back to article Sit back down, Julian Assange™, you're not going anywhere just yet

Head WikiLeaker Julian Assange™'s latest bid to move off Ecuador's couch and back into normal digs has failed: a Swedish court has upheld the arrest warrant against him on allegations of sexual assault. Assange's lawyers filed a petition to withdraw the warrant on Tuesday, in hopes that the WikiLeaks founder could avoid …

  1. Aslan

    If I could cost a government $16,000 a day by sitting there, I might just do that for life just because. What about you?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sign me up

      After a few years, with that kind of money, a quick helico escape would be easy...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sign me up

        <blockquote>After a few years, with that kind of money, a quick helico escape would be easy...</blockquote>

        I suppose if traffic control got to know that the flight was to Sweden, then they'd probably A-Ok it, then half way across Europe, change flight plan to Ecuador.

        I believe if he flew unannounced, he'd get told to land or be shot down.

    2. Cliff

      Cost a government

      Except 'the government' is the people. Londoners in particular in this case. That prick has diverted £6M of front line policing away from the streets of the city where they're much needed.

      I'll bet the Ecuadorians are just posturing too - can't imagine they *really* want him... Unless he pays his bill for the central London hotel he's had...

      1. boba1l0s2k9

        Re: Cost a government

        It seems unlikely he's demanding that the police keep watch on him. So rather it's on the police for deciding this is the most productive use of their time. Apparently there is no other crime in London so camping out was as good a use of resources as any. It would be outrageous if there was crime that went unpunished, which is why that never happens. Violate terms of bail or murder 100 people. No difference. Nobody escapes the police. Ever.

        1. Psyx

          Re: Cost a government

          "It would be outrageous if there was crime that went unpunished"

          It would indeed be outrageous if someone who has wiped his arse on the legal system of the nation he was a guest in was allowed to walk straight out if it and into a press conference.

      2. DiViDeD Silver badge

        Re: Cost a government

        "That prick has diverted £6M of front line policing away from the streets of the city "

        Not quite. Assange hasn't diverted anything. The Plod, in their infinite wisdom, decided that six million to help the Swedes get anything up to five grand, should the case ever come to court and Assange be found guilty, is a bargain.

        Apparently, basic aritmetic is not a requirement for joining the Met.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Cost a government

          I wasn't aware that justice in this country was purely an accounting exercise.

          The next time you're the victim of a crime I'm sure you'll be delighted that the criminal won't be pursued because the cops can't make a profit.

          Bad luck to the victims of a sexual assault. Better hope the attacker has a Ferrari that the police can hopefully sell for a better margin.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Cost a government

        I doubt he decided to post the officers where they are, so how's he cost Londoner's 6m exactly?

        London to Ecuador surely goes via our border somewhere. Couldn't he be picked up there?

        1. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit

          Re: Cost a government

          "London to Ecuador surely goes via our border somewhere. Couldn't he be picked up there?"

          IANAL but I believe diplomatic vehicles, cars and private planes for example, have the same protections at the embassies. Therefore if your embassy has vehicular access and you can arrange to drive straight into a diplomatically badged military transport then no you don't ever cross our border.

          I'm guessing the Ecuadorian embassy doesn't have vehicular access so the plod are waiting for him to leave on foot.

          1. Julian Taylor Silver badge

            Re: Cost a government

            Very simple, Vienna Convention Article 27. The host country must permit and protect free communication between the diplomats of the mission and their home country. A diplomatic bag must never be opened even on suspicion of abuse. A diplomatic courier must never be arrested or detained.

            Make Assange a citizen of Ecuador and give him a package to deliver to Quito - he becomes untouchable.

          2. Tom 13

            Re: I'm guessing the Ecuadorian embassy doesn't have vehicular access

            You're guessing very very badly and your critical thinking is even worse. HTF do they get their people out if they don't have vehicular access?

            The truth is, Assange has nowhere to run to even if he COULD leave the compound. The only reason the Ecuadorians are allowing him to stay is some damn fool screwed up when he first entered the compound, so now if they don't keep him they lose diplomatic face.

            1. DiViDeD Silver badge

              Re: I'm guessing the Ecuadorian embassy doesn't have vehicular access

              "HTF do they get their people out if they don't have vehicular access?"

              They walk out the front door, cross the pavement ('sidewalk' to our left pond cousins) and hop into the waiting taxi/limo/No 27 bus.

              Unfortunately, that pavement is UK soil (well, concrete), and even if he's getting into a diplomatic car, he'd still have to get to it past six million quidsworth of plods.

              Although, I don't suppose anyone's considered the old 'escape via ram raid' option? just smash the car into the front door, transfer our Jools and hope the thing is still driveable?

              Would at least provide some good footage for the six o'clock bulletin.

              1. Tom 13

                Re: I'm guessing the Ecuadorian embassy doesn't have vehicular access

                Ambassadors, even from Ecuador, don't WALK anywhere for official business.

            2. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit

              Re: I'm guessing the Ecuadorian embassy doesn't have vehicular access @Tom 13

              HTF? On foot, they aren't all grand gated compounds. The embassy is on the first floor above a solicitors office. Go find it on Streetview, you can see their banner in a couple of the first floor windows. The door is the black one 2'6 wide around the side.

        2. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: Cost a government

          "I doubt he decided to post the officers where they are, so how's he cost Londoner's 6m exactly?"

          Well, he's wanted for a couple of sex offences and jumping bail. He could always hand himself in and face the consequences of his actions. It's not like he hasn't noticed the police outside his hiding place.

          He definately breached bail as a wilful act, the sex charges he may eventually be cleared of, though that now seems unlikely.

          Despite what many of you think, it's very much the job of the police to arrest sex offenders and bail jumpers. Fear that you may be extradited elsewhere does not absolve you of attending court and facing prosecution.

          Though we could always make the whole thing more efficient by sealing all but one entry/exit from the embassy and posting a single officer outside the door checking ID.

      4. Glostermeteor

        Re: Cost a government

        Simple answer, the Swedes should pay the cost.

        I don't see how this is our problem.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Cost a government

          Because he broke the law here by violating his bail conditions?

          Because he's in any embassy surrounded by UK soil.

          Because we are responsible in both senses of the word.

        2. Psyx

          Re: Cost a government

          "Simple answer, the Swedes should pay the cost.

          I don't see how this is our problem."

          You don't see how a fugitive jumping bail over a sex offence is a problem?

      5. Alister Silver badge

        Re: Cost a government

        Except 'the government' is the people. Londoners in particular in this case. That prick has diverted £6M of front line policing away from the streets of the city where they're much needed.

        On the upside, they recovered £93,000 of the £140,000 from those who posted bail for him...

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Cost a government

        Perhaps it would be cheaper to put him up in a tree-house in the embassy garden.

        At which point we could all point and use the first French expression we learned in school:

        "Assange est dans l'arbre"

    3. Mark 85 Silver badge

      I guess it depends... is the food better than jail food? And there's the..er.. ahh... companionship issue...?

    4. Psyx

      "If I could cost a government $16,000 a day by sitting there, I might just do that for life just because. What about you?"

      How about if it meant slumming on your mate's couch and refusing to leave and cost your friends a load of money? I wouldn't, because I'd be being a d!ck to my mates.

      I also wouldn't, because that money would be better used elsewhere. It's not coming straight from the pockets of the police and government, it's resulting in those police not helping the population by doing their policing elsewhere, where it's needed.

      1. boba1l0s2k9

        @Psyx

        I have no love for Mr. Assange. Regarding my commentary on the merit of spending large sums to keep watch on him my reasoning is two fold. Practically speaking I haven't been able to come up with a scenario where the current response is proportionate -- it seems wasteful. Maybe it's because of my lack of imagination, I grant you that. Second, and more on principle, Lady Justice is supposed to be blindfolded -- treating all before her equally, and merely using her scales to weigh the competing claims. This whole "pound of flesh" and "making an example" business seems much more personal, much less about specific facts and law. More like the kind of "justice" that involves pitchforks and torches and large groups of people. In other words not the kind of "justice" dispensed by Lady Justice. He should definitely have to answer for his alleged crimes, no question. Though it's not unreasonable to consider special circumstances. If he has little chance of a fair trial, or there's a real possibility of him being spirited away outside of the eyes of the law.... We shouldn't ignore this. Having said that, to each his own. I can accept that you may hold a different and equally reasonable assessment of the facts and thus reached a different conclusion. In any case I hope we can both agree he has an ego the size of a planet, is generally a disagreeable person, and we hate the waste of resources. :)

        1. Psyx

          Re: @Psyx

          "I have no love for Mr. Assange. Regarding my commentary on the merit of spending large sums to keep watch on him my reasoning is two fold. Practically speaking I haven't been able to come up with a scenario where the current response is proportionate"

          Proportionate financially?

          Surely that should have no bearing on justice? We shouldn't stop chasing someone just because it gets a bit pricey, do we? What kind of message does that send? Be a rich guy, wave your dick at the law and we'll sidle off and let you get away with it if it becomes a chore to come and get you.

          Ok, cost does have a bearing, but it *shouldn't*. And I guess that if we have such a high profile fugitive and we know exactly where he is, it would be a dereliction of police duty to let him wander off. Just how much egg on their faces would the Met have then, especially if upon escape he notched up some further legal complaints.

          "Maybe it's because of my lack of imagination, I grant you that."

          The legal and court system has to be seen to work. It has to be seen to be effective. If the Courts can be laughed at, we're in a bad place as regards law and order. If high profile figures are seen to be getting away with whatever they like, then us plebs might start thinking we can just abscond when Courts make unfavourable decisions. Granted, the courts *are* laughed at by a section of society, but the vast mass of us have a perception that it works, and it is partly that perception that makes us obey the Courts and respect them. That's why Contempt is a serious matter. The Courts cannot be seen to be letting people ignore them. Without an effective Court system we are no longer a functioning society.

          Perhaps more seriously, if being out on bail is seen as something frivolous and more people abscond, then it makes bail harder to get and more expensive for everyone else. That infringes on people's freedoms and is something that I would not want to see happening: If I am undergoing trial, I want to have the opportunity to walk free for the duration, until I am found guilty. So: People who flout bail need to pay severely for it, for all of our sakes.

          "He should definitely have to answer for his alleged crimes, no question."

          But not until after he's been punished for the crimes that he has committed: Bail jumping and contempt of court. For me, the alleged crimes in another nation which may or may not have occurred are of secondary importance, now. America's issues with him aren't even of any interest to me.

          *If he has little chance of a fair trial, or there's a real possibility of him being spirited away outside of the eyes of the law.... We shouldn't ignore this.*

          The Judge who authorised the extradition has considered it fully and its been settled in Court. More informed minds than ours have assessed the risk and decided it was negligible (and I concur: We're talking about Sweden here, not the Sudan). Asshatange fought the charges in Court, with expensive lawyers. He had a better crack at avoiding it than you or I would have had, enjoyed a comfortable bail agreement, and when decided he didn't like what our legal system decided (although he would have been the first to claim a victory for justice had it agreed with him), he bravely ran away. (And it's beside the point now, but he ran away not from jail... not even from trial... but from *questioning*).

          "In any case I hope we can both agree he has an ego the size of a planet, is generally a disagreeable person, and we hate the waste of resources."

          Certainly no disagreement from my quarters on that.

          1. boba1l0s2k9

            Re: @Psyx

            "Proportionate financially?"

            Yes. I agree it's not an ideal thing to have to consider money in the pursuit of justice. But it is a reality. Do you think that police and politicians at times set enforcement priorities or resource allocations in such a way that favors enforcement of some laws at the expense of others? Because they do, I promise. :) So in reality we're *always* balancing cost vs. benefit to society. I think what I hear you saying is that even knowing this, you feel like the cost to pursue this individual is acceptable because not doing so would in the final analysis result in more crime as Joe Average becomes a scofflaw. I disagree -- I see zero chance of the sky falling. But I could be horribly wrong and so I respect your opinion nonetheless.

            "The legal and court system has to be seen to work."

            I agree. Is the system really working if we have piles and piles of money being spent on this one jerk when there are much more serious crimes to pursue? I'm not suggesting that they give up. Register a Red Notice in Interpol. Add him to do-not-fly list. Put a bounty on his head. And then move on.

            "But not until after he's been punished for [...] Bail jumping and contempt of court."

            Agreed on enforcement priorities.

            "The Judge who authorised the extradition has considered it fully [...] More informed minds than ours have assessed the risk [...]"

            Possibly, but I sincerely doubt it. Have you ever seen a court decision that was wrong beyond imagination? Have you ever noticed how many decisions are overturned on appeal? Have you ever heard of a judge lacking the skills and knowledge necessary to properly assess the case before them? Judges are just people like you and I. I think it's far more likely the judge in question didn't seriously consider the risks.

            In any case, I think we both agree it would be nice to see Mr. Assange face proper justice. Cheers!

    5. BillG Silver badge
      Joke

      To date, blocking Assange's escape in this way has reportedly cost some £6m ($10.3m) and counting.

      But the entertainment value is priceless.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    £6m ($10.3m) and counting.

    It's almost as if there's something else going on behind the scenes.....

    1. Psyx

      Re: £6m ($10.3m) and counting.

      "It's almost as if there's something else going on behind the scenes....."

      There doesn't need to be. The guy VERY publicly insulted our nation's legal system in a way which citizens or someone with less powerful buddies could never do. When you wave your dick in a Court's face, expect the court to want to make an example and get its pound of flesh.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: £6m ($10.3m) and counting.

        @Psyx

        Yes, that all makes sense - except when you see the world from the pov of the interconnectedness of all things, at which point the way our Government and Opposition insult our Law, every day, day-after-day-after-day, and insult us, and lie to us and steal from us, and are actively trying to enslave us from within the near-future until the end of time, Assange becomes meaningless except for the hypocrisy of the wildly-disproportionate response by our police.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: £6m ($10.3m) and counting.

          Yeah but it sounds like your idea of "proportionate" is that, he ran and hid, he didn't come straight back out, we should just give up.

          That doesn't sound proportionate to me, it sounds fecking pathetic.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: £6m ($10.3m) and counting.

          Yes, that all makes sense - except when you see the world from the pov of the interconnectedness of all things, at which point the way our Government and Opposition insult our Law, every day, day-after-day-after-day, and insult us, (etc)

          .. which doesn't change the facts concerning Assange one bit. Next time you get a speeding ticket, take it to court and tell the judge how much worse it is that footballers get close to the sound barrier in their expensive cars and see how much that will help your case. Here's a hint: don't bother.

        3. Psyx

          Re: £6m ($10.3m) and counting.

          "Yes, that all makes sense - except when you see the world from the pov of the interconnectedness of all things, at which point the way our Government and Opposition insult our Law, every day, day-after-day-after-day, and insult us, and lie to us and steal from us, and are actively trying to enslave us from within the near-future until the end of time, Assange becomes meaningless except for the hypocrisy of the wildly-disproportionate response by our police."

          Do you honestly want our Courts and policing to be based around the 'interconnectedness of all things', or the premise that politicians lie so we should be able to ignore the Courts?

          Just because the professional lying classes are unpleasant, it doesn't mean that we should let guests in our nation decide what Court decisions they want to abide by.

  3. Kharkov
    Megaphone

    This Makes Me Want To Shout (In 72 Point!)

    So, the US aren't the secret powers behind the scenes?

    Well why don't the Swedes do their initial interview in London? It doesn't smell of CIA involvement, oh deary me, no.

    And Assange would get a fair trial in the US too.

    Wow, I got through all that without vomiting! Yay Me

    1. Psyx

      Re: This Makes Me Want To Shout (In 72 Point!)

      "So, the US aren't the secret powers behind the scenes?"

      Probably not at this point. Contempt of Court is pretty serious. The UK authorities probably want to bang him up for that, and that probably trumps any efforts being made by the US.

      "Well why don't the Swedes do their initial interview in London?"

      Maybe because they're fed up with Assange thumbing his nose at their legal system.

      "It doesn't smell of CIA involvement, oh deary me, no."

      At this point, no it doesn't. What pressure do you think they are bringing to bear?

    2. mmeier

      Re: This Makes Me Want To Shout (In 72 Point!)

      As has been explained to the followers of St. Assange a few hundred times:

      1) The swedish legal system demands a hearing before arresting him

      So by interviewing him in London Sweden wouldn't have changed the problem

      2) The Swedish court also wants a blood test / DNA sample

      That Assange steadfastly refused. Makes one wonder if he had some health issues

      3) Assange is a known fugitive => no longer trustworthy

      Skiping bail and leaving his "supporters" with the bill

      I still have hopes he gets the maximum possible punishment:

      NO extraction to the USA

      NO stay in Guantanamo

      Just a fair trial, possibly(1) a sentence

      Declared "Persona non grata" and deported to Australia

      (1) My guess is he had an STD while having unprotected sex. And THAT is a serious offence in many European countries. Would explain all the fuss about the blood/DNA test nicely

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This Makes Me Want To Shout (In 72 Point!)

        My guess is he had an STD while having unprotected sex. And THAT is a serious offence in many European countries. Would explain all the fuss about the blood/DNA test nicely

        It's the conclusion I have come to as well, there is really no other explanation that covers both his reluctance to provide a test for the girls as asked (through which -if clear- the Swedish thing could have been prevented from going all the way into a potential rape charge) and his BS about Sweden being a US stooge whilst not including the UK in this, which has much clearer and firmer US ties, all the way up to intelligence collaboration.

        Turn it any way you want, what I read in this is that St Jules is not so much afraid of the US as of Sweden, and an STD seems to be the only explanation that fits - it also offers a possible hint at why the girls have changed their approach and why their solicitor is not talking to the press, imagine this STD has been picked up by one or both girls and this is put in front of the court as evidence..

      2. Tom 13

        Re: Just a fair trial, possibly(1) a sentence

        I doubt he'll get one, but it will have nothing to do with the US, the CIA, or any of the other conspiracies theories posted in the past on these pages. I think the whole thing is just one rabid prog eating another one. So if I were at the CIA, even if I wanted to have a conversation with him, I think I'd steer clear of this whole media circus until well after the sex and bail jumping trials are over. Much easier to nab a guy in the middle of the night AFTER he thinks he's made a clean get away.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Er, timing?

    Surely if the US had wanted his arse they'd have asked for it long before the Swedish extradition case sprang up?

    Surely he'd be better off going to Sweden and getting that over and done with and then hope that the Crown Prosecution Service decides that there's no point doing him for breaking his bail conditions?

    If he stays where he is for, say, ten years then he'd have been better off facing the music. As it is he's been languishing at the Equadorian government's expense longer (probably) than anyone else would ever sentence him to prison, even if they'd found enough reason to convict him. He's also traded an uncertain likelihood of jail time in Sweden for definitely having committed a crime in the UK.

    1. Suricou Raven

      Re: Er, timing?

      Ten years trapped in one building with internet access is a whole lot better than prison, which has no internet access and is full of violent criminals.

      I doubt the US would extradite. Too much diplomatic awkwardness, plus it just reenforces the martyrdom issue. No, they'd just lean harder on Sweden to do whatever it takes to get a conviction and a harsh sentence. Serving time as a rapist is a good way to get a reputation tainted.

    2. Annihilator
      Facepalm

      Re: Er, timing?

      "Surely if the US had wanted his arse they'd have asked for it long before the Swedish extradition case sprang up?"

      Yup, maybe, say, when he was first arrested in the UK.

      I see he's still claiming not to be leaving the embassy even if the Swedes drop their charges as he's still scared of the US.

      Still claiming also that the US will find it easier to extradite from Sweden, even though to do so would require permission from the UK *and* Sweden. Extraditing from here would have just required the UK's permission.

      1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

        Re: Er, timing?

        "Extraditing from here would have just required the UK's permission."

        Nope. He's from the CounterWeight Continent, see, and there's this usually-convenient-but-not-in-this-case thing called "Commonwealth"; means that Australia has veto right on the extradition -from the UK. But not from Sweden, as Sweden is not bound to Commonwealth rules.

        I also find it a bit odd that extradition was granted without any charge being filed. That's highly unusual, and indeed it opens the way for the "oh, our bad, we won't charge you here in Sweden that was all a sorry mistake. But since you're here would you please board that NSA plane, pretty please with waterboarding on top?" strategy he's suspecting. I say, extradition without charges should not be granted. Then you see if the charges stick.

        1. Annihilator

          Re: Er, timing?

          "I also find it a bit odd that extradition was granted without any charge being filed"

          Failing to understand Swedish legal process I see?

          1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

            Re: Er, timing?

            "Failing to understand Swedish legal process I see?"

            The legal process in Sweden is what it is. If they want an interview with a judge before filing charges, fine. Deporting someone -especially a non-national- so that they can have it, is entirely different. It engages more than just Sweden. Even the US had to charge McKinnon to try and get him out of the UK (without presenting evidence, but that's another problem; they still charged him).

            Sweden can have the legal process they want. It doesn't mean that the other countries should go out of their way, trample international rules and possibly Human Rights to accomodate it. If the Sweden legal system insists that you must deport a foreign citizen without charges (for a possible offence that carries a max penalty _lower_ than what you'd risk if you were seriously speeding on a highway), then perhaps they need to slightly alter their legal process and allow the initial interview to be carried out abroad.

            1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: Er, timing?

              It doesn't trample any international rules. All these alignment issues between slightly differing judicial systems are thrashed out during extradition and cross border policing treaties. Just coz you and Asshat don't like them doesn't mean they aren't binding and legal up until the exact moment the ECHR rules against them - which they haven't in this case.....

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Er, timing?

          That's highly unusual, and indeed it opens the way for...

          1) It's not unusual. In Swedish law, you get charged in Sweden, not in the UK

          2) Sweden is irrelevant, he's on the run for breach of bail, he's going to a nice prison in Kent as soon as he comes out of the embassy.

          3) It's all irrelevant, because you twist your conspiracy theories to suit any contingency. Literally anything you could consider unusual or "opens the door for".

          1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

            Re: Er, timing?

            "1) It's not unusual. In Swedish law, you get charged in Sweden, not in the UK"

            He's currently not charged for anything anywhere. Extradition without charge is incredibly uncommon, actually a cursory check failed to bring up any precedent -appart of course for the infamous "extraordinary rendition" process - so it may well be a world first.

            "Sweden is irrelevant, he's on the run for breach of bail, he's going to a nice prison in Kent as soon as he comes out of the embassy"

            But did't he breach bail to avoid deportation? (I'll help you, the answer to this one is "yes". He was comfy in a mansion belonging to one of his friends, why would he leave it?). Your circular reasonning is not going to help you

            " It's all irrelevant, because you twist your conspiracy theories to suit any contingency. Literally anything you could consider unusual or "opens the door for"."

            Not twisting anything. If he is charged (in Sweden or anywhere else) he'll undergo trial there before anything else happens (extradition to the US for example). I he goes to Sweden and is not charged, he can be deported to the US right away. So making him come over to Sweden without charge litterally "opens the way" to its immediate extradition to the US. That is how it works. It does not, however, "open the door" to the end of the world, as your fiendish misquotation tries to infer I meant.

            1. Annihilator
              Facepalm

              Re: Er, timing?

              "But did't he breach bail to avoid deportation"

              Erm, yes, and his bail bond was set in order that he could appeal the extradition order. He did that, and lost, and so threw his toys out of the pram. Who's using circular reasoning?? He was bailed pending the outcome of the court hearing - that's been heard, he lost.

              "Extradition without charge is incredibly uncommon"

              In Sweden, he can't be charged without being arrested.

              " I he goes to Sweden and is not charged, he can be deported to the US right away."

              Yet again, he can be extradited from here to the US if so desired. He also can't be deported to the US "right away". For the Swedes to extradite him onwards to the US, they must first get the same permissions from the UK as if he were here, so again the question, why on earth would "they" need to do it via Sweden when all the same legal hurdles are in place plus Sweden's?

              The New Statesman sums it up rather well if you feel like reading the debunking in full:

              http://www.newstatesman.com/david-allen-green/2012/08/legal-myths-about-assange-extradition

              1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

                Re: Er, timing?

                "For the Swedes to extradite him onwards to the US, they must first get the same permissions from the UK as if he were here, so again the question, why on earth would "they" need to do it via Sweden when all the same legal hurdles are in place plus Sweden's?"

                To deport him from the UK you'd need Australia's permission. He's a Commonwealth citizen, you see.

                From Sweden you just need the UK (good lapdog) and Sweden of course (the very country that serves as a NSA foothold for EU surveillance... what are the chances of them saying no?).

                1. Annihilator

                  Re: Er, timing?

                  "From Sweden you just need the UK (good lapdog) and Sweden of course (the very country that serves as a NSA foothold for EU surveillance... what are the chances of them saying no?)."

                  From Sweden, you just need the UK plus any original conditions they would have to meet including Australia.

                  But all of this is moot, given Assange has already stated that even if Sweden drop the warrant, he wouldn't leave the embassy. So he (and the faithful followers who believe he can do no wrong and even it he did wrong shouldn't have to face it) is arguing over something that he's already said wouldn't matter.

                  1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

                    Re: Er, timing?

                    "From Sweden, you just need the UK plus any original conditions they would have to meet including Australia."

                    Sweden is not bound by Commonwealth rules, and the UK would not be the extraditing party, so no. That is not recursive. Sweden would not be asking "do you agree with extradition" but "Is there anything you want with him before we send him away", which are very different questions.

      2. Another User

        Re: Er, timing?

        An extradition from Sweden would *not* require permission from the UK at all.

        The reason is that there exists no extradition request (from the US) currently.

        The UK cannot limit the terms of the request with hypothetical cases.

        1. mmeier

          Re: Er, timing?

          The UK has "next right of trial" on St. Julian for skiping bail. So once the Swedes are done with him he goes back to the UK for that and possible some civil law trials from the persons putting up the money for the bond.

          AFTER that whoever else wants him can have the bodyparts.

          Hmmm - I have heard that "screwing the PoWs wive" still carries "hanged, drawn and quartered" in the UK. Any chance we could get Assange to do that?

          1. Psyx

            Re: Er, timing?

            "Hmmm - I have heard that "screwing the PoWs wive" still carries "hanged, drawn and quartered" in the UK. Any chance we could get Assange to do that?"

            No crime in the UK carries a death sentence. Removal of such statutes is a requirement for EU membership.

            1. mmeier

              Re: Er, timing?

              >No crime in the UK carries a death sentence. Removal of such statutes is a requirement for EU >membership.

              It may be now but it wasn't in the past. France is a founding member of the EU but only abolished the death penalty in 1981. GB became a member in 1973 but the final abolishment of the death penalty was 1998 (for cases of treason and piracy)

          2. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

            Re: Er, timing?

            >The UK has "next right of trial" on St. Julian for skiping bail. So once the Swedes are done with him he goes back to the UK for that

            Word of the street is, the US has a sealed injunction waiting that far predates the bail-jumping. If that's true, IANAL but I think it has precedence as the charges would be both pre-dating the bail-jumping AND more serious. Otherwise the bail-jump may have been a clever tactic from the white-haired one to be prosecuted for something -anything- outside of the US... but again, given the possibility of the sealed injunction, that's a pretty huge chance to take.

            > civil law trials from the persons putting up the money for the bond

            Yeah, I would not count on that. Anyway that would not prevent extradition. Chronology.

          3. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

            Re: Er, timing?

            > I have heard that "screwing the PoWs wive" still carries "hanged, drawn and quartered" in the UK. Any chance we could get Assange to do that?

            She probably wishes! But death penalty doesn't exist in the UK anymore. Civilized country, all that.

    3. mmeier

      Re: Er, timing?

      If he goes to trial he gets the worst possible punishment he can imagine:

      Fair trial

      Possibly a time in jail with no events

      Deportation to Australia

      And THAT would finally show St. Julian for what he is - a self absorbed POS

      1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

        Re: Er, timing? @ mmeier

        "Possibly a time in jail with no events"

        Nope. The offense for which he may or may not be charged in Sweden doesn't carry jail time.

        1. mmeier

          Re: Er, timing? @ mmeier

          Depends on wether there is a little extra coming in like "Having unprotected sex while carrying an STD". THAT does carry a much heavier punishment in many countries. The whole "blood/DNA sample refusal" makes ME wonder about it. Not to mention that some of his character traits and the Syph match nicely...

    4. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

      Re: Er, timing?

      ". He's also traded an uncertain likelihood of jail time in Sweden for definitely having committed a crime in the UK."

      No. The alleged offence in Sweden doesn't possibly carry jail time, only a moderate fine.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just wait 30 years

    and then go senile and they will drop the charges, like other alleged individuals.

  6. EssEll

    Going nowhere

    This scumbag individual is going nowhere. Ecuador are highly unlikely to give him up now. UK police are not going in after him. He's unlikely to leave the building because at some point he will have to touch UK soil and then plod will have him. Ecuador can't currently make him a diplomat, because he's not Ecuadoran. He can't come out in a diplomatic bag because he's not a document.

    There will have to be some fundamental change in the law, or someone will have to back down and eat some mahoosive humble pie before this toerag goes anywhere.

    (Useful, if slightly old, background here.)

    1. Psyx

      Re: Going nowhere

      "Ecuador can't currently make him a diplomat"

      More crucially and relevantly, they can't make him a diplomat because the UK is not required to accept every diplomat's credentials. Diplomats have to be accepted by a host nation. You can't just hand Mad Jack Killer of Thousands a diplomatic passport and send him off as an ambassador to a host nation who don't want him there.

    2. Tom 13

      Re: He can't come out in a diplomatic bag

      Sure he can. That's a time tested method of smuggling someone out of a country. Admittedly it's usually a box not a bag, but it's been done and it is still covered as a document.

      No, the reason the Ecuadorians haven't smuggled him out is very, very simple, and something the Assanhats can't comprehend about St. Julian: no other sane person wants this POS in their country.

      1. Psyx

        Re: He can't come out in a diplomatic bag

        "Sure he can. That's a time tested method of smuggling someone out of a country. Admittedly it's usually a box not a bag, but it's been done and it is still covered as a document."

        No it's not. It's a breach of the Vienna Convention to do so. Granted, breaking diplomatic seals on person-shaped boxes is still seen as naughty, but if the hunch was correct and the box contains a bunch of people, a pile of charlie and a box of SAMs, then it's the nation sending the bag that's disgraced.

  7. Boring Bob

    Mad

    Have I understood this correctly? The UK has spent £6 million preventing Assange from escaping because a Swedish prosecutor cannot be arsed to get onto an aeroplane to London? The English should stick their fingers up to the stuck-up Swede and give her until the end of next week to shift her arse over here and then let Assange leave. If she can't be arsed to come here then she clearly does not consider the case against Assange to be that serious.

    1. acacacac

      Re: Mad

      And why the ^%$^ should the prosecutor let the suspect dictate the conditions? That's a seriously slippery slope you're suggesting, but it seems people can't think straight when it comes to their beloved hero Assange.

      1. albaleo

        Re: Mad

        "a seriously slippery slope "

        Why? However much of an arse he is, his rights and fears shouldn't be subjugated to the comfort of the state. He has voiced a fear that he would be extradited to the US should he return to Sweden. Sweden seems to have done nothing to allay those fears. They could interview him in London, or issue an assurance that he wouldn't be extradited after being interviewed in Sweden. Surely that's not such a big deal. And then it would fall to Assange to show how much honour he has.

        1. auburnman

          Re: Mad

          "his rights and fears shouldn't be subjugated to the comfort of the state."

          Neither should they be pandered to because he has gone to extreme lengths to avoid extradition (to Sweden).

          As for the US wanting him, that's a very tired old argument considering if they wanted him they would have just asked their best bumchums in the UK government to sort it out long ago. [Speculation] In fact if the US wanted to pump him for info they'll probably just infiltrate his online circle of friends (if they haven't already).

          1. Psyx

            Re: Mad

            "his rights and fears shouldn't be subjugated to the comfort of the state."

            So if I'm afraid that people will beat me up in prison, I shouldn't have to go to prison?

            Sounds legit.

        2. Tom 38 Silver badge

          Re: Mad

          However much of an arse he is, his rights and fears shouldn't be subjugated to the comfort of the state.

          What a load of bollocks. You cannot ignore the law because of "fears". All that does is say that your personal inclination is more important than our laws.

          <p>Sweden seems to have done nothing to allay those fears. They could interview him in London, or issue an assurance that he wouldn't be extradited after being interviewed in Sweden.</p>

          He has been given those assurances, he "fears" that they are not being forthright and will extradite him anyway, despite it being against Swedish and EU law, so he is ignoring our laws.

          And you're still apologizing and justifying his behaviour and actions..

          1. albaleo

            Re: Mad

            "He has been given those assurances"

            Really. I don't recall seeing that reported in The Register where they generally like to report on his arrogant behavior.

      2. MrXavia

        @acacacac

        Well in this case, no charges have been filed, that is the problem, surely no extradition should be granted unless a charge has been filed.. and really, the actual charges are a bit odd from my perspective, but then again all I know of it is from the media..... but I can't see how he can get an impartial trial now with all this media attention most people will have a biased opinion for or against him...

        1. Psyx

          Re: @acacacac

          "Well in this case, no charges have been filed, that is the problem, surely no extradition should be granted unless a charge has been filed."

          That's not how the laws work.

          "but I can't see how he can get an impartial trial now"

          An impartial trial for what? You appear labouring under the mistaken idea that trials in most of the rest of the world involve a jury of peers (Hint: Sweden uses the Roman System) or that straight out Contempt of Court for bail jumping is likely to be judged by a jury, rather than settled by a Judge.

          No jury will be involved in either matter.

          But don't let that stop you debating points of law.

    2. Annihilator

      Re: Mad

      "The UK has spent £6 million preventing Assange from escaping"

      Actually, now it's because he skipped bail to carry on his media circus from an embassy and pretend he's more important than he is.

    3. Psyx

      Re: Mad

      "The UK has spent £6 million preventing Assange from escaping because a Swedish prosecutor cannot be arsed to get onto an aeroplane to London?"

      No, the UK has spent £6 because Assange is a fugitive bail jumper.

  8. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Stop

    Why should the Swedes come here ?

    Their legal system doesn't allow for interviews to be held outside Sweden, which is fair enough. I would wager the UK system is the same.

    Why should *Assange* get to make the rules ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why should the Swedes come here ?

      Their legal system doesn't allow for interviews to be held outside Sweden

      Yes it does.

      In a witness statement submitted in the extradition proceedings in London, dated 4 February 2011, she [Marianne Ny] admitted that it was possible for her to interview Assange in London within the framework of a system for legal co-operation called Mutual Legal Assistance. However, Ms. Ny claimed, that would not be ”an appropriate course” to take, because she considered it necessary to interrogate Assange ”in person”.

  9. StampedChipmunk

    Am I missing something here?

    The Swedes can't interview him in London because, er... he's in the Ecuadorean embassy which, to all intents and purposes, is a little chunk of Ecuador. If Assange doesn't want to speak to the Swedes (and the fact that he fled Sweden when they asked him to talk to them implies that he doesn't) then they can't force him to speak to them, at the very least the Ecuadoreans will simply deny any Swedes access to their embassy or their house guest.

    Assange won't leave the Embassy because the moment he steps outside he will be, quite rightly, arrested for breaching the UK bail conditions. I'm sure some of the Liberal numpties who put up his bail would also like to have him in civil court to attempt to get some of their money back so expect some civil supoenas to be processed immediately as well.

    British police can't go in and get him, unless they order the closing of the Ecuadorean embassy, which they're not going to do, but they also can't just let the little twat walk out of the country, so have to maintain a vigil for the moment the white-haired muppet leaves the Embassy's 'protection' while enduring the continued presence of their fugitive on Russia Today! Fancy letting someone who shows that much respect to your country's laws, reputation and society waltz off to the rainforest - Nope, neither does any home secretary.

    So it's nothing to do with lazy Swedes, or incompetent Met police, but everything to do with a self-righteous, self-important asshole who thinks that laws do not apply to him, and a country that is pissed off with the western world seeing an opportunity to willy-wave on the global stage versus the rest of the world (less the Guardian readership) saying 'No, you are NOT going to get away with this. This kind of behaviour is an attack on the very bedrock on which our societies are built'.

    I suspect this will go on for a long time, and may well require a change of government in Ecuador to resolve the matter.

    1. Tom 13

      Re: waltz off to the rainforest

      Oh, I'd be perfectly willing to do that. There would however, be some additional conditions.

      1. He will be delivered into the jungle by parachute air drop.

      2. Except for the parachute he will be naked when he jumps.

      3. He will take no additional supplies with him.

      4. He will jump when told to do so by the police escorting him to the jungle.

      The police will of course make best efforts to avoid alligator and piranha waters.

  10. Billa Bong
    Coat

    Tin foil theory - he's not there anymore and hasn't been for a long time

    He's already fled, having had visitors to perform some plastic surgery and then left under a false passport without anyone batting an eyelid. Classic misdirection. He's now sitting on his island protected by piranha and laser cannons...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tin foil theory - he's not there anymore and hasn't been for a long time

      I doubt any amount of plastic surgery would be able to reduce that massive ego.

  11. Velv Silver badge
    Headmaster

    "Although Assange maintains his innocence of the Swedish allegations – and no charges have been filed against him..."

    Yes, that is why Police have powers of arrest - so they can investigate allegations and determine if charges are appropriate. They cannot charge him until they investigate fully, that would clearly be a breach of human rights or at the very least would jeopordise any potential trial as a technical failure.

    The simple answer is that the Swedish offices come to Ecuador (UK) and interview Assange. They can then decide either to charge him, or remove the arrest warrant. That then only leaves the UK laws he's broken.

    1. mmeier

      Except that outside of Sweden the swedish court can not force a blood test / DNA sample from him. And THAT is a critical demand of them. One that St. Julian has refused before. As he did an offer to be interviewed in the Swedish embassy (That is - Swedish territory, see DNA sample)

      Makes one wonder what he has to hide...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No doubth there's more to it but

    arguing that an "arrest warrant should be thrown out because it cannot be enforced while Assange is holed up in the Ecuadoran embassy" seems a bit of of lawyer's trick ?

  13. Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face

    Bit of a rubbish siege when they're still letting food and water in. This could go on for years, someone send a few smoke bombs in and pull the fire alarm.

    1. The First Dave

      The police may not be allowed to do so, but nothing (much) to stop a member of the public from setting off the fire alarm. It will be quite a long time before I next visit London, so if someone else gets there first, it would be much appreciated by lots of people...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The police may not be allowed to do so, but nothing (much) to stop a member of the public from setting off the fire alarm.

        Let me get this straight, people are complaining about £6M spent on what law enforcement quite simply has to do, but have no problem advocating an approach that will:

        - cost a lot of money in emergency services use

        - creates risk by having said emergency vehicles speed through traffic - and not be available for other, *real* emergencies

        - create a diplomatic incident

        - possibly land them in jail?

        He really isn't worth that. Personally, I'd leave him where he is. It's very simply Ecuador's problem, and I'm pretty sure whoever allowed him in is already very, very sorry about that. If I were running this embassy I'd force that person to share Assenge's room, but that would truly be a Human Rights violation..

        1. The First Dave

          You can get an awful lot of fire engines to turn up before you have spent anything like £6m

  14. Bob Wheeler
    FAIL

    Twisted logic : Fail

    "Assange's lawyers argued that the Swedish arrest warrant should be thrown out because it cannot be enforced while Assange is holed up in the Ecuadoran embassy"

    It can't be enforced becuase the guy is on the lamb.

    How can any lawer keep a stright face when putting forward this faulty twisted logic?

    1. Tom 13

      Re: How can any lawer keep a stright face

      As long as the money keeps rolling in to pay his fees. But outside of the public eye they'll tell you "Of course the mofo is guilty as hell!"

      1. DiViDeD Silver badge

        Re: How can any lawer keep a stright face

        "Of course the mofo is guilty as hell!"

        Absolutely! He's guilty of skipping bail.

        Cannot be disputed.

        Clear as day.

        Guilty as charged, everyone, even Assange, knows that.

        And he hasn't been charged with anything else.

        1. mmeier

          Re: How can any lawer keep a stright face

          Because under swedish law the normal way is a final hearing and THEN a charge!

    2. Persiflage
      Devil

      Re: Twisted logic : Fail

      "It can't be enforced becuase the guy is on the lamb."

      He's in the Ecuadorian embassy, not New Zealand's.

  15. ForthIsNotDead Silver badge

    Simple solution

    All Mr. Assange has to do is become an MP and declare himself (privately) to have a penchant for young choir boys.

    He'll then enjoy the complete protection of the British establishment as one of their own.

  16. Shasta McNasty

    Operation Winkle

    I'm surprised some emergency hasn't happened that needed the embassy (a.k.a. flat) to be evacuated due to safety reasons, e.g fire, flood, gas leak in one of the other flats etc. Once Assange was outside and safely on the pavement he could be nicked as he'd be back on UK Territory.

    I don't think people are trying hard enough.

    1. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: Operation Winkle

      He'd not leave until the flames were tickling his arse.

      He's clearly not too bright, but even Assange isn't going to be tricked into leaving the building.

      1. Tom 13
        Trollface

        Re: but even Assange isn't going to be tricked into leaving

        So you're saying we need to actually set fire to the building? Seems a bit extreme to me, but if you say so, OK.

      2. James O'Shea Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Operation Winkle

        "He'd not leave until the flames were tickling his arse."

        And this presents a problem, why, exactly?

        My can of chlorine trifluoride is in my other coat...

        <note: please read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlorine_trifluoride and then run away very quickly>

        1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: Operation Winkle

          Just to be the devil's advocate, such comments here present are most probably more illegal in the UK than anything Assange may or may not have done in Sweden. Under current antiterror laws the very act of posting such calls to/threats of arson (on El Reg or elsewhere) carries a bigger penalty than what Assange may risk if he's charged in Sweden. So... ready to pack, chaps?

          Just to, you know, put things in perspective.

  17. auburnman
    Flame

    Also, £6M? Bollocks.

    A dozen bobbies should be more than enough for a round the clock stakeout. Round it up to 20 just because. Make the generous assumption that the poor low ranks, probationers and others who have pulled this beat get the national average salary of £25Kp/a. In fact let's call it £30K because London. That gives us 30x20= £600K/year, so it should have cost much closer to £1.2M for the two years Assange has been holed up. Even if I've massively underestimated the London salary, you could pay your bobbies £45K/annum and still come in under £1M/year.

    If the Met genuinely think they've spunked £6M on this, someone needs to go over their accounting policies asking serious questions.

    1. Psyx

      Re: Also, £6M? Bollocks.

      "If the Met genuinely think they've spunked £6M on this, someone needs to go over their accounting policies asking serious questions."

      Oh yeah, the figure is inflated as all hell. No doubt on that.

  18. JaitcH
    FAIL

    That £6,000,000 would have been better ...

    on helping the needy, or Seniors.

    The Tory government has no sense of priorities.

  19. mmeier

    The funniest element in the Martyrdom of St Julian

    is that until mere days before the swedish judical system became interested in his sexual behaviour he was trying very hard to get permanent resident status in Sweden.

    Can one of his followers explain to me WHY the wise, all-knowing St. Julian would try that in a country that is obviously evil and just waiting to deliver him to the hands of the great satan (aka USA)?

    1. Tom 13

      Re: The funniest element in the Martyrdom of St Julian

      Now, now! Don't go using logic or anything. This St. Julian we're talking about here. Last time I checked he ranked higher than Snowden among the Progressive Saints. Why he's almost up there with Alger Hiss and the Rosenbergs.

  20. 33rpm

    Lick my

    Sweden and the UK, still licking the US's boots. If this was a whistle blower under the Bush and not Obama administration he would be a hero.

    1. Psyx

      Re: Lick my

      THANKS OBAMA!

  21. Eugene Goodrich

    Couldn't the UK and Swedish police solve all this?

    Couldn't the UK and Swedish police make some sort of binding assurance to Assange that he won't be handed off to the USA? Then he can offer himself up for justice for his sex crimes (and bail jumping*) as discussed without worry of being punished by another country for the leaks.

    If Sweden still wants to prosecute him for those sex crimes, that is. Isn't it a big question whether they actually care or it's just an excuse to render him to the USA?

    (* Not sure if it will be a good bail jumping defense in the UK that if he hadn't done it, he'd get a life sentence or death in the USA.)

    1. Adam Inistrator

      Re: Couldn't the UK and Swedish police solve all this?

      "Then he can offer himself up for justice for his sex crimes"

      seems you are a uk/us gov shill since you willfully ignore the fact he has not committed any sex crimes. Ever heard of INNOCENT UNTIL PROVED GUILT you primitive?

      1. mmeier

        Re: Couldn't the UK and Swedish police solve all this?

        That rule applies to the court (maybe, not all systems use it) not to an individual!

    2. mmeier

      Re: Couldn't the UK and Swedish police solve all this?

      Why should they make a special deal with a fugitive criminal? He gets treated by the book that is ALL he can expect. NO specials!

  22. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Holmes

    I wonder how long this is going to go on.

    6 million Sterling is a pretty expensive stakeout, but I agree with previous commetards who point out that price isn't really an object, unless you want to start granting get-out-of-jail free cards to those who are wealth or diplomatically/politically connected. Assange is wanted for two counts of sexual assault, and he did skip bail to hide in the Ecuadorian embassy.

    At least out of all this we did find that the GCHQ can spoof local cellphone base stations. There was that story that they deployed a base station near the Ecuadorian embassy, but they forgot to reset the base station after it's last mission in Uganda. The next thing you know, central London was getting cellular service courtesy of Uganda Telephone, or some such name. Benefits of empire, I guess :)

    Well, I hope Assange's couch get bedbugs! I'm betting that he will still be under house arrest two years from now.

    P.S.--Also I thought it was pretty lame that the defense attorney argued that Assange cannot be physically apprehended, so the charges against him should be dropped.

    (I'm sure Sherlock would have this wrapped up in time for tea!)

  23. Raven2043

    He;s a weasle....period. If the US really wanted him as bad as he thinks,he would be in the US now...I'll put this bluntly "If the US wanted to harm him he'd be DEAD"...No matter where he chose to run and hide.

  24. Adam Inistrator

    fcuk the law

    since uk has adopted european laws we need to adopt european attitudes to the law which is fcuk it instead of respect it.

  25. opaque

    I feel sorry for the Ecudarorian Embassy staff having to put up with all this rubbish more than anyone else. I'm really surprised they've not drugged him and then dragged him onto the pavement in the night.

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