back to article Swedish prosecutors finally agree to London interview for Assange™

After deadlock for almost three years, Swedish prosecutors have finally agreed to travel to London to question WikiLeaks' co-founder Julian Assange™ on suspicion of sexual offences. In a statement Marianne Ny, the Swedish director of public prosecutions, reiterated her view “that to perform an interview with [Julian Assange] …

  1. ratfox Silver badge

    Good for him… maybe?

    If they decide they still want to him to go to trial, the situation is basically unchanged.

    If they decide they don't want him any more, the investigation will be over… And he'll only have to address the little problem of skipping bail in the UK. That might actually be a bigger problem.

    1. S4qFBxkFFg

      Re: Good for him… maybe?

      It does sound very much like Sweden is preparing the ground for a "hey guys - not our problem any more" statement. It would be extremely easy to revert to the original decision of the other prosecutor.

      What this would mean for the extradition is unclear though - if the reason for the extradition is retrospectively done away with, is the extradition itself is no longer valid (or considered never valid)?

      Probably not, but it could easily be enough for the (future Labour?) government to justify washing their hands of it all and telling him to bugger off to Ecuador.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Good for him… maybe?

        >if the reason for the extradition is retrospectively done away with, is the extradition itself is no longer valid (or considered never valid)?

        If Hollywood movies have taught me anything, it is that if you jump bail for a crime you did not commit and then succeed in proving your innocence and killing the swine who framed you, you'll be left free to go home. Also, elevators don't fail safely, and cars explode if they crash above 20 MPH.

        1. Blane Bramble

          Re: Good for him… maybe?

          ... and a one in a million chance is a certainty.

          1. Sarah Balfour

            Re: Good for him… maybe?

            RemEmberlificote, million-to-1 chances crop up 9 times out of 10

            1. Sarah Balfour

              Re: Good for him… maybe?

              Buggrit! Thought I'd deleted this! Fecking post window kept on sliding around!

              What it OUGHT to read is "Remember, million-to-one chances crop up nine times out of ten".

              FTFM

        2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

          Re: Good for him… maybe?

          Try living in the real world.

          Not being charged because statute of limitations has run out doesn't excuse the charges of jumping bail.

          So you have two issues that are on the table. And the fact that Sweden is coming to London is a bit odd.

          They want to question him but according to the extradition, they were going to charge him and that the questioning was a formality due to Swedish law.

          If they question him in London, do they then have the ability to formally charge him even though he's not in Sweden? (Jurisdictional issue), Or does it mean that he will be charged, but still not arrested. Thus he's still outside their jurisdiction but the clock on the rapes stop?

          This is where things get interesting.

          And in the end, it doesn't matter.

          Suppose Sweden does wash its hands of him. (They can always bar him entry in to their country.)

          He still will face the jumping bail charges.

          And supposed England says... out! out! damn spot. And they want him out of the country? He'll be sent packing back to Australia.

          And that's where things get interesting.

          1. swampdog

            Re: Good for him… maybe?

            "Try living in the real world.

            Not being charged because statute of limitations has run out doesn't excuse the charges of jumping bail.

            "

            Opinion or fact?

            "So you have two issues that are on the table. And the fact that Sweden is coming to London is a bit odd.

            They want to question him but according to the extradition, they were going to charge him and that the questioning was a formality due to Swedish law."

            So Swedish law has been broken in order to invoke Swedish law.

            "If they question him in London, do they then have the ability to formally charge him even though he's not in Sweden? (Jurisdictional issue), Or does it mean that he will be charged, but still not arrested. Thus he's still outside their jurisdiction but the clock on the rapes stop?"

            They might be able to use his statement/DNA to establish his innocence. Otherwise, back where we are for all parties.

            "He still will face the jumping bail charges."

            For an international arrest warrant which no longer exists?

            1. ratfox Silver badge

              Re: Good for him… maybe?

              "He still will face the jumping bail charges."

              For an international arrest warrant which no longer exists?

              Yes, very much so. The UK justice system told him to stay put and not run away. When he failed to do so, he broke the law.

              On the same line of thought, if he had stolen a car and killed three cops to escape, it would be held against him even if the original charges are dropped. It's common sense.

              No matter what Hollywood movies say about it.

          2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: IMG Re: Good for him… maybe?

            "....Suppose Sweden does wash its hands of him....." OK, just for the sake of a laugh, let's imagine what happens if Sweden drop the EAW. Suddenly, A$$nut is free! Er, no. A$$nut is still in the Ecuadorean Consulate with British coppers waiting outside to arrest him for bail jumping. The dropping of the Swedish warrant does not remove the bail jumping issue. So, A$$nut wanders out and the coppers arrest him and A$$nut goes to jail in the UK. Here's where it gets really fun - without the Swedish warrant to take precedence, any extradition request from the US would get immediate consideration, and - after A$$nut has played out a few appeals, failed at claiming assburgers, and served his UK term for bail jumping - he gets an all-expenses-paid trip to the States! It is actually worse than if the idiot had just gone back to Sweden in the first place.

            Whether the Swedes decide to charge him now is irrelevant, A$$nut will not be budging from behind Correa's skirts.

      2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Good for him… maybe?

        It doesn't matter which government wins. They can't wash their hands of it. There is no mechanism for the Home Secretary to tell the police what to do.

        Of course, in reality, this sort of affair will probably have all sorts of people consulting each other. But if the Met wanted to be bloody-minded, there's nothing that ministers can do. Dropping the skipping bail charge is down to the courts.

        The government could do some sort of backroom (nod-and-a-wink) deal, where Ecuador are allowed to slip him out the back, while we're not watching. But this would be illegal - and when he got to Ecuador and went on telly, a minister or senior Met commander (depending on who agreed what / how much came out), would probably have to be sacrificed to appease the Daily Mail. A junior one that nobody likes perhaps?

        1. swampdog

          Re: Good for him… maybe?

          "

          It doesn't matter which government wins. They can't wash their hands of it. There is no mechanism for the Home Secretary to tell the police what to do.

          "

          I understand your sentiment but do not understand. In Govt there must be a way for political back-peddling in a legal sense?

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Re: Good for him… maybe?

            I understand your sentiment but do not understand. In Govt there must be a way for political back-peddling in a legal sense?

            swampdog,

            Theoretically there should have been no political involvement at any point in this case. There is no constitutional method for this to occur. The police and courts are independent of government.

            Broadly the courts actually are. The police, in particular the Met, operate a lot more closely with the Home Office - and so high profile cases like this will obviously be discussed. But short of going through some very complicated legal gyrations, a Home Secretary can do nothing if a Chief Constable tells them to get stuffed. There is a mechanism to sack one, but it takes a long time, and a lot of political capital.

            I think it would be embarrassing if Assange were to escape. But it would be equally bad for both police and government, so it's in both their interests not to allow it to happen. Even if it costs a bobbie or two.

            But there's no deal the Foreign Office or Home Office can offer Assange, or Ecuador. The police are bound by the court-issued arrest warrant, and there's presumably one out also for contempt of court, for breach of bail conditions. Those were both issued by the courts, and can only be reversed by the courts. A Home Secretary (and why would they care?) might be able to "put the word out" to the judge about what they want. The judge is under no obligation to take any notice. The Judicial Appointments Commission is independent, and comes under the Ministry of Justice anyway. So there's not even much informal pressure that can be brought to bear, let alone the direct type.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          re Re: Good for him… maybe?

          No deal such deal as to "slip him out the back" is coming, as if it were he would not still be in the embassy.

        3. Persona non grata

          Re: Good for him… maybe?

          The police don't press charges, that's the Crown Prosecution's purview. Really if you're going to make an argument, at least make sure you understand the process you are arguing and who the actors are.

          Police do not prosecute crimes at this level of political interference.

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Re: Good for him… maybe?

            Police do not prosecute crimes at this level of political interference.

            Not sure what that's supposed to actually mean.

            As you say though, it's the CPS who decide whether a prosecution occurs. The police aren't supposed to drop an investigation without their say-so, and it's the CPS who make the call as to whether a prosecution goes to court. It has to have a realistic chance of success - and be in the public interest.

            Although is skipping bail a normal criminal offence? Or does it come under contempt of court? In which case the CPS may not even get a look-in - and any decision would come down to the original judge who set it.

      3. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

        Re: Good for him… maybe?

        The extradition is valid.

        The issue is that there's a statute of limitations on the underlying case.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good for him… maybe?

        "it could easily be enough for the (future Labour?) government to justify washing their hands of it all and telling him to bugger off to Ecuador."

        Assange is no longer important enough to spin the story politically. The public (apart from IT folks and those concerned with privacy) barely acknowledges the importance of Snowden's revelations. Assange has become largely irrelevant.

      5. AnotherBird

        Re: Good for him… maybe?

        This interview seems to be designated to help the prosecution. This has very little to do with extradition request. If the prosecution does not change their mind on the case, they will use this attempted interview to demonstrate that they have done everything in their power to move the case forward. This move will work against Assange unless he can put doubt in the prosecutions mind. That does not seem likely.

    2. PleebSmash

      Re: Good for him… maybe?

      I have a feeling that if the Swedes end their investigation, the UK will just cut a deal with Assange.

    3. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: Good for him… maybe?

      His concern is about being extradited from Sweden to the USA. Serving time in a British prison for breach of bail won't lead to him being extradited to the USA. He would be sent home to Australia on realease from prison. Whether or not that's a problem, I don't know.

  2. SolidSquid

    On the part about them dropping the case against him, I'm sure they dropped one charge but were still investigating the second accusation which is what was brought against him by Marianne Ny. Regardless, his lawyer admitted in the high court hearing to knowing before they left Sweden that Sweden was still doing investigations and intended to bring him in for further questioning

  3. e^iπ+1=0

    Interview

    Sounds almost sensible that the Swedish prosecutor should agree to interview Assange in London. Obviously they'd rather have him in their custody ...

    I'm not his greatest fan, but I do feel sorry for the poor bloke sitting cooped up inside for all this time.

    1. Suricou Raven Silver badge

      Re: Interview

      It is sensible, but this naturally raises another question: Why so long? If the Swedish prosecution wanted an interview, they could have had one a year ago. Or several. Assange made it clear from the start that he has no issue being interviewed by them - in the UK. So why was this not acceptable? 'Quality of the interview' is not an answer.

      1. Cliff

        Re: Interview

        Is it right that alleged rapists should be allowed to choose the terms of their investigation and prosecution? That seems perverse in itself.

        And feel sorry for a man who has elected through his own will to commit contempt and self-incarcerate (no doubt pissing the Ecuadorians off too, by now)? Why?

        1. swampdog

          Re: Interview

          "Is it right that alleged rapists should be allowed to choose the terms of their investigation and prosecution? That seems perverse in itself."

          No. However that same protection allows you to avail yourself of certain rights.

          "And feel sorry for a man who has elected through his own will to commit contempt and self-incarcerate (no doubt pissing the Ecuadorians off too, by now)? Why?"

          So you were in favour of Apartheid?

          1. AnotherBird

            re Re: Interview

            "No. However that same protection allows you to avail yourself of certain rights."

            Is a none issue with this case. It is akin to a person with a lawyer complaining about no being to get a lawyer.

            "So you were in favour of Apartheid?"

            Aparheid is a system that persecuted an individual when they did nothing wrong because they were part of a certain group. We and anyone else would be treated exactly the same as Assange if we were accused of the same crimes and acted in the same way. That is if we did something wrong.

          2. Cliff

            Re: Interview

            >>>.However that same protection allows you to avail yourself of certain rights.<<<

            The right to hide in foreign embassies? No problem with that. Is that what you mean by 'same protection'? That's not in question, though, is it?

            >>>.So you were in favour of Apartheid?<<<

            Say what? What possible leap of imagination equates one paranoid narcissist choosing to hide from police with an entire nation being oppressed for their skin colour? I seriously can't see the parallels here, it's a terrible line of argument. Why not just skip to the ad-homs??

        2. PleebSmash

          Re: Interview

          Is it right that alleged rapists should be allowed to choose the terms of their investigation and prosecution? That seems perverse in itself.

          It is right for authorities and citizens to negotiate and come to an agreement. Assange is not choosing the terms of his "prosecution". If they had enough evidence, they could have charged him years ago. They can still decide to charge him after the interview.

          1. acacacac

            Re: Interview

            "If they had enough evidence, they could have charged him years ago."

            You really haven't been paying attention, have you? We've been over this several times already: the justice system in Sweden can't charge him yet, this interview is a prerequisite. Stop reading the conspiracy blogs and instead go learn the facts of the case.

    2. AnotherBird

      Re: Interview

      He is a person who created his own problem. Feel sympathy for his that no one has stood up to him and provided him with real assistance.

  4. Gray
    Facepalm

    "an interview with [Julian Assange] at the Ecuadorian embassy in London would lower the quality of the interview..."

    That phrase, quality of the interview, uttered in the light of on-going NSA, CIA, and Gitmo revelations ... is more than a little chilling! But since it comes from our more gentle, civilized, restrained Swedish neighbors ... no sinister implications there?

    1. AnotherBird
      FAIL

      Yes none

      "no sinister implications there?" ... Yes none.

      If one wants to look at one example of abused of power any fallacy can be believed. It is ironic that there was no attempt to select any other police interview. It seems that most interviews do not infringe on an individuals rights.

  5. Khaptain Silver badge

    Provenance

    I wonder if the accompanying policeman will be British or #cough#CIA#cough# American ?

    Be wary if they are carrying an umbrella.. ( #cough# polonium #cough# - lots of dust in this forum #cough# )

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Provenance

      I doubt the Ecuadorians would allow a British police officer in, so presumably it'll just be Assange (tm), his lawyer, and the Swedish prosecutor, in a room, having a chat.

    2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Provenance

      cough cough... that's the FSB aka KGB with the spiked coffee or sarin tipped umbrella needle gun.

      The CIA isn't that good when it comes to wet work.

      1. Dan Paul

        Re: Provenance @IMG

        No, they aren't... I hear they outsource that kind of work to Capita

      2. Scroticus Canis
        Facepalm

        Re: Provenance - Oh get it right comentards.....

        Polonium = tea, umbrellas = ricin pellets, sarin is a bloody nerve gas. Did you lot all fail Assassination 101 at school?

    3. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Khaptain Re: Provenance

      ".....Be wary if they are carrying an umbrella...." Why on Earth would the CIA want to kill off someone doing such a fine job of destroying both his own and Dickileaks' reputations?

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        Re: Khaptain Provenance

        @Matt

        Meditate on the words "a place to hide made of cold white crystals"

  6. Chris Miller

    Even if the charges are ultimately dropped by the Swedes

    Won't the English authorities want him for skipping bail (generally considered a pretty serious offence)?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Even if the charges are ultimately dropped by the Swedes

      Between the Irish pressing the eu to investigate Britain's torture of IRA suspects and the move to have Jack Straw charged by the war crimes tribunal for assisting extra-ordinary rendition flights - I don't think HMG wants him to have a day in court explaining why he didn't feel like trusting to British justice.

    2. Suricou Raven Silver badge

      Re: Even if the charges are ultimately dropped by the Swedes

      They would, yes. And by this point, the MET have spent enough millions of pounds guarding the embassy to make sure he doesn't leave that they can't really let him go. The term for skipping bail though is likely to be a lot shorter than a term for rape*. I imagine his biggest fear about that isn't going to prison: It's that once he is enjoying a stay at her majesty's pleasure, the US will decide to up their game, charge him with something (anything will do) and try to have him extradited directly. They can't really let him go unpunished because he would serve as an inspiration to others who might wish to compromise their security and embarass the country.

      *I know it's a bit more complicated than that, but rape is accurate enough for these purposes.

      1. swampdog

        Re: Even if the charges are ultimately dropped by the Swedes

        "

        *I know it's a bit more complicated than that, but rape is accurate enough for these purposes.

        "

        You mean he missed?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Even if the charges are ultimately dropped by the Swedes

        I imagine his biggest fear about that isn't going to prison: It's that once he is enjoying a stay at her majesty's pleasure, the US will decide to up their game, charge him with something (anything will do) and try to have him extradited directly.

        Actually, I suspect his greatest fear is that they won't...

    3. PleebSmash

      Re: Even if the charges are ultimately dropped by the Swedes

      They will cut a deal. Easy to justify given that it's a diplomatic matter now.

  7. Dave 126 Silver badge

    WAR is against war?

    Did WFR not have a spokeswoman available for comment?

    For some reason, this thing has reminded me of Tom Sharpe's farcical novels.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why more DNA?

    In order to get the desired result of course.

    1. phil dude
      Coat

      Re: Why more DNA?

      They lost the previous fit-up kit...?

      P.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why more DNA?

        The US hasn't given the original back yet?

        They're still trying to grow a clone. A twist on extraordinary rendition?

        1. chivo243 Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Why more DNA?

          Most likely the victim has fallen out of favor, she's blabbed different versions - Plods now know this and need to save face before he disappears in the laundry truck.

          1. AnotherBird
            FAIL

            Re: Why more DNA?

            There is a reason for the move by the prosecution. It was included in her statement which seems to have been missed.

    2. Ilmarinen
      Devil

      Re: Why more DNA?

      So that the swab can be poisoned?

  9. Velv Silver badge
    Flame

    If the allegations are fabricated and the case is truly politically motivated (to allow extradition or rendition to Merkinland) then the best thing Assange can do is fall on his sword and become a Martyr.

    The authorities cannot win. If he is extradited, it proves the governments cannot be trusted and will cause international revolt by the people.

    Certain anti-government groups won't be served by due process being followed, a fair trial taking place and a jury decision based on fact. That wouldn't serve the cause at all.

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      "If he is extradited, it proves the governments cannot be trusted and will cause international revolt by the people."

      It will prove the govs cannot be trusted. But the revolt will be as muted as it has been for all the other 'proofs'. The govs are freely retrospectively making legal their illegal action, and even claiming that the disclosure of the illegal actions makes it legal. I see a few comments about how bad it is but dont really hear a squeak. Easier to just carry on

    2. LucreLout Silver badge

      The authorities cannot win. If he is extradited, it proves the governments cannot be trusted and will cause international revolt by the people.

      It won't though, it just won't. The people won't rise up, and whatever happens to Assange will generate less political activity than the petition to reinstate Jeremy Clarkson on TopGear.

    3. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

      @Velv

      Not at all.

      This is where Assange's paranoid delusional rants along with being the center of attention is going to get him in to trouble.

      He goes to Sweden.

      They charge him. Now had he gone and faced the music right away... he would have gotten a swift slap on the wrist. He's the bad boy he wants to be, and he goes back to the UK and on. No one would care.

      Now he's put himself in to a pickle. If he goes back to Sweden, and he's found guilty. He'll still face a stiffer sentence than if he didn't force the issue. He'll now have to come back to the UK for the jumping bail charge. In which case, he'll be in jail (No bail) until his trial on those charges. Being that he's been a prat and cost the UK government $$$, he's probably going to get some jail time and then tossed from the country. Note that the option to let him leave and go wherever, is probably gone. The Australian Govt may want to get involved since he's been a bit of a prat.

      Don't you get it? He's pissed off the governments who could have helped him.

      And the US... they can wait until he's back in Australia after all of this unwinds.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @Velv

        He's pissed off the governments who could have helped him.

        Good one!

      2. Suricou Raven Silver badge

        Re: @Velv

        But remember that he is paranoid, and arguably justifiably so. In his mind, and possibly in reality, the potential outcome of playing along would be much worse: He goes peacefully to Sweden, strings get pulled behind the scenes, and he finds himself framed for a string of sex offenses long enough to have him imprisoned for life. Or the US files an extradition request, he gets handed over, disappeared into Quantanimo Bay, faces a few weeks of torture before finally getting thrown into an 8x10 grey-painted room where the closest he'll ever come to human contact again is a glimpse of the person sliding his dinner tray through the slot in the door.

        It doesn't matter if you agree with him that this is a realistic outcome: He has reason to believe it to be realistic, and acted accordingly by fleeing the law for as long as possible and resorting to any form of desperate trickery to retain his freedom. He can't trust the British government, who are certainly close to the US and have an extradition agreement. He can't trust the Swedish government. He can't trust any government at all, but at least Equador must have seemed like the safest bet at the time.

    4. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Velv

      "......If he is extradited, it proves the governments cannot be trusted and will cause international revolt by the people....." Reality calling Planet Loon - put down that copy of V for Vendetta, it's time to take your meds!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ' but why the fresh DNA swab?'

    So they can give it to the CIA who can tailor a genetic virus to kill him with......can't use a Reaper over London.

  11. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
    FAIL

    There is only one reason for this...

    Assange has been waiting out the statute of limitations.

    But the question remains, will they then charge him on foreign soil and if they did, would he return to Sweden?

    And then there's the jumping bail.

    Either way... he's going to still end up being booted back to Australia.

    1. Cliff

      Re: There is only one reason for this...

      Bet Australia are thrilled at the prospect, too.

    2. swampdog

      Re: There is only one reason for this...

      "Assange has been waiting out the statute of limitations."

      @IAG, you're the only person who has said this in this thread. Therein lies the truth.

      a) Is Assange a rapist?

      b) Do the NSA want him?

      What transpires in the near future may well allow us to figure it out.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All equal before the law

    > In 2012, then Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, William Hague, told Parliament “there is no legal basis for the United Kingdom to meet the request of the Government of Ecuador to grant safe passage for Mr Assange out of the United Kingdom".

    Augusto Pinochet, on the other hand...

  13. Sarah Balfour

    There was summat I wanted to say…

    …but I can't decide whether it'd be considered in poor taste or not. My brain isn't wired like that.

    1. swampdog

      Re: There was summat I wanted to say…

      Was it this quick political summary..

      Ed Milliband:

      Grommit

      David Cameron:

      Gammon Faced CockWomble

      Nick Clegg:

      Say's "sorry" when he comes.

      Nigel Farage:

      I've got >800,000 JC votes.

      ..perchance?

      Or we could just go with Frankie Boyle "Welcome to Level 2"! :-)

  14. Bleu

    I am curious as to

    why the Reg. awaits contact from the embassy of Ecuador.

    I would guess that the embassy staff have cured him of his love of being smelly (which seems to have acted as a pheronome to the Swedish harridans or harridan, presuming that his later conquest was only a dupe in the whole affair).

    His lawyers must know best, but it would seem wiser to wait out the few months until the time limit on the potential charge from Sweden runs out.

    People get away with skipping bail all the time, should be that much simpler for a non-existent and fabricated 'crime'.

    He has already done a few years, a much longer time and under worse conditions than, say, serious white-collar criminals like Mr. and Mrs. Huhne enjoyed.

    1. AnotherBird

      Re: I am curious as to

      "People get away with skipping bail all the time,"

      Actually, that is false. There are two situations with bail. The first; where a person is required to return to the court to have their bail conditions adjusted so that they adhered to it. However, if the individual does not show up to court without a valid reason they will be imprisoned. The second; where a person is imprisoned for merely violating bail conditions. The latter is the case in the UK. Assange not showing up to court when requested is the reason he will be punished, not for violating his bail condition.

      1. Bleu

        Re: I am curious as to

        I am amused by the several down-votes for my comment, but know the source.

        AnotherBird, you are correct under the letter of the law, but no charge for people having skipped bail in England is not uncommon.

        In this case, where the charges did not originate in the UK at all, would not have been tenable under English and Welsh law, were trumped-up theatre all along, and where Mr. Assange has clearly done time, it should not be too hard to lay off.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm suprised

    I would have expected a "fire" or a "terror" alert at the embassy by now. Evacuate! evacuate, please proceed to the assembly/arrest area.

    1. Suricou Raven Silver badge

      Re: I'm suprised

      The political consequences would have been unacceptable - if a country doesn't respect the agreements regarding one embassy, then other countries may become reluctant to operate their own. Embassies are very useful things to have.

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