pentagon air force defence computer, breaking into university and telecoms computers in Australia, and a number of other items?

      There is no doubt of this man's criminal record, and he merely shines a searchlight on himself by breaking the laws of this country (he skipped bail) and, allegedly, that in Sweden whence he absconded; it is noteworthy that the Swedish bar association were, when I last investigated, to have a word with his lawyer, with whom the police were in contact over this matter; they informed him of their intentions, he disappeared thereafter; the lawyer denied, in open court in the UK having been contacted by the Swedish police, something which he was forced to retract, in open court; I can only conclude that mendacity runs through the defence side, from the defendant through to the Swedish counsel. It would seem that birds of a feather flock together.

      Criminals always demonstrate an offending profile, beginning with small offences and working their way up, both as they mature and also as they become more adept, experienced, and unafraid of the consequences of their behavioural acts.

      I am still very interested in the relationship he had with a 16 year old girl, whom he successfully inseminated, and the excuses that he was only a few years older do not pass muster. I was very interested to see another glint of light from inside of the defensive armour, namely that his son reports that his mother asserts that his (the son's) behaviour is as problematic as the father. Their choice of words differs, but I cannot recall the precise phraseology.

      When this man grows a pair of balls it will end. He will not be deported from Sweden to the US and probably not even from the UK; in any event, under the terms of the EAW the Swedes cannot deport him from their country without prior permission from the UK. Under that logic it is not so much Sweden that is causing him to run, but the UK, and that is demonstrated by his long stay in the Ecuadorian Embassy, the representative body of a country with an execrable record of human rights and an equally execrable record where freedom of expression and the concept of a free press has been all but destroyed.

      Oh the contortions of the PC brigade when they fall in love with someone. Oh the excuses that they will swallow from their cherished convicted criminal, and the posturing and excuses they will make.

      Utterly childish, mendacious and silly.

    6. Chad H.

      Re: THE HONEY TRAP

      Hold on. So you want Parliament to pass a law to predetermine the results of a possible court case that does not now, and probably will not ever exist?

      Do the words "Judicial Independence" mean nothing to you?

      1. Mad Mike

        Re: THE HONEY TRAP

        @Chad H.

        That's not what people are saying. The law does not predetermine the outcome of a court case, but simply says he cannot be prosecuted for x or y. Therefore, no court case can exist as the law says he can't be prosecuted.

        'Judicial independence' doesn't come into it as the law says no law has been broken, hence it doesn't even make it to court!!

      2. Local G
        Facepalm

        Re: @Chad H. "Do the words "Judicial Independence" mean nothing to you?"

        Do the words "a nation's Parliament shall pass laws and its Courts shall uphold them" mean nothing to you?

    7. JohnG Silver badge

      Re: THE HONEY TRAP

      "...what Assange owes the UK in terms of court appearances , prison time and fines. Assange probably feels he doesn't feel owe anything"

      Assange skipped bail, which is an offence. I think courts in most countries take a dim view of being ignored.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    but politicians cannot be trusted

    Unless i got a written guarantee of no extradition, then i would not go to Sweden.

    The argument that his crimes may not be against swedish law so therefore he is protected fall down when you consider the Pirate Bay seizure of servers which was carried out as a proxy of the US and faced alot of legal questions in sweden.

    The US reach is very far and if you are on the wrong side of them, i would expect it pays to be very cautious.

    1. Shagbag
      Unhappy

      if you are on the wrong side of them, i would expect it pays to be very cautious

      You make a good point.

      While I currently have no issue with US foreign policy, it is becoming increasingly easier to see why a lot of people (Arabs, Chinese, et. al.) distrust the US Government.

      While the US Govenment is perfectly happy to actively disclose the crimes of other States (eg. Iran, North Korea), when its crimes are disclosed by others (eg. Wikileaks) it doesn't like it and goes after the messenger. That behaviour is just wrong. They should either stop the criminal activity or just accept that it's been made public and let the public decide what should be done (if anything) about it.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: if you are on the wrong side of them, i would expect it pays to be very cautious

        "While I currently have no issue with US foreign policy, it is becoming increasingly easier to see why a lot of people (Arabs, Chinese, et. al.) distrust the US Government."

        I've been of that opinion since the early 1980s. It was clear after looking at what was happening that the USA was as bad as all the others, just wrapping itself in a flag and proclaiming democracy and the free world.

        As Mark Twain said, patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. He also pointed out that congress is to progress as "pro" is to "con"

        1. markw:

          Re: if you are on the wrong side of them, i would expect it pays to be very cautious

          No, Samuel Johnson said it in 1775.

          "Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel."

          He was not condemning patriotism but politicians who wrap themselves in the flag at the drop of a hat.

          Luckily such people are rare in the USA.

      2. Scorchio!!

        Re: if you are on the wrong side of them, i would expect it pays to be very cautious

        "While I currently have no issue with US foreign policy, it is becoming increasingly easier to see why a lot of people (Arabs, Chinese, et. al.) distrust the US Government."

        Oh yes indeed. I can see your point, the human rights and legal/justice records of Chinese and Arab governments are impeccable. The Arabs are so well known for their benign treatment of women who have been raped, and never execute them for this heinous crime! As to the Chinese, it is well known that their administration of justice in the cause of human rights, especially where the Tibetans are concerned, is impeccable, a byword in modern human rights and legal standards, one to which the Americans should readily aspire.

        Thank your for your most erudite contribution on this important point on human rights and the equal administration of human rights, which is so moot and welcome at this critical stage in the proceedings.

        I will carry your words of wisdom and fairness with me to the grave, as will I am sure the Ecuadorian government and, indeed, even Julian Assange, whose pronouncements on the status of Afghan informants in respect of attacks by those so very humane administrators of justice and human rights, the Taliban, is so very close to the heart of every human rights organisation.

        1. Mad Mike

          Re: if you are on the wrong side of them, i would expect it pays to be very cautious

          @Scorchio.

          He's simply talking about the perception that other people have of the US. He's not saying he agrees, or even that it's justified. He's just saying they don't trust or like the US. The US is rapidly getting a name as the bully boy of the world. You do what they say, when they say or else............

          Reality matters less than perception. Unless the US does something about this perception, it will have made itself far more of a target and cause itself a lot more grief in the long run. Extraordinary rendition is another good example, although a lot of other countries were guilty of complicity or, at least, turning a blind eye.

          It's interesting that you seek to categorise people by racial or other 'group' attribute rather than by country. After all, all Arabs are the same, aren't they? Well, no actually. Some Arab countries are far better than others. Just the same as not all western countries are the same.

          Arguably, the US has committed crimes of the same magnitude as the Chinese or 'Arabs', albeit maybe not in the same quantity. However, is quantity the issue here, or simply committing even one example of the crime? After all, the US has never locked people up without trial for years in contravention of its own constitution using the legal backdoor of Guantanamo isn't technically covered by the constitution. It has, historically, had a rather interesting definition of torture (or should I say 'encouragement') and has committed and defended the use of kidnapping.

          So, yes, the countries you mention are not perfect, but let's not forget the US is far from perfect either.

          1. Scorchio!!

            Re: if you are on the wrong side of them, i would expect it pays to be very cautious

            "He's simply talking about the perception that other people have of the US. He's not saying he agrees, or even that it's justified. He's just saying they don't trust or like the US. The US is rapidly getting a name as the bully boy of the world. You do what they say, when they say or else..........."

            What matters is the quote, "it is becoming increasingly easier":

            "While I currently have no issue with US foreign policy, it is becoming increasingly easier to see why a lot of people (Arabs, Chinese, et. al.) distrust the US Government."

            You will have noticed my reference to Tibet, which country the Chinese invaded in 1951 (that is to say, for some 62 years of 'increasing ease', to say nothing of the Uigur, the cultural revolution and so much more) and have been, more recently, raping and subjugating in a manner more appropriate to the middle east. A passing reference to the human rights of protesters in the PRC, including the 1989 Tienenman square massacre (Tienenman translates to Gate of Heavenly Peace no less!), Ai Weiwei (but let's not fixate on him alone, and bear in mind that he is the tip of a grisly iceberg) and such is necessary here.

            Otherwise it would seem to me from your comments that you are trying to read the mental acts and state of another poster, something that is very unwise, as reading mental acts and states is beyond the most proficient of psychiatric/psychology practitioners, beyond mere inference from analogy, which is very dangerous outside of 8 weeks of psychiatric assessment.

            As far as the US is concerned, the latest president is making up for past offences, but I see no evidence of this on the part of Russian, Chinese and Arab governments. The Russian involvements across the Caucasus make Iraq - itself a good example of illegal behaviour - seem pedestrian. The shelling and destruction of Grozny is one example, and the political murder rate of Russian journalists (and other prominent figures, at home and abroad) such as Anna Politkovskya should snap people out of their complacency, but no, they pick on the more easily accessible, less frequent data, rather than the unending nightmare of the former USS, which is ruled by the grandson of Stalin's cook, who appears to be attempting a rehabilitation of this foul murderer and torturer of innocent people. Treatment of internal ethnic minorities such as the Kurds and people from Balochistan by, e.g., Iran and Turkey too (Kurdistan is I believe situated across 4 to 5 other existing states/legal entities), is another example, and I could type line after line (how about Bahrain?) highlighting the disparity between what you and others would have me believe - that the US is the sole or leading practitioner of such bad, egregious, criminal and vile behaviour (it is far from that if you had bothered to read around, merely looking at Grozny, or perhaps the assassination of General Dudyev who was ironically the Soviet's best chance of genuine peace) - and I am certain that you would turn a 'blind eye' to the truth. Hence my mixed use of irony and sarcasm which, judging from your response, has not dented your carapace. That is to say, not fully; apperception appears to be lacking, if inference by analogy from your typographical responding is a fair judge.

            It's a subject that I studied, both as a soldier and as an undergraduate. I was taught to see past the throwaway lines such as those I quoted, and I still do see past them. Whatever you may wish to say about the US, put it to one side and open your eyes FGS. Look at the practise of state sponsored terrorism (Gaddafi), assassination, war and wars by proxy effected by many states other than the USA. Don't stick with the easy, populist, processed cheese variety of example. Do some hard thinking, innovative even. You'll arrive at a point closer to the truth

            HTH.

          2. Scorchio!!

            Re: if you are on the wrong side of them, i would expect it pays to be very cautious

            "It's interesting that you seek to categorise people by racial or other 'group' attribute rather than by country. After all, all Arabs are the same, aren't they? Well, no actually. Some Arab countries are far better than others. Just the same as not all western countries are the same."

            I forgot to address this point. I referred word by word to the original words of the OP, which were:

            "[...] (Arabs, Chinese, et. al.) [...]"

            I find it interesting that you chose to focus on my iteration of his words and that I addressed them directly, took them at face value, and I am allowing myself the luxury of a deliberation here, that is to say that this part of your response was sophistry, or that you failed to read the OPs words fully.

            Furthermore, I don't think that some Arab countries are better than others, nor the implicit, underlying rationale. I think that Arab governments may vary as a function of reform, and I think that an intrinsic part of that reform is absent - that is to say, Islam has not undergone a reform comparable to that undergone by the Catholic church - and I do not typify a people by their government. This would be short sighted, since most Arab governments are the descendants of a causal chain going back to way before the days when Islam burst out of the desert, overturned, displaced and destroyed Christian countries (in the country where the original Aramaic prayers and hymns are still sung and can be recognised by western Christians [of which, being an atheist, I am not one] the majority religion is Islam), then reaching out to as far as Italy, Greece, Spain, with white slavers going as far as the Scandinavian countries), inspiring a reflexive action now known as the Crusades and misunderstood, wrongly portrayed as a form of colonialism and barbarism.

            Arab countries? Please, do lay off the over simplifications. They are for people who employ specious logic, like Harriet Harman, who said that it hasn't been demonstrated that men are necessary in families, and that they ought not to be let into classrooms for fear that they might abuse children. Looking in only one direction for a source of growth, nurture and education on the one hand, and for a source of abuse on the other. False dichotomies and specious logic lead us to where we (particularly St. Jules) are now.

    2. NorthernCoder
      Stop

      Re: but politicians cannot be trusted

      But the politicians can't guarantee anything, because an extradition would be decided by the courts of law, not the elected.

      The courts of law can't guarantee anything because they can't guess what (the prosecutors of) another nation might want to charge Assange with.

      This whole "guarantee or Assange won't travel" argument is a smokescreen, it's useless, unless you expect the Swedish cabinet to break the Swedish constitution _and_ risk losing the next election from the potential scandal of being found out...

      If I was afraid of being extradited to the US, I sure as h*ll wouldn't go to the UK in the first place...

    3. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: but politicians cannot be trusted

      "Unless i got a written guarantee of no extradition, then i would not go to Sweden"

      If you got a written guarantee, that means they've at least considered it - and guarantees can trivially be voided.

    4. mmeier

      Re: but politicians cannot be trusted

      Wasn't he in Sweden because he wanted to become a RESIDENT of that country? So back then it was safe there and suddenly it is not? The US did not need him acused of a crime in Sweden to ask for extradiction - a crime in the US is enough for that. Wether Sweden grants it is then up to swedisch laws. Laws that where fine for Assange until he was acused of breaking them.

      My take on it is that he either

      a) Commited the crime and don't want to do the time

      b) Actually has a nice STD and want's to skip the testing a court might / will order

      c) Did nothing, saw it as an opportunity to make himself "important" and "in the media" and now has no way out

      c) is the "nicest" option for the US. Imagin:

      Assange gets to a Swedish court. Short quesitioning where he "pleads the fifth" (or the Swedish equivalent), After 10min it's all over. Upon leaving the court he is delivered a note making him "persona non grata", escorted to the next SAS plane to Australia. 18+ hours later the plane lands in Sidney and Assange is thrown out by two sturdy swedish stewards (if he is lucky they wait for the boarding steps) and told "never to come back to Sweden or we show you the bogs". THAT would make him a paranoid laughing stock all over the world.

  6. Desidero
    WTF?

    This article flips Steffan Lindskog's reasoning on its head -

    It's not that Julian Assange is paranoid for assuming he'll be extradited to the US from Sweden

    It's that the Swedish government has the power at any time to assure all including Assange that his return to Sweden to investigate a sex allegation will not result in extradition on current jurisdiction-less Wikileaks

    (assertions built on politics, military, freedom of speech, freedom of press, human rights violations)

    As long as the too-clever-by-far prosecutors and the government leave their intents ambiguous, they give Assange reasonable doubt to assume he's being set up.

    Considering the newspapers - including European - that actually vetted and published the Wikileaks stories, it's hard to imagine any of these charges passing EU courts, but Sweden could try to pull a quicky to satisfy American interests - so why not just say they won't?

    1. NorthernCoder
      Stop

      Actually, no

      "It's that the Swedish government has the power at any time to assure all including Assange that his return to Sweden to investigate a sex allegation will not result in extradition on current jurisdiction-less Wikileaks"

      No, it doesn't have that power. The government may not interfere with legal proceedings. Read here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ministerstyre for the short version.

      1. Mad Mike

        Re: Actually, no

        "No, it doesn't have that power. The government may not interfere with legal proceedings. Read here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ministerstyre for the short version."

        As a government implements laws, it effectively can issue a guarantee by writing a law to that effect. Yes, it can't interfere with the interpretation of that law by the judges, but it can write whatever it likes provided it gets through the appropriate steps to get onto the statute books. So, a government can create a law saying Assange cannot be prosecuted for a given act etc.etc. All judges can then do is determine if the extradition request is in relation to that act and if so do as the law says. Of course, someone could later create another law reversing the first, or repeal the first, but normally laws are not written to impact the past.

        Of course, there is precedent now, within the UK at least, to write some pretty dodgy laws. The new one on tax avoidance is a good example. If something is setup for the sole purpose of avoiding tax, it's illegal even though it's legal in every other way!! That's open to a huge amount of interpretation and person opinion. Very dangerous.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Actually, no

          Mad Mike,

          It's clear you have little understanding of how law works. Not that I claim to be any expert in Swedish constitutional law, but if their constitution guarantees judicial independence specifically, or the separation of powers then no such law could be made. Parliaments can pass laws, but only in accordance with the constitution.

          As for your unrelated point about UK tax law, 'mens rea' is a pretty standard concept in criminal law. You have to prove that the defendant intended to commit a crime for certain offences. That's little different to the case of tax law. If you create a special purpose vehicle to do some sort of business that's fine, but if it's only to evade tax then you're committing a crime. The crime is the intention to avoid paying your taxes. I've not looked at the specifics of the law you mention, but as described it's perfectly reasonable.

          1. Mad Mike

            Re: Actually, no

            @I ain't Spartacus.

            Another person who insults as a rebuttal to a point made by another.

            A parliament can pass any law it wants. It could be done in all sorts of ways. For instance, it used to be that retrospective laws weren't made. Not because there was a law against it per se, but because it was viewed as unreasonable to make something a crime AFTER the person had committed it. This has been well and truly broken in the UK now, with several retrospective laws, including the loss of double jeopardy in some cases. I can tell you're not a lawyer or otherwise in the judicial process as your mind doesn't seen able to create interesting routes round the problem, a feature of lawyers. For instance, Sweden could simply repeal the law that makes his act an offense and make it retrospective!!

            Also, the constitution can be changed as well, so this is no barrier. Depending on the constitution, it might require some sort of referendum, a vote in parliament or whatever. However, it could be changed. You seem to misunderstand the concept of judicial independence. That doesn't mean the government can't enact laws that impact the judiciary, just that the judiciary are there to interpret the laws as they see fit and the government can't tell them how to interpret them. This has oft been an issue in the past when the judiciary hasn't interpreted the law as politicians wanted!!

            As to the tax law I quoted. It is wide open to interpretation. In order to avoid it, the person has to show a purpose to his legal construct. Well, what about he just wanted to?? Whats the matter with that? That law has been created for one specific reason only. Accountants are far smarter at getting round tax laws than the people writing said laws. The answer is not to write a general purpose law allowing wide interpretation, but either to write the laws smarter, or actually take the intelligent approach. Simplify the law. It is the complexity of laws that opens all the doors through which accountants pass. Simple laws are far less likely to have these. It is the politicians desire to bias things to their particular liking and making exception this and exception that, that results in overly complex laws, full of holes.

            Your interpretation of the tax law is interesting as you almost certainly fall foul of it, as would pretty much everyone in the UK. You also misunderstand the difference between tax avoidance and evasion, which is fundamental. Evasion is and has always been, illegal. Avoidance never has been, but this law makes it so under some circumstances. Unless you're a saint, everyone in the UK tries to avoid tax, but not everyone tries to evade it!! You don't pay what you can legally avoid paying in other words.

            You also have to look at politicians logic in all this. An ISA account is an investment account with one specific purpose over and above other investment accounts.......to avoid tax!! Does this make it illegal? They only exist to avoid tax. You could get exactly the same terms with a non-ISA account, but pay tax on the interest/gain as usual. Instead, you choose an ISA as you can avoid the tax!! So, according to your interpretation, an ISA falls foul of this law. Of course, ISAs are approved of by HMRC and politicians, so they'll look over this!! Pensions are another good example. You could save for retirement by putting money into an account and getting interest etc., but you actually pay into a pension? Why? Because a pension avoids tax on the money!! Again, the only purpose of a pension over an ordinary investment is to avoid tax!! Another avoidance you probably take advantage of!!

            1. Don Jefe

              Re: Actually, no @Mad Mike

              Are you saying a Parliment might pass a special law or change the constitution for ANY reason over Assange? Why would they do that? He is not important outside of his little closet in the embassy.

              1. Mad Mike

                Re: Actually, no @Mad Mike

                @Don Jefe

                My original posting was in response to someone insisting it was 'impossible' to guarantee her wouldn't be prosecuted. I was simply showing it wasn't impossible. Not that it's desirable or a sensible use of time and resources. Simply that people should stop stating facts or claiming things are impossible etc. unless it's actually true.

                Sweden COULD do something and therefore it is not impossible. Desirable; now that's another thing altogether.

                1. NorthernCoder
                  Stop

                  Re: Actually, no @Mad Mike

                  @Mad Mike

                  The original statement was that the Swedish government could issue a guarantee at any time, to which I objected that they can not (implicitly -now-) due to the constitution.

                  I didn't use the term impossible.

                  Now please listen to "I ain't Spartacus", because his first paragraph is right.

                  Also, a retroactive law as you later suggest would at least in Sweden be improbable to the point of certainty due to a tradition of actively not making such laws, and the entire legal professional community would create an outcry which the law makers couldn't ignore if they tried.

                  1. Mad Mike

                    Re: Actually, no @Mad Mike

                    @Northern Code.

                    "Also, a retroactive law as you later suggest would at least in Sweden be improbable to the point of certainty due to a tradition of actively not making such laws, and the entire legal professional community would create an outcry which the law makers couldn't ignore if they tried."

                    You putting a lot of faith in the professional community and putting your money on their actions. This was also the case in the UK, but we have several retrospective laws now. Did the UK professional community prevent it with their 'outcry'? No they did not.

                    'Improbable to the point of certainty' is probably what people in the UK would have said a couple of decades ago and they were proven utterly wrong. The UK had exactly the same tradition as well. So, you're placing your faith in something that has already been shown to have failed!!

                    If you say the constitution would prohibit such a 'guarantee', presumably this is because it would force an outcome on a court case. However, I have already shown and explained how creating a new law (what politicians do) gets round this, as there never would be a court case!! Therefore, no predetermination!! So, by creating a new law, they can create such a guarantee and not be in violation of the constitution.

                    Us lawyers are crafty like that ;-)

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      I love the assembled BS here

                      We claim that Assange is going to be extradited because <insert random government or judicial element> refuses to <insert act or activity impossible for the stated entity to perform because of legal or constitutional reasons>. Because this <insert act or activity impossible for the stated entity to perform because of legal or constitutional reasons> we claim extradition is certain.

                      Yawn. Bring me some arguments that make sense. The refusal of government and judiciary to fulfil the impossible and/or illegal demands are exactly proof that they won't bypass those frameworks for the US either.

                      I am by now supremely indifferent o what happens to him, other than that the law should prevail. If that means a couple of months or years in a cell or reprocessing into Soilent Green in the US, I don't care either way. Plenty of other criminals to worry about that have a much larger impact, such as certain bankers.

      2. Desidero
        Mushroom

        Re: Actually, no

        I'm not saying interfere with legal proceedings.

        Your own quote states: "No public authority, including the Riksdag and the decision-making bodies of local authorities, may determine how an administrative authority shall decide in a particular case..."

        Note the term "local authorities". So if the national administrative authority re: extraditions notes that Assange isn't going to be extradited over an unrelated charge, it's not interfering with a legal proceeding - it's solving an unrelated hurdle.

        They can do it in a non-"Bill of Attainder" kind of way - "for Mr. Assange and all others under Swedish legal jurisdiction, investigation of a possible crime is not an open fishing expedition into one's complete background and international reputation. It is assumed that since the US has not indicted Mr. Assange nor filed a request for extradition in the years of Mr. Assange's presence in Sweden, UK and other EU states, that a request containing no new unassailable previously unavailable information after Mr. Assange's voluntary return to Sweden would not be grounds for Swedish action. This preserves our focus on completely investigating and ensuring justice for those accused and those possibly victimized in an incident reported to the police."

        As the US has numerous verified illegal "extraordinary renditions" over the last decade, Assange's concerns are real and justified.

        In 2008, the FBI illegally leaked secret recordings to the NY Times of Elliot Spitzer with a prostitute, thereby derailing one of the Bush Administration's harshest and most powerful critics. Unsurprisingly, no one at the FBI was punished, and investigations of Wall Street decreased. Like with Assange, many were unsympathetic towards Spitzer - never charged with a crime but career ruined anyway. Do we want that American sense of justice extended to the EU?

      3. Local G
        Stop

        Re: @NorthernCode "Actually, no"

        "Ministerstyre ("ministerial rule") in Swedish describes a deviation from the rule that individual government ministers in Sweden[note 1] do not have the right to influence or decide the handling of individual cases at government agencies."

        You must not compare "individual government ministers" with a duly elected Parliamentary body empowered to make and change the laws of the land. Ministers of governments that can fall overnight should not be conflated with a sworn-in Parliament that rules a country until the next election.

    2. Scorchio!!

      "It's not that Julian Assange is paranoid for assuming he'll be extradited to the US from Sweden

      It's that the Swedish government has the power at any time to assure all including Assange that his return to Sweden to investigate a sex allegation will not result in extradition on current jurisdiction-less Wikileaks"

      Nonsense; no government on the face of this earth has such a power, if only because it is in principle possible that any individual - including Assange - could in principle have committed any serious crime meriting extradition. It would require the sort of reasoning learned by one Harman, H, in the upper 6th to claim otherwise.

      1. Desidero
        Megaphone

        The Swedish government can still refuse extradition to the US for murder. It's an independent state with leeway in most treaties.

        For extraditing to EU countries, there might be less wiggle room.

        But how about read what the Swedish justice said - he probably knows much better than you or I:

        http://www.afr.com/p/lifestyle/review/julian_assange_swedish_judge_view_UKXfH1WonxwgZeaG0XnizI

        1. Desidero
          Unhappy

          I should make it clear that the US regularly says it will not abide by this or that agreement when it feels inclined. We had a guy in Pakistan wanted for murder - whisked him out of there. The US soldier who went postal on a village? Taken to the US. Contractors spraying cars with bullets? Helicopters firing on civilians? The whole reason for US leaving Iraq is they wouldn't give the US absolute immunity.

          1. Mad Mike

            @Desidero

            The USA has shown over the years, a complete contempt for other countries judicial systems, especially when it involves their own nationals. Th examples you give of people being spirited out of countries are good. They insist on every other country abiding by their judicial system, even when the crime wasn't committed within their own borders (USA believes its judicial system extends to the world), but completely ignored others.

            Why shouldn't the soldier who went postal on a village face trial in Afghanistan? The crime was committed there, the victims were Afghan nationals etc.etc. Oh no, the Afghan judicial system is rubbish isn't it. Helicopter pilots having 'fun' firing on civilians in total knowledge they weren't combatants. Again, spirit them away. After all, Iraqs legal system is rubbish.

            And Americans wonder why they are treated with such suspicion and contempt by many people around the world and why a fair chunk of people want to see them dead............it's a mystery, really a mystery.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Assange.. Who is that again?

    Just when I'd forgotten he even existing...

    yawn! wake me when he leaves the embassy.

    1. Tim Roberts 1

      Re: Assange.. Who is that again?

      Yes it is certainly heading that way - such are the whims of the media and the attention span of most the populace. Perhaps he should shag someone in the embassy to give the story some more oomph.

  8. Goldmember

    “it can be debated”

    "but “it can be debated” leaking American documents is not a crime under Swedish Law..."

    I'd need a hell of a lot more assurance than that before returning to my home country to face trial. The fact is he's now in the shit with Sweden AND the UK (for breaching bail conditions), and not only has a European arrest warrant but could well face serious charges if Sweden 'debate' but decide to hand him over to the US anyway - or do it on the quiet. And it's not just about Cablegate, Wikileaks released copious amounts of US-damning material before that. No woner he's couped up inside the embassy.

    Looks like his only way out now is to curl up inside a large suitcase and have someone stick a 'diplomatic bag' sticker on it, and ship him out somewhere.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: “it can be debated”

      Dangerous, someone could insist on the security shrinkwrap. That strikes me as somewhat airtight..

  9. g e
    Holmes

    Well. Regardless.

    The USA seem to have gone to extraordinary length to incriminate him in Sweden and would seem to want him there very badly. Which means I don't trust Sweden's or the USA's platitudes or motives. Sweden may just have not thought of the cunning plan Americaland has in mind to get hold of him, of course.

    Since apparently the DNA evidence now isn't Assange's (IIRC) and that 'not providing a condom as evidence of not using one' is unlikely to be real evidence anywhere East of GMT-3 (yes I know that's the Atlantic) there must be a pressing (e.g. political) reason for not just dropping the charges. Perhaps the Swedes are just single-minded like that.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well. Regardless.

      I honestly don't get the US references. There isn't a SINGLE shred of evidence of US involvement. For once, just once, they have been smart and left him be, and look how deep he managed to get in the shit all by himself.

      If I were a US official responsible for dealing with Assange I'd be fighting every three letter agency tooth and nail to avoid them doing anything (assuming they wanted to). For once, you could keep perfectly clean hands. No hiding activities from oversight committees (the few that are left), no need for and "national Security" seals - nope.

      Any US official who gets involved in this would be a total idiot. But I repeat myself :)

      1. Mad Mike

        Re: Well. Regardless.

        "Any US official who gets involved in this would be a total idiot."

        Agreed. But, how can I put this..............there's a lot of historic reason to believe a fair few are.

        Never underestimate peoples stupidity!!

      2. Chad H.

        Re: Well. Regardless.

        Not only is there evidence of US involvement, but if the US was involved its an incredibly foolish way of going about it.

        They've got people and facilities in the UK. They could have just grabbed him off the street. Much easier, and more logical, than convincing a third country to extradite him under a wararnt that doesnt make onward extradition easy.

        Anyone remember when Sweeden's laws were so good Sunshine Press (AKA Wikileaks) were planning on moving there? Its amazing how much an accusation of rape can change things.

        1. Mad Mike

          Re: Well. Regardless.

          @Chad H.

          Even the US might be churlish about continuing an illegal practice they have been found guilty of in the past. Trying to abduct an unknown and spirit him away is one thing, but someone of Assanges public persona; very difficult. Someone would almost certainly find out and spill the beans. Then, what would happen?

    2. mhenriday
      Boffin

      Re: Well. Regardless.

      «Perhaps the Swedes are just single-minded like that.» Let me point out that while not true of Swedes as a whole, most certainly our Swedish governments have shown themselves to be very «simple-minded» in demonstrating their loyalty to their masters in Washington. Prior to 1943 and Stalingrad, their loyalties were elsewhere....

      Henri

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If I were in Assanges position I'd start tallying my options. The web that has been woven around him has become increasingly convoluted with the US, the UK, the Swedes, the Australians and the Ecuadorians involved.

    Since the US wants to prosecute him under the Espionage Act, I'd take my chances with the Swedes if I were him.

    If I were the US, I'd have him leave for Ecuador where I could then proceed to extract him without too much fuss. It wouldn't be a nice thing to do, but the US don't generally bother too much with foreign sovereignty. And as he is completely harmless at this time, they will just wait untill everyone forgets about him (which will be the whole of two weeks) and have him gently tapped on the shoulder and asked to come with or else...

    So, Mr. Assange, call the Swedish Embassy and ask politely to be transported to Sweden in a bloody hurry. I'm afraid you wouldn't like the other outcomes very much.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Flame

      I Am Sure

      ..you would be an obedient subject of the Cheka.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheka

      Who needs the law, when it can be twisted, broken and ignored for the Purpose Of The Empire ?

      Actually, I am happy about this, because it means the Empire will eat itself. It's own moral and other corruption will self-destruct it. If you think why Manning did it and why he COULD (corrupt database security), it is exactly because of corruption. The helo pilots killed civilians and laughed about it. That's when the Private's conscience kicked in and started to fight about this low-level corruption embedded into the great corruption of the Iraq war.

      Now you can call this all "naive" and say that "everybody is corrupt", but you know what ? Each and every system can only handle so much corruption. At one point, it will be too much and your nice Empire will crumble.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wow - just learned something new..

    WOW, I forgot about this. Listen to the video from around 33 minutes in.

    It turns out Sweden has quite heave protection against journalistic leaks (OK, that doesn't mean it may not happen with state secrets, but still). Apparently, information of a case is to be kept confidential, but IF something leaks to the press, Swedish law apparently imposes quite severe restrictions on the investigation into the leak (if I hear this right it may not even be allowed to investigate the "who", only the "how").

    That kind of explains why Sweden was a safe place for Assange. Well, until he couldn't keep his end in.

    1. g e

      Re: Wow - just learned something new..

      They're not necessarily Swedish State secrets so they may not give a toss ;o)

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Wow - just learned something new..

      Sorry to burst your bubble, but the Swedish laws regarding journalistic leaks/whistkeblowers would apply if only Wikileaks had registered as a journalistic body in Sweden before the event. Apparently, Assange's legal advisers realised this after the event and scrambled to get Assange registered, hence his placement with Leftie Swedish rag Aftonbladet in a desperate attempt to gain him journalistic cover, which then led to his meeting the two groupies in question.

    3. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Regarding .... Wow - just learned something new.. [AC Posted Thursday 4th April 2013 08:49 GMT]

      Here ... http://freebarrettbrown.org/BB_motion.pdf..... is a live present legal challenge to a similar personal privacy and virtual security violation and fascist phishing expedition exercising Uncle Sam's screwed up systems.

      And worth the few minutes it takes to read.

  12. John Deeb
    Pirate

    Status quo

    The real problem is the ambiguity of the US State en Justice department on what, if any, charges they might raise against Assange based on what (sealed) evidence. Since this is an unknown, as it cannot be certain the extradition agreement might still apply. For example for hacking military computers or actively aiding such activity. Assange has taken the most rational cause of action so far and waits for the US to play their cards first. The trial of Manning is probably a key factor in this regard and this explains perfectly the status quo in place.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  13. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: it's simple

      You're right. It does tell you all you need to know. The Swedish are unable to break their own laws and provide an illegal guarantee. The politicians aren't allowed to interfere in judicial process, and the judiciary have no law on which to base such a guarantee.

      Next question...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: it's simple

      It just tells is that those who support the alleged rapist don't understand anything about law.

      It's not like it hasn't been pointed out over, ...* and over again that the Swedish Government cannot give any such guarantee, it'd be illegal for them to do so.

      So the interesting question is why do you all keep on chanting that same ridiculous demand?

      * removed excessive number of itterations of "and over," for brevity.

      Oh! I did love the ridiculous idea that the Swedish Government should piss away time passing a "speshul law" to protect Mr Assange, so as to guarantee he won't be extradited to the USA for certain offences.

      Honestly the completely and utterly ridiclous lengths to which the supporters of Mr Assange are reaching is enough to make you embarrassed to be British. That we have such complete lunatics wandering around freely within our society... it's truly shameful.

      1. Mad Mike

        Re: it's simple

        @Dave Dowell.

        The posting relating to creating and passing a law for Assange was simply to show that another poster insisting it was impossible for the Swedish government to guarantee he wouldn't be extradited was wrong. Nobody ever said it should be done or was a proportionate response. It was simply to show another poster going on about 'impossibilities' etc. was wrong in his facts.

        I'm not particularly a supporter of Assange or against him. I just get pretty fed up with people stating the womens side as fact, totally ignoring what he says (when its their word against his) and claiming all sorts of other things as fact when they're not, or impossible when they're not.

        At the moment, I think there's a lot of vanity on all sides of the equation and the matter is being blown up out of all proportion by all parties. Without doubt Assange has an 'interesting' personality and some history of criminality, but the womens actions in Sweden are also somewhat strange as well.

      2. Desidero
        Terminator

        Re: it's simple

        @Dave Dowell - thank you for disputing what a Swedish Supreme Court just told a crowd.

        It's so nice to have an arbitrary blog commenter confirming what someone sitting on the bench doesn't know, simply by sifting through Wikipedia.

        Looking forward to your new nuclear designs violating the laws of physics. Max Planck will be pleased.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: it's simple

          As the only thing I've stated is that it would be illegal for the Government of Sweden to guarantee Mr Assange wouldn't be extradited to the US, you must be claiming that the Swedish Supreme Court has stated that the Government of Sweden could provide a written guaranteee that is in breach of the Swedish constitution?

          Care to provide us a link to that ruling, because I'd like to read it.

          1. Mad Mike

            Re: it's simple

            @Dave Dowell.

            "As the only thing I've stated is that it would be illegal for the Government of Sweden to guarantee Mr Assange wouldn't be extradited to the US, you must be claiming that the Swedish Supreme Court has stated that the Government of Sweden could provide a written guaranteee that is in breach of the Swedish constitution?

            Care to provide us a link to that ruling, because I'd like to read it."

            Several people, me included, have explained several times how the Swedish government could simply pass a law proclaiming what he did legal. That is not in breach of their constitution, as it would be a legally passed law and therefore is not in any way illegal. Sweden COULD do it. It is not illegal and certainly not impossible. Whether they should is another matter. It would also take some time as these things do, but it is possible and not illegal. The constitution cannot make something done legally (e.g. passing a new law) illegal. The constitution itself can also be changed if it really came to that. That's how 'amendments' to constitutions come about.................like in the US constitution.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: it's simple

              @ Mad Mike

              Has what he did (publishing the Manning leaks) been shown to be illegal under Swedish law?

              As far as I understand it the entire reason Mr Assange based WikiLeaks in Sweden was because Swedish legal advice was that their laws would protect what he did with WikiLeaks.

              So why would they be wrting laws to make it legal? If it already is not only legal, but protected his right to do it in their country is protected by their laws.

              You can keep touting the "they could pass a law makinmg it legal" and ignore the facts about why Mr Assange put Wikileaks in Sweden in the first place if you want.

              However, please don't be asking me to take seriously this ridiculous suggestion that Sweden has to do anything like pass laws to suit Mr Assange, so that he can face due process.

              1. Mad Mike

                Re: it's simple

                @obnoxious Git

                There is a question over whether his disclosures are covered by Swedish press protections or not, as he wasn't registered correctly. So, the situation is not as clear as you think. It's certainly why he moved there, but his legal team don't appear to have been totally on the ball.

                I've never said Sweden SHOULD pass a law etc. Merely, that they COULD. This was in response to someone saying it was impossible. I refuting their categoric assertion that it couldn't be done. I never said it was a good idea.

          2. Desidero
            Pint

            Re: it's simple

            Try reading Lindskog's words: "If the Supreme Court holds that there is any legal impediment to extradition, the government is not allowed to approve the request. The government can, however, refuse extradition even if the Supreme Court has not declared against it."

            http://www.afr.com/p/lifestyle/review/julian_assange_swedish_judge_view_UKXfH1WonxwgZeaG0XnizI

            Presumably if the government is going to refuse extradition anyway, the Supreme Court review's not needed?

            Presumably a Swedish Supreme Court justice is more acquainted with what's in "breach of the Swedish constitution" than you are?

            I'll take that Fail beer now, thank you.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: it's simple

              @ Desidero

              What has any of that got to do with what I posted?

              I can only assume you've had one to many Fail Beers already.

              1. Desidero
                Headmaster

                Re: it's simple

                @obnoxiousGIt - my reply was intended for Dave Dowell further up - I would never stoop so low as to interfere with your obnoxious Gitliness. In this case, it's less a Fail Beer than a Fallen Beer, which fortunately for this one can still get up. But unlike speed of light, there is no natural limit for Fail Beers, much less "1 too many" - 1 + infinity is still infinity.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: it's simple

                  @ Desidero

                  Yeah, that'd be me, I changed my name to something some would consider more fitting.

                  Like I said, what would me saying "it would be illegal for the Swedish Government to offer/provide a written guarantee to Mr Assange" have to do with the Swedish Supreme Court statements about how if they say he can't be extradited the government can't extradite him, and the Government can veto a court ruling that he can be extradited?

    3. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: it's simple

      "It's simple. He offered to return to Sweden and answer all their questions if they provided an absolute written signed guaranty they wouldn't just then extradite or render him to America.

      It's a simple request. They refused to provide such guarantees.

      Tell you all you need to know."

      Another point is why should they? They are dealing with a suspected criminal, whom they want to put in prison. The UK government is dealing with an actual criminal (breaking bail conditions, probably perverting the course of justice), who should end up in prison for those crimes. Why should they give him written assurances of anything in order for him to follow their laws?

      1. Mad Mike

        Re: it's simple

        @DavCrav.

        "They are dealing with a suspected criminal, whom they want to put in prison."

        I think you should say 'who they wish to have answer to their legal system'. If you say they want to put him in prison, it rather suggests a usurping of due process, which aids his case. They simply want him to answer the case. That might involve standing trial. It might involve prison. But, that's up to the courts and prosecution authorities. Not politicians.

        "probably perverting the course of justice"

        Almost certainly not. They would have to prove both that he had no intention of surrendering to bail (almost impossible) and also that he had prior intent (again, almost impossible). Unless he's flapped his mouth stupidly, both these would require them to be able to read his mind.

    4. Chad H.

      "Tell you all you need to know".

      Yes, it tells us all we need to know about how much you understand and value Judicial Independence.

      It is not a simple thing.

      You are in effect asking the Swedish government to guarantee that an independent court will not find against him in a case that has not been raised, and in all likelihood never will.

      Here in the civilised world, we tend to frown upon governments telling the courts how to rule in cases.

      1. Mad Mike

        Re: "Tell you all you need to know".

        @Chad H.

        No, you are misunderstanding. The Swedes could (I've never said they should) pass a law that makes his activities (their definition for whatever activities they like) are legal. That does not impact judicial independence in the slightest. The case can't go to court as no law has been broken (the law explicitly says he hasn't broken the law!!) and therefore judicial independence (which revolves around interpreting law) is assured.

        You misunderstand the role of lawmakers (e.g. politicians) and the judiciary. The judiciary simply interpret the law, whilst politicians enact the law. The judiciary cannot interpret a law based on whether they like it or not, or if they think it a good law or not, simply on how it is written. And if the law says his acts weren't illegal, no court even gets involved as there's no case to answer.

        You could ask a court to clarify the interpretation of the law being used by the prosecution authorities to determine if there is a case, but that's all. So, no breach in any shape or form of judicial independence.

        1. red death
          Stop

          Re: "Tell you all you need to know".

          But why should the Swedes re-write their law book to satisfy one man? More to the point how would they do it given that we don't know what Assange *might* be charged with by the USA? And how would they do it without ruining their own legal system?

          All of this is just obfuscation by Assange and his supporters until he is actually accused of *anything* by the USA.

          1. Mad Mike

            Re: "Tell you all you need to know".

            @red death

            Nobody has said they should, merely that they could. My response was to someone proclaiming it impossible, which it manifestly is not. It could be done. Whether it should is entirely another matter. It's simply that people state things as 'fact' or 'impossible' etc. when they are no such thing. There is a difference between shouldn't be done and impossible.

            1. red death

              Re: "Tell you all you need to know".

              @Mad Mike

              But that is sophistry...anything is theoretically possible, but that doesn't make it sensible, reasonable or remotely likely. If we are just going to play games of what might be possible then it rapidly becomes a fairly meaningless academic exercise.

              Even if it is theoretically possible, I still don't see how anyone could be given a meaningful guarantee of no extradition on an unspecified hypothetical charge.

        2. Chad H.

          Re: "Tell you all you need to know".

          I think someone else already pointed this out, but there is no case raised by the US.

          We don't know what the conspiracy-mongers allege he's going to be accused of!

          How can they pass a law determining that an unknown act is legal?

    5. mmeier

      Re: it's simple

      Tells me that Sweden treats him like any other suspect. And that is the way it should be because he is not special. NOBODY gets such a guarantee!

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Now What Would REALLY Happen

    The American amabassador would talk to the Swedish PM, the minister of defence and tell them in no uncertain terms, that "Assange is a threat to our security and therefore your security". If you don't arrange one way or the other to extradite him into the US, you won't get any intelligence, any fancy technology for your nice little figher (radars, radios, computers, software, engines, missiles) or any other weapon you would like to have.

    The Swedish PM would then get into a nice little conversation with the Swedish supreme court chief justice and make it clear that "Assange threatens our national defence. Must be extradited. Make it happen".

    The Supreme court would then arrange for the "right" judge to handle the Assange case. Or the PM would simply invoke some sort of executive privilege and "expel that foreigner to his home country via the US".

    There are some many ways to game the system and Sweden is 100% dependent on US technology and intelligence sharing.

    Assange should never have left Australia and I will never again set foot onto the soil of an Anglosaxon country. I know that I am safer traveling in China or Russia, actually.

    1. Chad H.

      Re: Now What Would REALLY Happen

      The Swedish PM would then get into a nice little conversation with the Swedish supreme court chief justice and make it clear that "Assange threatens our national defence. Must be extradited. Make it happen".

      The Swedish supreme court chief, outraged at this breach of judicial independence is on the next news broadcast telling everyone what the PM just asked him to do.

      PM is sacked by the king of Sweden.

      1. Mad Mike

        Re: Now What Would REALLY Happen

        @Chad H.

        Again, you show an ignorance of legal things.

        The King of Sweden does not have the power to 'sack the PM'. See the following for information:-

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monarchy_of_Sweden#Head_of_state_duties_.28post_1974.29

        So, the Swedish supreme court chief could go public and the PM would have to take the consequences. However, this could well backfire on the court chief (whatever you mean by that), as most people in those sorts of positions won't go public under any circumstances and everything is handled behind closed doors.

  15. red death

    What no one has adequately explained is why Assange would be more at risk from extradition in Sweden than the UK...we don't exactly have a shining record in preventing our citizens being extradited to the USA.

    The idea that Sweden could provide a blanket guarantee to Assange that he won't be extradited for any unspecified crime is just nonsense/bonkers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That'll be because the "conspiracy nuts" can't provide an explanation, because he would be safer from extradition to the US in Sweden, than in the UK.

      Anyone reading the extradition treaties between Sweden <-> US and UK <-> US can clearly see that.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Laws won't stop the US

    All they will do is pass a law identical to that in Sweden just to get their hands on Assange. Then he will disappear and spend the rest of his days in a rat and roach infested 6x8 cell somewhere in the world.

    1. Chad H.

      Re: Laws won't stop the US

      That doesnt make any sense. What identical law are they passing that Julian alegedly broke?

      1. Scorchio!!

        Re: Laws won't stop the US

        "That doesnt make any sense. What identical law are they passing that Julian alegedly broke?"

        To say nothing of the fact that retrospective legislation is not permissible in western democracies; the former USSR, certain Islamic and Latin American countries, yes.

        1. Mad Mike

          Re: Laws won't stop the US

          "To say nothing of the fact that retrospective legislation is not permissible in western democracies"

          Used to be convention that it wasn't, but is common now. The UK has passed several retrospective laws, including the removal of double jeopardy in some cases, even for old 'crimes'. So, retrospective legislation is certainly possible in the UK and probably many other countries.

          1. Chad H.

            Re: Laws won't stop the US

            it is however against the ECHR to pass retrospective criminal legislation.

  17. James Gosling

    The Microsoft Approach...

    We could always adopt the Microsoft Approach, wrap him in clear plastic, place a set of terms and conditions inside that you accept if you break the seal (i.e. the packaging) but which you cant read fully unless you break the seal. All rights reserved! :)

  18. Don Jefe

    Why The Fuss?

    Who gives a shit about Assange? He is obviously a very trashy, slimy individual who will get what's coming to him one day. It doesn't take a government to deal with sleeze balls like him. One day he'll piss off the wrong person and he'll get a shiv to the kidneys and the press will be able to get on with their lives.

    1. Mad Mike

      Re: Why The Fuss?

      @Don Jefe.

      Maybe. But then, why are they trying so hard? It's interesting how some people hate anyone different to themselves. You may find him slimy and trashy, but as of yet, neither of those things is criminal.

      1. red death

        Re: Why The Fuss?

        Correct, however rape is a criminal offence...

      2. Don Jefe

        Re: Why The Fuss?

        I don't hate anyone. I do dislike people who don't mind their own business, take advantage of others (even Assanges friends have had enough of being screwed and Manning who he left hanging in the breeze) and who aren't man enough to face their accusers. He's the worst sort of coward.

    2. Local G

      Re: Why The Fuss?

      Isn't polonium tea the method of choice today?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sweden wouldn't honour its own request?

    Did the judge effectively say that if the situation was slightly different, there would be no extradition? Based on his comments, I'm wondering what would happen if he had done his alleged crime in the USA, the Swedish law would not allow him to be extradited from Sweden since there is no jail term at all for the crimes he is accused of in Sweden. What is missing here?

  20. cnapan
    Pint

    Sweden and Satan - too close for coincidence!

    Thank you to those of you drawing attention to the evil swedish regime and the desperate plight of the poor innocent Assange.

    Those Swedes, what with their rule of law, independence of their judiciary, and strict rules governing what can and cannot happen to this man... so evil!

    I can't think of a better use for the ...what is it... bolivian? embassy than to harbour fugitives from swedish and, er, english law.

    My only hope is that some other embassy will step forward to take up the proud task of confining this prisoner, I mean victim, from the evil forces of law and order.

    1. Mad Mike

      Re: Sweden and Satan - too close for coincidence!

      @cnapan.

      I don't think you should think the Swedes beyond all reproach (or UK for that matter). Most countries have skeletons in their cupboards of one sort of another within living memory. Sweden and the UK are no exception. Many people think of Sweden as a deeply liberal and accepting society, with protection for all etc., but it doesn't take much digging to find some pretty shameful examples in their recent history.

  21. Tony Green

    The whole extradition thing is just a red-herring

    Considering the one-sided extradition treaty that Blunkett sneaked in without even putting it to Parliament, he's a far easier mark for extradition to the United States of Terrorism while he's in the UK than he'd ever be in Sweden.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The whole extradition thing is just a red-herring

      That wasn't good enough for Mr Assange, you know how he likes his dramaric endings, so he made it even easier for them "Nasty American Imperialist Pigs" by fleeing to the Embassy of a country that the US will find it even easier to extradite him from. Ecuador... land of the free... defenders of freedom of speech... .lovers of political dissent... oh and handily situated on the same continent as the US of A.

  22. William Boyle
    Thumb Down

    The question is

    At this point, the question isn't what the Swedes will do when JA gets back to Sweden, but what will the Brits do when he steps outside of the embassy? They could extradite him directly to the USA, I would think.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's been about a decade the US has decided it doesn't care about it's own legal system for people it doesn't like, specially if they aren't US citizens. Anyone putting their trust in the outcome of said legal system is a fool.

  24. Local G
    Happy

    re: @JohnG "Assange skipped bail, which is an offence."

    See Alan Brown@ Thursday 4th April 2013 12:17 GMT

  25. Local G
    Facepalm

    What I learned at the Register today.

    1) There is absolutely no desire for a diplomatic solution to the Assange thingy. Sweden, England and Ecuador have absolutely no interest in solving it through a compromise. The three nations don't care if the standoff lasts 100 years. (or until opposite minded parties come into government.) And they most certainly have not held private meetings concerning a solution.

    2) According to the best and brightest commenters here, the concept of immunity from prosecution, including from extradition does not exist. A government CAN NOT grant immunity to individual persons on a ONE TIME BASIS for past or future infractions of the law, including immunity from extradition. Because the English Court allowed Assange to be extradited to Sweden, the Swedish Court is bounden to extradite Assange to any country that asks for him.

    3) <sarc>

  26. Local G

    "Nobody here but us electioneers"

    Don't you find it passing strange that a noble justice from Sweden's High Court has flown half way round the globe to deliver a speech at a university just a boomerang's throw from a district in a country where the less than noble Julian Assange is running for a seat in that country's upper chamber in six months time?

    Incroyable,

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Nobody here but us electioneers"

      Betcha Froken Julie invited him down under. Paid for his air fare and surf board rental.

      Matt'll know.

  27. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

    It's jolly interesting, all that theoretical discussion about whether or not the Swedes _could_ grant Assange a guarantee that he would not be extradited to the USA for disclosure of (US) sensitive information.

    But it's also ignoring that the Swedes could have done something less: they could have written Assange a letter saying, basically, what their Judge chap said: it is the opinion of the Swedish government that the circumstances under which Sweden would extradite him are so remote as to make it possible for them, the Swedish government, to offer to support Mr. Assange in any legal proceedings seeking extradition to the USA for any offenses related to the leak.

    In return for this courtesy, Mr. Assange agrees to waive all messing around and get his ass on the next plane to Stockholm. Ta muchly!

    To those who ask "why should they", the answer is simple: it would save time and cost less money to offer to do something which they think is unlikely to happen than it would have done to have fought Assange through the UK courts.

    1. Mad Mike

      @Malcolm Weir

      This is why I describe it as a vanity issue. The Swedes could easily do stuff to help, but choose not to. Assange could help, but chooses not to. The UK could help, but chooses not to. Everyone is too proud to come to a compromise. Everyone simply wants to stick to their guns, and this impasse will go on for years. Most judicial systems and police forces allow some degree of flexibility and it's regularly seen in this country. But, nobody is willing to flex.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @Malcolm Weir

        How far would you all like to extend the concept of nation states extending written guarantees to people wanted for allegations of criminal offences?

        Should we all be extending guarantees to wanted war criminals as well?

        You know the "if you hand yourself over to us to face due process for the allegations made against you", we promise not to let anyone else prosecute you for anything"?

        Should we restrict it to certain crimes, whereby the state only offers guarantess to alleged criminals if their crimes aren't really serious ones? (No one got physically hurt kind of thing)

        It would be easy, we could set up entire government departments dedicated to dealing with nothing but issuing such guarantess to those alleged to have committed crimes, but who are proving difficult to get before the relevant authorities. Not to mention the staff we could dedicate to drafting laws to suit specific individual alleged criminals, for when the written guarantee isn't enough. And lets be honest we all know the elected officials in government of our respective countries haven't got anything better to do with their time than debate and process specific laws to make this new wonderful system work. Think of all them administrative jobs we could create.

        And think of the clear up rate. All them alleged criminals handing themselves over to face due process one they have their own personal written guarantee that the state will 'back them' in any other different allegations made by anyone else... why I shouldn't think it'd take very long before we could start reducing the numbers of police officers we would need, because of how efficiently the new streamlined state guarantee process would work in dealing with allegations of crime.

        OR

        We could all just say "hell it's only a rape allegation, lets just let it drop" "it's really not worth creating an entire government department to deal with it, and/or to draft the 'Julian Assange amendment' to the constitution, and the "Sweden & Julian Assange legal protection pact".

        That would be even easier don't you think?

        1. Mad Mike

          Re: @Malcolm Weir

          @obnoxious Git.

          Unfortunately, there is one great example of something pretty close to this. The Good Friday agreement. Where convicted criminals had their sentences effectively cut WITHOUT the intervention of a court of law. The Good Friday agreement was effectively politicians interfering with judicial process, in that politicians decided people didn't have to serve their full sentence for a crime they had been found guilty of. This was all dangerously close to politicians controlling judges and the loss of judicial independence.

          So, politicians effectively guaranteed to release people who had sentence left to run. Not quite the same, but pretty close!!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Malcolm Weir

            @ Mad Mike

            I think you're confusing the resolution of an armed conflict in which a compromise was made towards political prisoners (yes, I know you probably don't classify them as political prisoners, just like I don't, but that was the status they claimed), with common and garden law breaking, as is the case with Mr Assange.

            What that 'compromise' has to do with the Swedish Government I don't understand, unless you believe that the Government of Sweden has to offer such compromises just because the government of a.n other country has done so in the past, even if the circumstances of the crimes in that case are/were different from the one the Swedish Government is having to deal with.

            As far as I can see what Mr Assange is accused of is common or garden rapes allegation, of the kind dealt with by many law enforecment agencies in many countries.

            No civilised nation has politicians interfering in due process of such allegations, yet so many of you all seem to think Mr Assange should be a special case, and that politicians should be interfering in the due process surrounding the allegations made against him.

            Why?

            How far are you willing to extend this ideal of allowing politicians to get involved in due process of criminal allegations?

            How about domestic cases, would you accept politicians interfering in say something like a murder enquiry? Offering guarantees to people that if they co-operate with the police the politicians will protect their arses from any legal proceedings about "those other matters"? How does that sound? Reasonable?

            And lets not bother pissing around with plea bargining comparisons made between alleged criminals and the criminal justice systems of various countries... those are deals stuck and agreed by the prosecuting authorities. Lets just stick to discussing the idea of politicians striking deals with alleged criminals offering to excuse other criminal proceedings.

            1. Mad Mike
              FAIL

              Re: @Malcolm Weir

              "I think you're confusing the resolution of an armed conflict in which a compromise was made towards political prisoners (yes, I know you probably don't classify them as political prisoners, just like I don't, but that was the status they claimed), with common and garden law breaking, as is the case with Mr Assange."

              And I think you're really clutching at straws here. All those found guilty in Northern Ireland were found guilty of civilian offences in a civilian court of law. They were never treated as soldiers (indeed, they couldn't have been prosecuted if they were in most cases), so they are no more a special case than Assange. Anyone could claim political status and Assange has quite a good case for arguing that (and he already sort of has), but that doesn't mean they should be treated as such.

              "What that 'compromise' has to do with the Swedish Government I don't understand, unless you believe that the Government of Sweden has to offer such compromises just because the government of a.n other country has done so in the past, even if the circumstances of the crimes in that case are/were different from the one the Swedish Government is having to deal with."

              Simple. People are commenting that compromise agreements either weren't done or weren't possible. I simply quoted one such agreement, but in reality, they are commonplace. Plea bargaining is effectively a compromise agreement and is a case of non-judicial people effectively overriding the judicial process. So, as in other cases, I am merely correcting other peoples factual errors. As they were saying Assange shouldn't treated specially or compromised with as nobody else was, I have shown that the precedent already exists and is actually in pretty widespread use.

              "As far as I can see what Mr Assange is accused of is common or garden rapes allegation, of the kind dealt with by many law enforecment agencies in many countries."

              Just like in Northern Ireland, they were accused of common or garden murder etc. So, no difference there then. In fact, anyone who believes Northern ireland has been a political issue for decades has never understood it. For a long time now, it has really been about criminal gangs going around protecting their 'turf' and making a huge amount of money in the process. The true 'causes' of the troubles have been lost for decades. It's about big criminal business.

              "No civilised nation has politicians interfering in due process of such allegations, yet so many of you all seem to think Mr Assange should be a special case, and that politicians should be interfering in the due process surrounding the allegations made against him."

              No,I have given cases of politicians interfering in due process on quite a large scale. I have never said that Assange should be a special case, simply that he could be and that far from setting a precedent, the precedent has been set for many years and is actually quite commonplace.

              "How far are you willing to extend this ideal of allowing politicians to get involved in due process of criminal allegations?"

              I would rather they didn't, but bearing in mind they do, why shouldn't Assange be treated as a special case like other people? After all, if murders in Northern Ireland can be treated as a special case, why shouldn't someone being pursued for a minor rape (as Sweden see's it and as they've stated themselves...not my words) also get special treatment? Is it only really heinous crimes that deserve special treatment?

              "How about domestic cases, would you accept politicians interfering in say something like a murder enquiry? Offering guarantees to people that if they co-operate with the police the politicians will protect their arses from any legal proceedings about "those other matters"? How does that sound? Reasonable?"

              I would rather it didn't happen, but it happens in this country all the time. It's called plea bargaining. If you plead guilty to one charge, others are forgotton about etc. It's even more common in the US. Getting shorter sentence for pleading guilty early (and avoiding the cost of a full trial) is another example. Admitting additional crimes voluntarily and getting a discount is another. They're all political interference in the administration of justice, normally and often for cost saving reasons!!

              "And lets not bother pissing around with plea bargining comparisons made between alleged criminals and the criminal justice systems of various countries... those are deals stuck and agreed by the prosecuting authorities. Lets just stick to discussing the idea of politicians striking deals with alleged criminals offering to excuse other criminal proceedings."

              Again, a lamentable lack of knowledge. Prosecutors in the US are often voted into position (at least the top ones) and are effectively political positions. In the UK, prosecutors are employed by the CPS, which is a department of the government and therefore is totally political. In fact, the whole department reports to the Attorney General and guess who employs and selects him.........the government and politicians!! So, all the people and groups you've mentioned are all political and therefore deals struck with them are political interference!!

              I think I've proven my point beyond question. There is established precedent for everything I've said. I've never said Assange should or should not be offered guarantees or deals or whatever, but people talking about judicial independence and compromises never occurring and guarantees never happening etc.etc. are just totally and utterly wrong. They happen all the time. So, if they're good for some, why not him? And they're not all done for lofty aspirations, such as stopping the fighting in Northern Ireland. A load of them are for simple cost cutting reasons, such as plea bargaining etc.etc.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @Malcolm Weir

                As much as I'm complimented by the name you've asigned me, I'll stick with the obnoxiousGit one... for now.

                You have indeed made 'a' case to demonstrate that where it is politically expedient to compromise and offer political assurances of legal protection, that has happened in the past.

                Those locked up in prisons for civil crimes in Northern Ireland claimed political prisoner status, and as much as you'd like to claim those convictions prove they were simple civil offences which were excused. No one party of a conflict gets to decide if that claim is valid. Otherwise their would / could be never be a political prisoner anywhere, ever.

                Mr Assange cannot claim he (allegedly) raped women as a form of protest against some form of political oppression. That's simply not the kind of crime rape is. So there is no valid 'poltical prisoner' claim that can be made against the crimes he is alleged to have committed.

                So in the case of Mr Assange that case doesn't apply. There is no precedent under which a Government should interfere in the due process of the allegations against him.

                I'll go even further and say that if the Swedish Government did offer some kind of political appeasement to sate the hoards of 'Julian groupies', they would make a mockery of their Government and Judiciary. Reducing their entire statute book to being of no more value than the price of an easy life for politicians.

                Like I said I believe you're conflating the resolution of an armed conflict, with a common or garden crime, and expecting the circumstances which can be applied to one, to be equally valid to another.

                Now if Mr Assange wants to enter into some kind of deal with the Swedish Judiciary he can talk to the prosecuting authorities to do that, but Julian isn't willing to talk to them... not unles it's to ensure he can do whatever he wants and have their laws protect him... as per WikiLeaks. When oddly enough Swedish law was good and righteous enough for Mr Assange to trust.

                1. Mad Mike

                  Re: @Malcolm Weir

                  "Those locked up in prisons for civil crimes in Northern Ireland claimed political prisoner status, and as much as you'd like to claim those convictions prove they were simple civil offences which were excused. No one party of a conflict gets to decide if that claim is valid. Otherwise their would / could be never be a political prisoner anywhere, ever."

                  So, according to the above logic, all the Muslim killers around the world who slaughter or plan to slaughter civilians are political prisoners and we should simply cut a deal and release them? Whilst I know a lot kill themselves during the act, any that survive or plan the attacks are doing so for political reasons, so they're actually an army and should be treated as prisoners of war? We should release them from prison in a deal? Why are we pursuing Abu Hamza? After all, I'm sure he would declare his 'crimes' to be political? By your logic, he should be able to cut a deal with the government if his supporters cause enough mayhem? You really are heading down a very dangerous path here.

                  "Mr Assange cannot claim he (allegedly) raped women as a form of protest against some form of political oppression. That's simply not the kind of crime rape is. So there is no valid 'poltical prisoner' claim that can be made against the crimes he is alleged to have committed."

                  Assange has stated he believes the rape claims are politically motivated to get him for releasing the information he did. The behaviour of the Swedish authorities and the women involved is certainly a little strange. However, by the logic you've stated above, where IRA terrorists are political prisoners because they say they are, he can also make that claim and you can't say otherwise. You are hung on your own petard. The difference between you and me is that I don't believe those in Northern Ireland did it for political reasons at all (they are criminal gangs protecting 'empires'), but I have an open mind with Assange as some of the actions of those making the claims are strange to say the least.

                  "So in the case of Mr Assange that case doesn't apply. There is no precedent under which a Government should interfere in the due process of the allegations against him."

                  As I've explained above, he has claimed the rape charges are politically motivated for his releasing of the information, so according to your own logic, my case does apply to him.

                  "I'll go even further and say that if the Swedish Government did offer some kind of political appeasement to sate the hoards of 'Julian groupies', they would make a mockery of their Government and Judiciary. Reducing their entire statute book to being of no more value than the price of an easy life for politicians."

                  I would not disagree and I would also say that the Good Friday agreement has done substantial damage to the UK legal system. It basically sets the precedent that if you cause enough mayhem, you can cut a deal and get let off murder and all manner of other terrible crimes. So, yes, I believe the UK justice system has been badly damaged by it. Maybe it's worth it if the killing and mayhem stops. That's a question of judgement.

                  "Like I said I believe you're conflating the resolution of an armed conflict, with a common or garden crime, and expecting the circumstances which can be applied to one, to be equally valid to another."

                  Nope. I'm comparing either two sets of criminals (either proven or alleged), or two sets of political prisoners. Either way, the comparison is absolutely valid. You claim the IRA etc. should be treated as political prisoners because they claim it, in which case, so can Assange. Maybe if supporters of Assange started bombing and killing people over a long enough period and with enough ensuing mayhem, he and the rest of them should be offered a 'Good Friday' agreement? Maybe compromise agreements are only for really, really bad people?

                  "Now if Mr Assange wants to enter into some kind of deal with the Swedish Judiciary he can talk to the prosecuting authorities to do that, but Julian isn't willing to talk to them... not unles it's to ensure he can do whatever he wants and have their laws protect him... as per WikiLeaks. When oddly enough Swedish law was good and righteous enough for Mr Assange to trust."

                  He can deal with them if he wants. No problem there. And it is each parties decision on what they want and if they can come to an agreement. Fair enough. He has as much right as anyone else to do so.

                  Us lawyers and associated people in the legal professions have known for years that regardless of what a constitution or laws say, politicans and people put in place by politicians interfere with justice all the time. The precedent is well and truly set. As I said, plea bargaining, reduced sentence for early guilty pleas, taking other crimes into account etc. are all examples of political interference. They get away with it because some other people (for instance the police) like criminals to solve a lot of crimes for them by taking responsibility for them. There have even been cases where people have taken responsibility and then it has been shown it was impossible for them to be responsible!! It's an easy quick win for police statistics!! Good for both the police and politicians.

                  So, what you need to do is look at case law and realise just how much interference there is. As I said in my previous post, even the Attorney General (in charge of the CPS, a government department!!) is a political appointment and look where that's got us in the past.....Iraq!!

                  Deals and compromises are done every day in lots of countries round the world and Assange has as much right as anyone else to cut a deal and treated 'specially'. He won't be the first by a long way and he certainly won't be the last either.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: @Malcolm Weir

                    "So, according to the above logic, all the Muslim killers around the world who slaughter or plan to slaughter civilians are political prisoners and we should simply cut a deal and release them?"

                    It's not my logic, it's the logic under which such deals as the Good Friday Agreement are reached. Yes AQ do claim they are a political organisation. Even better many governments frokm many countries have dealt with them obver many years, and treated then as a political organisation. Generally by trying to appease them.

                    "Whilst I know a lot kill themselves during the act, any that survive or plan the attacks are doing so for political reasons, so they're actually an army and should be treated as prisoners of war?"

                    What do you think Western Forces have been doing this last decade? What do you think locking up detainees in Guantanamo Bay and trying them by military tribunals has about? They're being treated as prisoners of war, only from a non national army.

                    "We should release them from prison in a deal?"

                    Who knows what the future may hold, maybe we will one day see our esteemed leaders do exactly that kind of deal.

                    "Why are we pursuing Abu Hamza? After all, I'm sure he would declare his 'crimes' to be political?"

                    He does indeed.

                    "By your logic, he should be able to cut a deal with the government if his supporters cause enough mayhem?"

                    It's still not my logic, I was all from sending the troops in without political handcuffs, and I was one of the troops.

                    "You really are heading down a very dangerous path here."

                    It's a path already trodden by our political elite, and although it might not be one I agree with, I have to recognise it, and accept their right as the elected Government to tread it.

                    "Assange has stated he believes the rape claims are politically motivated to get him for releasing the information he did."

                    Yes, I've noticed over the years, that people accused of criminal acts often try to make all sort of completely insane claims about the acts of which they're accused.

                    "The behaviour of the Swedish authorities and the women involved is certainly a little strange."

                    Lots of people behave in ways which seem odd to me, did you know there is still an Island in this world where the natives have actively rejected contact with the outside world for example, killing everyone who has ever tried to land there. I kid you not. Luckily for them behaving in ways you or I consider odd, is no more of a crime than them murdering someone who lands on the territory they hold dominion over. However unfortunate that may be for their victims.

                    "However, by the logic you've stated above, where IRA terrorists are political prisoners because they say they are,"

                    I think I see where you've got confused here now. They're not political prisoners because they say they are. They're political prisoners because they are part of an armed wing of a political organisation. They're political prisoners because in the Good Friday compromise they were recognised as political prisoners. There status as political prisoners was granted to them by all of the governments involved in the Good Friday Agreement, and so their crimes were excused as political crimes.

                    "he can also make that claim and you can't say otherwise."

                    He could if he was also a part of a political organisation, and the crime he had committed could be claimed as supporting the objectives of said political organisation. Rape doesn't fit that kind of claim though. So it's not me who says otherwise, it's the alleged crime which says otherwise.

                    "You are hung on your own petard."

                    Ummm nope, but we're still covering the same old ground about how the Swedish Government has to treat him and the allegations of the crimes he has committed as potentially being political crimes, despite all the circumstances showing beyond any doubt that the crimes he stands accused of couldn't be political crimes.

                    "The difference between you and me is that I don't believe those in Northern Ireland did it for political reasons at all (they are criminal gangs protecting 'empires'), but I have an open mind with Assange as some of the actions of those making the claims are strange to say the least."

                    There's no difference between you and me about the NI troubles, except maybe that I actually know that what was going in in NI was exactly what you say it was.

                    "As I've explained above, he has claimed the rape charges are politically motivated for his releasing of the information, so according to your own logic, my case does apply to him."

                    Claiming something isn't worth anything if the circumstances surrounding the allegations don't support the claim. Welcome to the world of Mr Assange.

                    "I would not disagree and I would also say that the Good Friday agreement has done substantial damage to the UK legal system. It basically sets the precedent that if you cause enough mayhem, you can cut a deal and get let off murder and all manner of other terrible crimes. So, yes, I believe the UK justice system has been badly damaged by it. Maybe it's worth it if the killing and mayhem stops. That's a question of judgement."

                    I agree with your assessment that the Good Friday Agreement damaged the British legal system, but it's not the time we've been done that, in the end days of the Empire we did it repeatedly.

                    The judgement was made by the great and elected good, and we have to accept it for what it is.

                    "Nope. I'm comparing either two sets of criminals (either proven or alleged), or two sets of political prisoners. Either way, the comparison is absolutely valid. You claim the IRA etc. should be treated as political prisoners because they claim it, in which case, so can Assange. Maybe if supporters of Assange started bombing and killing people over a long enough period and with enough ensuing mayhem, he and the rest of them should be offered a 'Good Friday' agreement? Maybe compromise agreements are only for really, really bad people?"

                    The comparison would be valid if the circumstances in which Mr Assange existed and committed the alleged crimes bore any resemblance to the circumstances in which political prisoners have been excused the crimes they have committed in the name of their cause. And there are many examples of such political prisoners who have been excused their crimes over many centuries. Mr Assanges circumstances do not fit and so no such claim can be valid, and so no credence should be given to it be any Government.

                    "He can deal with them if he wants. No problem there. And it is each parties decision on what they want and if they can come to an agreement. Fair enough. He has as much right as anyone else to do so."

                    That's the point, given that Mr Assanges circumstances, and the crimes he is alleged to have committed, don't fit in anyway with the circumstances of anyone who committed a crime for some political cause, it isn't upto Swedish politicians to get involved in anyway. It is entirely up to the Swedish Judiciary to deal with said allegations in whatever way they see fit. Anything else would be political interference in the judicial process.

                    "Us lawyers and associated people in the legal professions have known for years that regardless of what a constitution or laws say, politicans and people put in place by politicians interfere with justice all the time. The precedent is well and truly set. As I said, plea bargaining, reduced sentence for early guilty pleas, taking other crimes into account etc. are all examples of political interference. They get away with it because some other people (for instance the police) like criminals to solve a lot of crimes for them by taking responsibility for them. There have even been cases where people have taken responsibility and then it has been shown it was impossible for them to be responsible!! It's an easy quick win for police statistics!! Good for both the police and politicians."

                    "So, what you need to do is look at case law and realise just how much interference there is. As I said in my previous post, even the Attorney General (in charge of the CPS, a government department!!) is a political appointment and look where that's got us in the past.....Iraq!!"

                    "Deals and compromises are done every day in lots of countries round the world and Assange has as much right as anyone else to cut a deal and treated 'specially'. He won't be the first by a long way and he certainly won't be the last either."

                    It seems to me you're classifying deals done by the officers of the court as being the same as deals done by politicians with that lot. I guess maybe it looks pretty much the same if you're actually involved in it? From outside the CJS, it doesn't look the same at all. From where I sit officers of the court making deals are doing so as independent arbiters of the state. Whereas politicians can never be considered independent.

        2. Malcolm Weir Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: @Malcolm Weir

          Dear obnoxiousGit,

          Perhaps you missed the total absence of any real or implied offer of immunity in my example? Perhaps you missed the key frickin' point which is that the Swedes cannot offer the sort of promise you have fabricated? Perhaps you'd like to exert that thing between the ears before making devastating responses to things that haven't been written?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Malcolm Weir

            Dear Malcolm Weir,

            As I've been arguing that the Swedes cannot offer any sort of promises to Mr Assange, nor have any need to pretend that they can, maybe you addressed that to the wrong person?

    2. Gav
      Holmes

      Here's your "Get Out Of Jail Free" card

      "To those who ask "why should they", the answer is simple: it would save time and cost less money"

      I don't think you follow how the law works. This special shortcut, saving time and money in this case, would become a precedent that could be used to challenge all future extraditions. Pretty soon anyone charged with any crime at all in Sweden could flee to the UK, and then demand that a condition of their return is that they are not allowed to be charged for anything else that they may, or may not have, done in the past.

      No legal system is going to grant that privilege to anyone.

      1. Mad Mike

        Re: Here's your "Get Out Of Jail Free" card

        @Gav.

        "I don't think you follow how the law works. This special shortcut, saving time and money in this case, would become a precedent that could be used to challenge all future extraditions. Pretty soon anyone charged with any crime at all in Sweden could flee to the UK, and then demand that a condition of their return is that they are not allowed to be charged for anything else that they may, or may not have, done in the past."

        What's the difference between that and 'plea bargaining' for a lower sentence. What about 'taking other offences into account' that normally results in lower sentences. What about 'pleading guilty' early on to get a lower sentence. All of these reductions in sentences are effectively done to save money and are pretty commonly done in many countries, including the UK.

        What you're complaining about is already part of the judicial system in many countries, including the UK!!

      2. Malcolm Weir Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: "Get Out Of Jail Free" card (for specific combinations of "Jail", "Free" and circs)

        @Gav, au contraire, the whole POINT here is that the sort of blanket guarantee that others have been talking about is problematic, but I explicitly wrote about a letter specific to the Assange situation.

        Sure, such a letter could potentially create a precedent the next time someone who published a whole bunch of US secrets was due to be extradited to Sweden to answer questions, but we have a lot of history to know that such situations are rare.

  28. Local G
    WTF?

    @ Simon Sharwood: Is this piece out of Russia update-worthy?

    During the Q&A, when the live feed was cut (Did you know the live feed was cut?), Lindskog said that it would be possible to be extradited from Sweden to the US.

    "And during that session Justice Lindskog was asked whether, despite his assertion that Sweden does not extradite on political or military grounds, whether Julian Assange could be extradited from Sweden to the US. And he admitted that yes, it was quite possible........ that states do act extra-judicially, and Sweden in particular has acted extra-judicially. And he admitted that it was possible that Assange could be handed over to the US by Sweden."

    http://english.ruvr.ru/2013_04_10/Quite-possible-Julian-Assanage-would-be-extradited-from-Sweden-to-the-US-Kostakidis/

    Is there a more helpless feeling in life than when your live feed is cut?

    WTF = Where's the feed?

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