back to article Official UN panel findings on embassy-squatter released. Assange: I'm 'vindicated'

A UN panel has found that Julian Assange's occupancy of the Ecuadorian embassy in London amounts to an "arbitrary detention" on the parts of the UK and Sweden, and called for his immediate release, with "compensation". The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) today announced that it had found in favour (PDF) of …

  1. Alister Silver badge

    So, the UN WGAD thinks that the UK should pay a criminal compensation because he's hiding from the law?

    I can see that going well.

    1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
      Trollface

      :O maybe we should charge the UN for perverting the course of justice (Notice the TROLL icon!)

    2. David Webb

      Why the UK? The dude is being held by the Ecuadorian in their embassy, I think this UN (non-binding) ruling should allow us to storm the place with SAS troops to rescue the poor dude who is being held hostage by them!

    3. d3vy Silver badge

      "So, the UN WGAD thinks that the UK should pay a criminal compensation because he's hiding from the law?"

      * Alleged criminal.

      1. DavCrav Silver badge

        "* Alleged criminal."

        Sure, but in name only. He's definitely guilty of skipping bail, so even slightly more likely to be a criminal than the general population of Belmarsh.

      2. Alister Silver badge

        * Alleged criminal.

        Not at all. For skipping bail there is no presumption of innocence, he most definitely did it.

      3. Scorchio!!

        "Alleged criminal."

        Convicted criminal. On 25 counts as I re-read the other day, so I was wrong to say 17. Assange has a profile, sexual and IT.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Arbitrary?

    It'd be exactly the same for anyone else who holed up in a foreign embassy and refused to come out.

    That's not arbitrary - that's equality under the law.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Arbitrary?

      It is arbitrarily self-imposed by himself onto himself as the means of not going to chokey for skipping bail.

      I would not be surprised if some of the people who donated for his bail fund sue him if he shows he nose outside the door too.

      1. Simon Harris Silver badge

        Re: Arbitrary?

        Will Ronnie Biggs's family be claiming compensation for 30 years of 'arbitrary detention' in Brazil?

      2. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: Arbitrary?

        I would not be surprised if some of the people who donated for his bail fund sue him if he shows he nose outside the door too.

        Well given some of the people who misguidedly funded his bail have the money to waste (Jemima I am looking at you), but others probably do not, I suspect the dark alley and a blunt instrument, accompanied by you f****ker might be more of a worry for him....

        1. Scorchio!!
          Trollface

          Re: Arbitrary?

          "I suspect the dark alley and a blunt instrument, accompanied by you f****ker might be more of a worry for him...."

          Here lies Julie Assange, bludgeoned to death by a blunt penis sharp vagina.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Arbitrary?

        > It is arbitrarily self-imposed by himself onto himself

        ...and the police outside of the embassy waiting to arrest him.

        1. DavCrav Silver badge

          Re: Arbitrary?

          "...and the police outside of the embassy waiting to arrest him."

          How damned indecent of them, trying to arrest a man just for breaking the law.

          1. apinochet

            Re: Arbitrary?

            The British and Swedish state prosecutors have nothing in mind in this case except to once again verify the maxim of Jonathan Swift that laws are like cobwebs which may catch small flies, but let wasps and hornets break through.

        2. macjules Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Arbitrary?

          Except that there are no police waiting outside the embassy now. They were withdrawn since it was costing us too much to have a police presence for each time El Ego Extraordinaire Assange emerged onto his balcony to survey the media minions below him and dictate to all and sundry how oppressed he is by those who put up bail money for him .. err .. 'the evil Uncle Sam'.

          When he does eventually leave the embassy (after 2020, I presume) I daresay that Chelsea (its a place, not a transgender US military secrets leaker) police station will send someone round on a bicycle to wave him goodbye.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pirates have hijacked this 'ere ruckus!

    Honestly I don't see how the UN got into this circus....

    The last time the WGAD got involved was when a Saudi national got arrested in a US raid in pakistan in 2003 and was kept in guantanamo bay in Cuba and wasn't even assigned a lawyer in 2008. That's a prime example of unlawful detention - he couldn't leave, and he couldn't even face trial ( and wasn't even charged with anything to begin with)

    Reference here:

    http://www.icj.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/WGAD-al-hawsawi-Op2014-50.pd

    I hardly think that can be compared to a guy who has an arrest warrant, knows exactly why they were looking for him, and decided of his own free will to place himself in a situation of diplomatic asylum to avoid the trial...

    .. then asking the UK to compensate him is just... wow.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pirates have hijacked this 'ere ruckus!

      .. then asking the UK to compensate him is just... wow.

      I agree. I would have raided that building with a drugs squad, because they're obviously smoking something seriously strong.

      1. Turtle

        Kids, Take Heed Of This Sad Case: Re: Pirates have hijacked this 'ere ruckus!

        "I would have raided that building with a drugs squad, because they're obviously smoking something seriously strong."

        Yes. In fact that was exactly what was stated in the article, by Assange himself: "Today that detention has been found by the highest organisation in the UN that has the jurisdiction for considering the rights of detained person, as unlawful,"

        Kids, don't be like the WGAD: get high on life, not drugs.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pirates have hijacked this 'ere ruckus!

      Honestly I don't see how the UN got into this circus....

      Presumably because they're a bunch of clowns.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pirates have hijacked this 'ere ruckus!

      “The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) is a body within the U.N. Human Rights Council that receives communications and issues opinions regarding the detention of individuals throughout the world. The WGAD’s methods are quasi-judicial, its opinions are non-binding, and it has no direct enforcement power of its own. Yet these and other flexible features of the WGAD are critical to its effectiveness, allowing it to provide a politically viable alternative to treaty-based human rights enforcement mechanisms.”

      Note the "non-binding" part... it's not a court nor a legal entity.. it's only an opinion... that's it..... sweet lord how did it even get this far......

    4. 2460 Something

      Re: Pirates have hijacked this 'ere ruckus!

      This whole thing is just another, in a long line of, farcical PR stunts.

      Why he thinks that the opinion of a UN working group, one that has no legal input, can make an arbitrary decision that affects the laws of a sovereign nation is beyond me. More likely he just wants to be back in the papers as everyone forgot about him.

      It will all go quiet for another 3 years because he knows that if he does step outside he will be arrested for violating the terms of this bail agreement.

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: Pirates have hijacked this 'ere ruckus!

        A member of the 'working group' was claiming it was binding - Prof of Law at some US Uni (Florida I think) this afternoon on R4. He had problems explaining why it was, although to be fair, the R4 interrogator did not give him a hard enough time. Where is Marcel Berlins when you need him?

      2. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: Pirates have hijacked this 'ere ruckus!

        It will all go quiet for another 3 years because he knows that if he does step outside he will be arrested for violating the terms of this bail agreement.

        I'll bet whoever it was in the embassy thought this would be a jolly wheeze is wondering about his or her career futures at the moment.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Won't make a bit of difference.

    If he comes out he will be arrested by the Plod.

    What happens then is way beyond our security clearance but I'd be on the lookout for the off Lear Jet with an american Registration landing at any out of the way airports.

    1. JimmyPage Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Won't make a bit of difference.

      Will all the USA snatch squad subscribers please fuck off back to Facebook ?

      1. Gene Cash Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Won't make a bit of difference.

        You can subscribe to the snatch squad? I always have to go down to the street corner myself and offer 'em money...

        1. Bloakey1

          Re: Won't make a bit of difference.

          "You can subscribe to the snatch squad? I always have to go down to the street corner myself and offer 'em money."

          I say old chap that is frightfully common. I have a subscription and get a fresh one delivered to my door thrice weekly from 'The Agency' no less.

    2. macjules Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Won't make a bit of difference.

      Would not happen. The best the snatchsquad hopefuls can expect would be a tearful Assange being handed over to a pair of bemused Swedish cops, all the while screaming that they are not Swedes but NSA Extraordinary Renditionistas masquerading as Swedish police.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Happy

        Re: Won't make a bit of difference.

        What happens if he's arrested by the Swedish Chef from the Muppets?

        Preferably to the tune of Yakety Sax...

        God, that's a mental image I'm struggling to get out of my head now. Sorry.

        1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

          Re: Won't make a bit of difference.

          "What happens if he's arrested by the Swedish Chef from the Muppets?"

          It would still be a lesser display of muppetry than the one we've seen from the UN

          1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
            Facepalm

            @Hans Re: Won't make a bit of difference.

            Didn't you hear? The Swedish Chef died from a heart attack.

            Too much cholesterol in his blood due to his cooking.

            1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
              Childcatcher

              Re: @Hans Won't make a bit of difference.

              It would seem that the SC has a different opinion: "Zee repurt ooff my deet ves un ixeggereshun. Bork Bork Bork!"

            2. Scorchio!!
              Angel

              Re: @Hans Won't make a bit of difference.

              "Didn't you hear? The Swedish Chef died from a heart attack.

              Too much cholesterol in his blood due to his cooking."

              No, you have it all wrong my friend! He was poisoned by the NSA. ;-)

          2. Chris King Silver badge
    3. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Boffin

      @AC Re: Won't make a bit of difference.

      Look, you had it right in your first sentence. He gets arrested by the 'Plod'.

      What happens next. He's tossed in the clink until they have a flight booked for him and his escort back to Sweden.

      He sits down with his new Swedish lawyer, and is interviewed and then formally charged with the sole count of rape remaining. They go to trial. Whatever happens, if he faces jail time, after all of that... he goes back to the UK to face the jumping bail charge. He will do time. (Why? Because he's a prat and cost the UK taxpayers $$$$$)

      After all of that... the UK plod, escort him to the airport, and put him on a plane back to Australia. He may even be escorted back to Aussie land because he's been such a prat there and an international embarrassment.

      After that. Who knows.

      ABC once reported that the then Aussie government was thinking about taking away his passport.

      Its then... if the US wants him, they would make a move.

      Why? Because he's got a record. He's a convicted felon for hacking the US government's servers while a teen. It would make any extradition that much easier.

      The only problem is that the US hasn't raised any issue or hint that they want him for anything.

      Post Wikileaks, Snowden had done far more damage to the US and Western world. And Wikileaks has some legal protection due to a '71 SCOTUS decision.

      Of course I will wager someone at the US State Department would say 'Boo!' just to toss Assange in to a tizzy and watch him leave for Ecuador never to be heard from again. ;-)

      1. KH99

        Re: @AC Won't make a bit of difference.

        Of course, the plane could go to the Australia via the US - and the him - the shear embarrassment of being ignored - or perhaps if asked a "spokesman" could basically say "Who - .... oh so what"

    4. Scorchio!!
      FAIL

      Re: Won't make a bit of difference.

      "What happens then is way beyond our security clearance but I'd be on the lookout for the off Lear Jet with an american Registration landing at any out of the way airports."

      Mischievous and false; under the terms of the EAW Assange must go to Sweden. End of story.

  5. alain williams Silver badge

    The USA has won ...

    They have succeeded in making Assange the story and not what he revealed through Wikileaks.

    We seem to have forgotten that this was started when evidence of USA government wrongdoings was published; so standard procedure was activated: discredit the messenger, something that they have done many times before - Bradley Manning for one.

    1. Dan Wilkie

      Re: The USA has won ...

      That's the issue for me. Bradley Manning had a legitimate reason (self inflicted or no) to fear for the consequences of his actions, bought something of arguable value to Wikileaks at considerable personal cost, and then was pretty much hung out to dry.

      Assange founded a website that publishes things governments don't want published, then KNOWING he'd be under the spotlight allegedly put his willy where it wasn't wanted, fled the country to another country, screwed over a bunch of his mates for bail money that he knew he was going to jump, and then hid out in an embassy for years crooning over how hard things are.

      I've got no sympathy.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
          Megaphone

          Re: The USA has won ...

          No one has ever accused him of "putting his willy where it wasn't wanted"

          That is the very definition of rape. Your hero Assange is accused of rape. Get this into your thick fucking skulls! No more of this shit!

          Sure, he may well be innocent. Though I'm struggling to maintain my normally strong belief of innocent until proven guilty after 5 years of this fucking circus. But the accusations are simple. They are clear. And for all Assange's lies, and his attempts to smear his accusers, the accusation is still rape.

          Deal with it!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            FAIL

            Re: The USA has won ...

            That is the very definition of rape.

            1) Not so. Write out 100 times "one != the"

            Your hero Assange is accused of rape.

            2) Where did you get hero from?

            3) See 1)

            Get this into your thick fucking skulls! No more of this shit!

            4) What's wrong with you?

            The daily fail is strong in this one. :(

            1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

              Re: The USA has won ...

              4) What's wrong with you?

              I'm pissed off with liars. And a continual polluting of public discussions with bollocks. And people who refuse to learn, when this is pointed out to them.

              Assange was accused of rape. That's what the Swedish EAW says. This was covered in Assange's appeal. It's also rape under UK law. All the crap about "sex by surprise" or "Sweden's system is different and just looking at a woman funny over there counts as rape" gets repeated on every single discussion of this. It's bollocks. He's accused of rape. Plain and simple. Look up the judgement of the Court of Appeal if you don't believe me.

              He's accused of attempting to use physical force to have sex, after being refused sex without putting on a condom. He then allegedly relented, put on his condom and carried on. But then had sex again after she'd fallen asleep without condom. Both of those are sex without consent, or "putting his willy where it wasn't wanted" - and both count as rape under UK law and Swedish law.

              Assange and his legal and PR teams have been caught lying about this repeatedly. And so his supporters do too. Then refuse to be educated. Hence my little rant.

              1. Dan Wilkie

                Re: The USA has won ...

                But that's what we're all saying...

                Non-consensual sex is rape, pure and simple. If you are not in a position to give informed consent. Whether you call it surprise sex, putting your willy where it isn't wanted, tactical cuddles, or whatever - it's all the same thing.

                I don't understand why you're trying to take such a militant view that what we're all saying is what you're saying. This is the Reg, not the Guardian. You're in a safe place, we (nearly) all hate him.

              2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

                @Sparty ... Re: The USA has won ...

                Lets correct a few things...

                1) Assange appealed the EAW three times, which is the maximum allowed under the law.

                2) Under the EAW, there are 32 areas of law where there is no need to show duopoly. That is, you don't have to show that his actions broke the laws in both countries. Rape is one of those 32 laws. So while the appeals judges didn't have to consider the question of duopoly, they did. Even then they agreed that what he is accused of would be considered rape in the UK.

                I agree that the Assange supporters continue to argue the issue and ignore the law.

                In addition to the issue of the EAW, they also forget that Assange wasn't allowed to leave the country.

                He was supposed to come in for questioning where he would have been charged, but his lawyer helped him escape. His lawyer admitted to his actions during the first EAW appeal in the UK.

                Then they talk about Manning and Assange blowing the whistle on illegal US activities.

                Yet nothing released was shown to be illegal.

                You can point these verifiable details out to everyone, yet that won't change their minds. People will believe what they want to believe.

              3. This post has been deleted by a moderator

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: The USA has won ...

                  I would also like you to show the same courtesy to the arsehole holed up in the embassy.

                  His behaviour and bullshit make that very, very hard. Besides, by breaking bail we are already justified in calling him a fugitive criminal, and I would drop the suspected rapist bit if he actually allowed the investigation to take place like it would have done with anyone else. I don't know about you, but for me, people running away and telling wild stories don't score high on credibility.

          2. Dan Wilkie

            Re: The USA has won ...

            But... I don't...

            You've just made the EXACT point I was trying to make. I despise the buffoon and want him gone from our shores as quickly as the Learjet can carry him, I don't care where. I think he's EVERYTHING that's wrong with WikiLeaks, and constantly undermines its purpose for it's own ends. He's Egotistical and self obsessed.

            You've laid into me for seemingly the express purpose of restating everything I said, and it's left me scared and confused. I need a hug :(

          3. Bloakey1

            Re: The USA has won ...

            "That is the very definition of rape. Your hero Assange is accused of rape. Get this into your thick fucking skulls! No more of this shit!"

            <snip>

            Hmmmm, he is accused and as far as I am concerned he is innocent until convicted by a jury of his peers.

            Now as for our / my perspective I would put the following quote to you from the BBC "Both women reportedly say that what started as consensual sex became non-consensual. " .

            What did or did not happen is now becoming irrelevant until the courts decide what was what. I have three daughters and feel the same as most men about rape, I also despise that creep but lets not let a few facts get cast aside in your mad rush to call him a rapist.

            He isn't at least not yet let, the courts decide and not some illiterate foul mouthed gobshite such as yourself.

            "Your" indeed as if we were all the same, patronising git.

            1. JimC Silver badge

              Re: mad rush to call him a rapist.

              He is a bail jumper.

              He may or may not be a rapist: I wasn't there and don't know.

              The innocent until proven thing, is just a legal assumption/contrivance which is intended to reduce the risk of injustice, it has no real bearing on the truth.

              I become a criminal when I commit a crime, and I remain a criminal for ever. I may not be caught, I may be found wrongly innocent, I may evade trial, I may convince myself that what I did wasn't really wrong, but I'll still be a criminal.

    2. Vinyl-Junkie

      Re: The USA has won ...

      The USA had won long before this decision; they have made it eminently clear that whistle-blowers in the US government structure will be hounded by US intelligence agencies in defiance of international law, with the connivance of governments friendly to Uncle Sam.

      Anyone tempted to blow the whistle on nefarious activities by the USA knows that, at best, they will be hounded into exile in a country with no extradition treaty, or end up holed up in a foreign embassy with no hope of leaving.

      The chances of anyone exposing the USA for spying on its allies' citizens, or any other massively illegal activity, knowing that is the future they will face is pretty low.

    3. Mage Silver badge

      Re: The USA has won ...

      This is all about Assange's Ego, not the USA.

    4. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: The USA has won ...

      standard procedure was activated: discredit the messenger, something that they have done many times before - Bradley Manning for one.

      Hang on a second, you've overshot reality by a few miles.

      Chelsea Manning is either a hero or a traitor depending upon what side of the fence you sit, but she is certainly guilty as charged. To demand otherwise is to undermine her sacrifice, if you're on the hero side of the debate, and you've no right to do that.

      She knew the law and she knew she was breaking it. Having the moral courage to do so knowing the likely consequences is the hallmark of a remarkable individual, whether or not you agree with the premise of their actions.

      1. Uffish

        Re: discredit ...

        @ LucreLout

        I regard Chelsea Manning's actions as honourable - she will get a dishonourable discharge from the army. You can wiggle around in all the pseudo logic you want but America has not treated her as well as she deserves.

        1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
          Mushroom

          @Uffish Re: discredit ...

          Manning violated his oath and broke the law.

          The only good thing to come of this is that Manning got the US to pay for his sex change.

          Manning was the epitome of a 'Sad Sack' who should never have been in the military in the first place.

          His actions are no where near honorable.

          Manning got what he/she deserves.

        2. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: discredit ...

          @uffish

          You can wiggle around in all the pseudo logic you want but America has not treated her as well as she deserves.

          I can see what you're trying to say, but what you've actually said is "I, Uffish, am a hard of thinking pseudo-intellectual, who isn't half as smart as I'd like people to believe".

          Attempting to counter an argument you have no counterpoint too by mislabeling it "pseudo logic" just gives away the game that you have no argument, no reasoning, just an emotive position you'd like the rest of us to adopt.

          Manning was treated exactly how she was always going to be treated because she knows she's guilty. The balls to then press on and go for it are admirable, and your detracting from that because you want her to be innocent is disrespectful, and you should be ashamed.

          I'm not sure why you're struggling with the concept that what is legally permissible and what is morally allowable are two separate things.

          1. x 7

            Re: discredit ...

            "The balls to then press on and go for it are admirable"

            I thought he'd had them cut off?

      2. apinochet

        Re: The USA has won ...

        Chelsea Manning. Guilty as charged, by a Kangaroo military tribunal.... for exposing, rather than aiding and abetting US and UK state crimes.

        Nuremberg Principle IV states:

        "The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him."

        http://deoxy.org/wc/wc-nurem.htm

    5. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Boffin

      @Alain Re: The USA has won ...

      Look, I don't know what you call 'wrong doing'.

      Manning was not a whistle blower by any definition. He was duped in to his actions by his infatuation with Assange. Every time this comes up, some maroon tries to claim Manning blew the whistle on some illegal activity. Only there isn't any illegal activity uncovered.

      The only upside for Manning is that he got the government to pay for his sex change.

      Assange?

      Publishing the pilfered data? He's got some legal protection. That's now why he's afraid of the US. However, until the US acts, he's on his own, assuming that the US would act.

      Sorry but the US hasn't won anything.

      The only losers here are the girls in Sweden and the UK taxpayers caught up in Assange's delusions.

    6. Bloakey1

      Re: The USA has won ...

      Won? Won what?

      Korea, Vietnam, Haiti, Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan ...

      Nope, no wins there. They might take the piss out of the French but by God they seem to like repeating their mistakes.

  6. SolidSquid

    It's worth pointing out that the UN decision is not a "judgement", but rather an opinion, and doesn't have any legal standing (whether it might lend moral weight is more of a grey area). It's also not a unanimous decision, the representative of Ukraine wrote his dissenting opinion and pointed out it was pretty ludicrous to categorise jumping bail and evading arrest as "arbitrary detainment"

    1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      It's also not a unanimous decision, the representative of Ukraine wrote his dissenting opinion and pointed out it was pretty ludicrous to categorise jumping bail and evading arrest as "arbitrary detainment"

      But jumping bail to avoid potential illegal rendition is what it's really about. I would probably jump bail and run to the nearest embassy which would have me if I thought I was going to end up in Guantanamo or a SuperMax because I'd pissed America off and they wanted their revenge. I imagine most people would.

      And let's not forget Ukraine are amongst America's bestest pals at the moment.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Illegal rendition to Sweden? Whatever floats your longboat, matey.

        1. ObSolutions, Inc

          Quite legal to Sweden.

          Illegal because the Swedes have shown many times in recent years that they are quite happy to hand over anyone that the US asks for - including their own citizens.

          The whole thing would have been over a long time ago, if the Swedes had guaranteed that Assange will not be handed over to the US. That they haven't done so tells Assange all he needs to know.

          1. TRT Silver badge

            that he'll face equality under Swedish law with no special conditions? He's caracas.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Don't hold Sweden up as a paragon of virtue, check out their dark past on forced sterilisation.

              Besides, the US may have had a quiet word in the Sweden's ear such as Volvo trucks, Ikea stores, NATO support and defence contracts.

              Assange may or may not be guilty but we have seen Sweden already kiss American ass over the Piratebay and Pirate party.

              If I recall wasn't one of the judges in The Pirate Bay trials linked to copyright ?

              http://www.wired.com/2009/04/pirateconflict/

              1. TRT Silver badge

                I never did hold Sweden up as a paragon of virtue. All legal systems and governments leave a lot to be desired, some more than others.

                The appropriate theatre (and I use the word theatre deliberately) for his appeal is in the court in Sweden or the court in the US *if* he's transported there. If he ends up there, then he can appeal to the UN or the ECHR.

                There are enough media outlets and conspiracy theorists watching his every move nowadays to ensure that he won't be harmed or disappear into the ether or suffer an "accident".

                He's basically locked himself up in an embassy whilst shouting "look at me" like some kind of narcissist. He may have a fear of arrest and rendition, but he's not addressing it in the proper way at all.

                What he did with wikileaks is great stuff. The world does need a way for people to speak up against wrongdoing without fear of reprisal. There are other ways of going about that than he has. He's got the world's attention, the time's gone past where he could have used that to make his point, now he's left it so long that he looks like he's barking mad. That's an own goal in my book.

                1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
                  Pint

                  @TRT: I agree on all points.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  >I never did hold Sweden up as a paragon of virtue[snip]

                  Manning was arrested by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division on May 27, 2010

                  On 20 August 2010, two women, a 26-year-old living in Enköping and a 31-year-old living in Stockholm, went together to the Swedish police.

                  We'll what do you know aren't those dates close, 3 months.

                  It's just all a bit too serendipitous to be mere coincidence.

                3. apinochet

                  "I never did hold Sweden up as a paragon of virtue. If he ends up there, then he can appeal to the UN or the ECHR."

                  I say, how did that appeal to the UN or ECHR work out for the victims of Swedish participation in illegal CIA rendition and torture programmes?

                  https://www.hrw.org/news/2006/11/09/sweden-violated-torture-ban-cia-rendition

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Don't hold Sweden up as a paragon of virtue, check out their dark past on forced sterilisation.

                And the UK has colonies they didn't treat all too well, to the point that some heated arguments over tea appear to have founded the USA. It. Does. Not. Change. Anything, and is entirely irrelevant to the discussion.

                Let's wind back the clock a little, just because actual facts are really annoying to conspiracy theorists.

                It was Assange who chose Sweden as his next base on the basis of its lovely laws and liberal stance. Also note that at that time there was no proclaimed fear of extradition to the US - Assange went there voluntary and partied the night away.

                The wild stories started when he did something to two girls, after which he ran and came up with the US extradition story. Remember, there is NOBODY ELSE who has validated that claim, but there is plenty validation on the fact that he is investigated for rape, an investigation he has been absolutely desperate to avoid to the point of jumping bail. To me, THAT is the area of interest. If Assange had used his pecker in ways agreed with the recipients nothing would have happened and he would now be annoying us from Sweden.

                All the rest is fluff, but something happened there that made Assange absolutely terrified of Swedish law enforcement. If you scrape all the bullshit off what Assange has been doing and saying, it's not the US Assange is afraid of, but Sweden. That must have a reason that is not very positive for Assange.

                1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                  Go

                  RE: AC

                  ".....but something happened there that made Assange absolutely terrified of Swedish law enforcement....." Not necessarily Swedish law enforcement. IIRC, the main reason for A$$nut's jaunt to Sweden was to pose as a columnist for a Lefty rag called Aftonbladet, the idea being that would give him the legal cover of being a "journalist" and protect him in some European states from prosecution for the WikiLeaks mess. All A$$nut had to do in Sweden was keep his nose (and dick) clean and he would have been laughing. But his ego got in the way. Originally, both the Lefty groupies involved only wanted him to undergo an STD examination, but A$$nut refused, and the rest is well-documented historical fact - A$$nut ran from the law in Sweden, said he would abide by English law and then ran from that when it didn't go his way. This has become such an ego-driven obsession for A$$nut that he has dug a bigger and bigger legal hole, and now he really cannot see beyond his own ego. Having to return to Sweden to be treated as a common sexual criminal, having his journalistic credentials rejected, and having to face his accusers, all that is far too much for A$$nut's narcissism. He already has a criminal history from Australia that he has tried to hide, he really doesn't like it when people expose his feet of clay. Hence his increasingly desperate attempts to evade proper questioning and the inevitable charges in Sweden.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: RE: AC

                    Well, after stripping the invectives off, you did bring new information - I was aware of the fact that Assange considered himself a journalist for whatever warped reason, but not that someone had actually offered him a job and a possible press card in that context. It's probably a good thing it went wrong before it ever got so far - it is evident that we're dealing with someone who is quite comfortable with abusing laws originally meant to protect the vulnerable.

                    Well, let's see what happens. I suspect that by now, the Ecuadorian embassy has also worked out what exactly they got themselves mixed up in, and someone there must be hard at work working out some manner of damage limitation and that may include methods of informing Assange that he's overstayed his welcome...

                    1. TRT Silver badge

                      Re: include methods of informing Assange that he's overstayed his welcome...

                      Here we are, Mr Assange. Your new room, see, The Presidential Suite. We'll get the door sign put up properly later... tsk... blu-tack it's not fitting a man of your stature. Anyway, the door is really reinforced, Yes *laughs nervously* It does look a bit like an external door... anyway, as a security measure, there's a bit of a corridor, then a second door and you're in the presidential suite... don't worry if the bulb's gone in the corridor, we'll have someone in to fix that soon... and it is lined with black cloth... So... take your bag and it's just at the end of the corridor... No. I didn't hear anything. A police radio? No, probably just The Archers... must be your new dedicated chamber maid. Seventeen, blonde... she's a big fan of yours actually. Do anything for you... don't run, you might trip on the kerb... I mean, in the dark.

          2. Just Enough

            "The whole thing would have been over a long time ago, if the Swedes had guaranteed that Assange will not be handed over to the US."

            So Assange gets special treatment not available to any other Swedish citizen? What's he done to merit that? Whether you agree with Swedish extradition agreements or not, why is Assange to get special immunity from them unlike anyone else? What value does any extradition agreement have if someone can be granted immunity from them, and the government can only say "Sorry, but we promised not to"?

            If I hid in the embassy with him, can I get a guarantee from the UK government that they won't arrest me? Immunity from prosecution is a rare thing that would be nice to have. And if I don't get that immunity, I'll jolly well just stay there and complain to the UN!

          3. Lars Johansson

            I don't know about you, but we actually have an independent judiciary in Sweden. That means the government can't interfere in legal procedings; neither the current rape investigation nor a hypothetical future extradition request from the US. It's all decided by the courts.

            Additionaly, since he would have been extradited to Sweden from the UK, we couldn't extradite him anywhere without consent from the UK. In other words, it would have been much easier to request his extradition firectly from the UK...

        2. apinochet

          "Illegal rendition to Sweden? Whatever floats your longboat, matey."

          Yeah. Like the civilised state that it is, Sweden definitely does not participate in any illegal CIA rendition and torture programmes:

          https://www.hrw.org/news/2006/11/09/sweden-violated-torture-ban-cia-rendition

          While America's main partner in crime, Britain, has of course has been championing human rights and freedom of speech around the world since time immemorial.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        What illegal rendition? He was to be legally extradited to Sweden as a consequence of an International Arrest Warrant to face possible (not actual) charges of rape. Everything else is a product of Assange's imagination. The US has clearly stated that they are not interested in him, although that does not really agree with Assange's egomania.

        Best thing for the UK is to toss Assange out of the country (after the courts have dealt with him), cancel any visas that he has and then ensure that he is not allowed in again. Let him winge and cry from his home country and see how much notice they take of him.

      3. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
        Unhappy

        I find it strange that uttering even a shred of understanding or sympathy for Assange the person or his actions appears to guarantee a flood of downvotes.

        He doesn't seem to be the most likable person to me (but who am I to judge). But just denying that he may have had good reason to fear "rendition" (what a word)?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @GrumpenKraut

          I find it strange that uttering even a shred of understanding or sympathy for Assange the person or his actions appears to guarantee a flood of downvotes.

          I can only speak to my own feelings on the subject, but I was initially generally supportive of his actions, and was prepared to believe his fears about the US.

          I was never happy about his handling of Chelsea Manning though, (withholding the money that was raised for her), and his callous attitude towards those who stood bail for him only helped to remove any sympathy I may have had for him.

          His behaviour over the last few years has caused me to become increasingly irritated by his mockery of the British legal system, and his grandstanding and general narcissistic behaviour hasn't helped.

          This latest episode just confirms to me that he is an unpleasant man who (in my view) is quite likely to be guilty of the accusations made in Sweden, and I consider his fears about the US to be all part of the "look at me I'm important" schtick that he portrays.

          1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
            Angel

            @AC: Looks like our impressions on Assange do match.

            What I lament is that some people here just fire away downvotes if the is a mismatch in _opinion_, no matter how carefully and diplomatically argued. I have no problem with downvotes when somebody is just trolling or insulting, something I try to avoid (see icon).

          2. apinochet

            "[Assange's] behaviour over the last few years has caused me to become increasingly irritated by his mockery of the British legal system..."

            How's this for mockery of the British legal system:

            Laws are like cobwebs, which may catch small flies, but let wasps and hornets break through (Jonathan Swift)

            The law was made for one thing alone, for the exploitation of those who don't understand it (Bertolt Brecht)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Thumb Up

          "I find it strange that uttering even a shred of understanding or sympathy for Assange the person or his actions appears to guarantee a flood of downvotes."

          Quite. Even understanding for the situation, rather than the man. Very, very strange.

          "He doesn't seem to be the most likable person to me (but who am I to judge). But just denying that he may have had good reason to fear "rendition"?"

          Absolutely baffling. It's hardly like there isn't ample precedent! They seem to keep chanting "the US has said it has no interest in him" - as if that'd be worth anything.

          " (what a word)"

          Indeed. It has a long history of use to describe the process of grinding then heating animal corpses to produce animal feed... so probably perfectly apt. What else will they be doing with their anonymous visitors, once they finish doing the other things?

        3. Bloakey1

          <snip>

          "He doesn't seem to be the most likable person to me (but who am I to judge). But just denying that he may have had good reason to fear "rendition" (what a word)?"

          I agree, i think he is probably a right little shit but he does deserve to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

          I think of late we have an influx of posters posting on a subject they found when Googling, good for the Reg and advertising revenue bad for the regulars.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "He doesn't seem to be the most likable person to me (but who am I to judge). But just denying that he may have had good reason to fear "rendition" (what a word)?"

            I agree, i think he is probably a right little shit but he does deserve to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

            He does not deserve to be kept free from normal legal processes, he should man up and undergo them like any other normal human being. There is nothing special about Assange that should make him subject to different rules than the rest of us, which is why he gets a negative press from most right thinking people. Most are quite willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, but running away under pretend fears is making it hard to stay impartial, and make it even harder to believe in innocence. His processing would be subject to more scrutiny than any of us would ever benefit from due to his self created press profile, yet he is still cowering away in an embassy, making squeaky noises about US extradition that just do not stack up in any meaningful way.

            This is IMHO Assange's main problem: the duration has started to expose just how paper thin his lies are because so far, reality has not really intruded in his world and he fighting to keep it that way.

            I think of late we have an influx of posters posting on a subject they found when Googling, good for the Reg and advertising revenue bad for the regulars.

            You forget that many on this site are a bit older, and have probably seen and heard it all before. Logic, reason and facts are rather powerful tools when applied properly, and in the full glare of that combination the whole Assange show is starting to droop like a candle on a heatsink.

        4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Happy

          "I find it strange that uttering even a shred of understanding or sympathy for Assange the person or his actions appears to guarantee a flood of downvotes."

          Probably because most people thought he was a twat even before this round of shenanigans

      4. SolidSquid

        We have nothing other than Assange's assertions about the possibility of rendition though. Plus Sweden has refused to extradite people to the US previously, and under EU law would need to do so in this case unless the UK was willing to sign off on it as well (one of the conditions for the EU arrest warrants). Frankly, he had a higher chance of being extradited by us to the US than by the Swedes prior to the high court case where the European arrest warrant was ruled to be valid

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      WTF?

      In addition to the "opinion" not being legallay binding, there's this:

      "Assange maintained that the WGAD decision was legally binding and said: "It is now the task of the states of Sweden and the UK as a whole to implement the verdict."

      WTF is he smoking? He thinks a one off "opinion" should be acted on immediately? You'd think The Assange(tm) would be well aware of such things as the appeal process, having used it so much himself to delay the inevitable.

  7. Dan Wilkie

    Personally I just wish he'd chosen somewhere else to flee than the UK, then we could be laughing at someone else having to put up with his nonsense.

    It's a good job they didn't give Bradley/Chelsea Manning all the money they'd raised for his legal defense though or else they'd never be able to have afforded all this representation and lobbying.

  8. Otto is a bear.

    And who were the other four?

    Which great world legal minds thought self detention was arbitrary. I wonder what the European Court of Human Rights would have to say about it.

    BTW - How much longer would he have to stay in the embassy to exceed any sentence he might have received if he was found guilty in Sweden.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And who were the other four?

      Can't say, but lets remember that Assange has not actually been charged with anything in Sweden (the UK is a different matter now); he is wanted for questioning.

      1. M7S

        Re: And who were the other four? @alannorthands

        Under the Swedish judicial process, they cannot charge him until the final interview, which is what they want him to attend, so if he's claiming "not been charged" as proof of innocence, he's being a bit disingenuous

    2. bpfh Bronze badge
      Headmaster

      Re: And who were the other four?

      From what I just read on the interwebz, rape accusations in Sweden will run out after 10 years, so somet time in 2020...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And who were the other four?

        From what I just read on the interwebz, rape accusations in Sweden will run out after 10 years, so somet time in 2020...

        .. leaving only the victims with a life long conviction because they won't get closure. This is the issue that bothers me most. I don't really care one bit about Assange, but if he has done wrong there are victims and they don't get a voice right now. As a matter of fact, they had all sorts of crap and slander thrown at them by Assange supporters, and it must be hard for them to do as their lawyer told them and not respond until this gets to court.

        1. Mephistro Silver badge
          Black Helicopters

          Re: And who were the other four?

          "..leaving only the victims with a life long conviction because they won't get closure."

          The victims? You meant, the women who accused him of rape? The ones who made these accusations just after discovering that JA had been shagging both of them? The ones that sent each other a ton of messages discussing their revenge, as was leaked a few years ago? One of which had written a public document on how to frame men with false sexual misconduct accusations? And had worked for an NGO financed by the CIA?

          Should we also consider the Swedish Judiciary as a victim for the time they have wasted stonewalling on this issue?

          Instead of, say, sending some spook/security guy from the Swedish embassy to the Ecuatorian EMB to perform the interview, with JA being assisted in situ by his lawyer? The ones that closed the case and re-opened it as he was leaving Sweden or shortly after, in what was generally considered a very unusual occurrence?

          If Sweden is too budget-challenged for this, they could make do with a Videoconference? And stop wasting money in promoting a case that looks and smells like a ton of fresh bollocks?

          This story has the stench of PSYOPS all over it.

          Something is rotten in the Kindom of DenmarkSweden!

          PD: Yes, I agree with you that they they probably deserve some kind of closure. The problem that you and I are not discussing the same kind of closure here.

          PPD: The only dissenting voice in the ruling came from the Russian member. Could that be some kind of hint? No, because... Oh, wait...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: And who were the other four?

            Ah, so you condone rape, and don't really want it properly investigated because that's really the thing everyone is asking.

            Not even a conviction (although, admittedly, that would be nice), but at least a properly conducted and supervised investigation into the truth of it. However, given that Assange has been doing his damnedest to prevent a formal investigation from happening I'm coming over to the view that there is something Assange is desperate to hide (a view assisted by Assange's refusal to get himself tested. "Too busy"? Really?). Here is, yet again, someone who wants to make whole governments "follow the rule of law" as long as he himself can remain exempt of it.

            Well, thanks for showing your true colours. Best stay away from women.

            1. Mephistro Silver badge

              Re: And who were the other four? (@ AC)

              "Ah, so you condone rape..."

              Do I? Seriously? You fucking kidding me, right? Did you read all of my comment? Did you understand what it all was about?

              "...at least a properly conducted and supervised investigation into the truth of it..."

              Which could have been performed by the Swedes through a video conference even before JA entered the Ecuatorian Embassy? If a properly conducted investigation had taken place while JA was in that embassy, and shown him guilty, how long do you think he would have retained his political refugee status? A week? If the Swedes were really really interested in having Justice served and they had a good case, JA would have been serving time in Sweden for years. It's quite obvious that for the Swedish judiciary to act the way they did, one or both of these two initial premises didn't apply.

              "...follow the rule of law..."

              Actually the WGAD ruling considers that both the UK and Sweden have been IGNORING SOME OF THEIR OWN LAWS in this case.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: And who were the other four? (@ AC)

                Which could have been performed by the Swedes through a video conference even before JA entered the Ecuatorian Embassy? If a properly conducted investigation had taken place while JA was in that embassy, and shown him guilty, how long do you think he would have retained his political refugee status? A week? If the Swedes were really really interested in having Justice served and they had a good case, JA would have been serving time in Sweden for years.

                Not quite. It is evident from how he has been systematically frustrating process that Assange has been briefed on how the Swedes work, probably by the Swedish solicitor who helped him escape. The reason they work that way is because it their established process, a process which does not involve gratuitous journeys abroad to accommodate fugitive criminals, and it does not involve the use of video conferencing which conveniently hampers the reading of body language to ascertain whether the interviewee is lying (something Assange has been caught doing rather frequently).

                It also does not accommodate horse trading by making such an interview conditional, as was attempted when it was discussed if they would, after all, at least go as far as interviewing him in the embassy. Of course, Assange (& supporters) claim "they had every chance" to interview him, but they conveniently omit the fact that that interview would only be possible if the Swedish investigators were to agree to conditions that made the whole exercise pointless.

                So let's reset. It is not the State that has to accommodate a fugitive criminal, the fugitive criminal has to follow the processes as every other citizen has in order to resolve the matter, even if some disconnected lunatics in a building somewhere choose to declare that Assange choosing to flee from justice is somehow unlawful incarceration - here too we find a large gap between the facts (an opinion) and what Assange declares it to be (a legally binding conclusion).

                Some things take time to be discovered, lab time, for instance, and I suspect that in reality, Assange knows rather precisely what re-established the rape claim and why the Swedes thus want him back.

                It's really time to drop the fairy tale of US prosecution and get him in front of Swedish investigators. If there is really nothing to the claims then there is nothing to fear - we both know that the whole US extradition threat is utter nonsense, a Fata Morgana dreamt up by Assange to divert the attention from the fact that he really, REALLY does not want to go back to Sweden - the country he previously proclaimed to be a beacon of freedom, milk and honey.

                I'm starting to suspect that many of those Assange supporters are worried there is something to the claims, because if Assange DOES get convicted they will all look rather stupid and naïve (well, more naïve). That alone may be enough motivation to keep waving the Assange flag...

    3. Mephistro Silver badge

      Re: And who were the other four?(@Otto is a bear)

      "How much longer would he have to stay in the embassy to exceed any sentence he might have received if he was found guilty in Sweden."

      I just read the PDF and it says something in the line of "has been devoid of freedom for a longer term that the maximum sentence for his supposed crime". Quoting from memory, as I lack the fortitude of character to open the document again. :-)

      The WGAD ruling also states that JA has good reasons to fear being extradited to the USA from Sweden. It states that Sweden and the UK are both wilfully ignoring some of their own laws regarding political asylum.

      It makes an interesting read.

      1. Lars Johansson

        Re: And who were the other four?(@Otto is a bear)

        Actually, the maximum sentence for rape in Sweden is 10 years...

    4. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Otto is a bear Re: And who were the other four?

      "Which great world legal minds thought self detention was arbitrary...." Usual mix of academics and NGO luvvies (http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Detention/Pages/WGADIndex.aspx). A simple way to look at it is to understand that this working group came out of the discredited UN Commission on Human Rights that was supposed to investigate human rights abuses by dictators but became controlled by the same human rights abusing dictators (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Commission_on_Human_Rights#Criticism). A$$nuts hilarious insistence that their opinion is "legally binding" is further proof of how detached from reality he is.

  9. earl grey Silver badge
    FAIL

    does anybody really know what time it is

    does anybody really care what an irrelevant group says about an irrelevant wanker?

  10. Halfmad

    Halp!

    I'm trapped in a brown paper bag and I can't get out!

    UN - He's being detailed by everyone outside the brown paper bag, give him compo.

    1. Uffish

      Re: Halp!

      Yes, it all looks like a storm in a teacup except for one thing - he really did fear being bundled off to America if he went to Sweden. He feared this and he had many good reasons to fear this. That was why Ecuador offered him asylum, that was why he claimed asylum.

      Personally I think he wouldn't have been shipped to the States but I have absolutely no idea if that is just optimism; in any case I can't blame him for running into the embassy. Again personally, I don't think his situation will get any better so he should just face the music and get arrested by the nearest constable.

      1. Mephistro Silver badge

        Re: Halp! (@ Uffish)

        "it all looks like a storm in a teacup except for one thing - he really did fear being bundled off to America if he went to Sweden"

        ^This!

        Most of our fellow commentards seem to ignore that the WGAD ruling and the asylum laws quoted in it don't request the would-be refugee to prove that he would be extradited. The ruling states that a reasonable suspicion would be enough.

        And that suspicion is something that comes naturally to one's mind after having read the way this sad story has developed.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Halp!

        Yes, it all looks like a storm in a teacup except for one thing - he really did fear being bundled off to America if he went to Sweden.

        Funny that, though, because I distinctly remember him going to Sweden exactly because of its liberal stance and all sorts of other reasons why it would be the perfect location for him and Wikileaks. That bizarre US extradition fear only emerged after he fled from prosecution and thus presumably had to come up with a reason that made it all someone else's fault that he ran.

        It puzzles me a bit - I wasn't aware that the US only extradite fleeing suspected rapists...

  11. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    Times change

    He's had his 15 minutes of fame, and trying to get notoriety as a fugitive hadn't worked out for him (although admittedly it's hard to play the romantic fugitive when the charges he's sought on include rape) so I suppose playing the "martyr" card was an obvious next step.

    Sorry Julien, but you were last decade's leaker, Snowden is the fashion these days.

  12. pewpie

    Vindicated?

    Silly man.. playing naive.. he's vindicated, alright... vindicated spelled F-U-C-K-E-D. Wonder how he feels about all those silly self-serving black rectangles now? Acting like the establishment doesn't make you the establishment.

    There are no diplomats.. There are no politicians.. There are only face men. There is no 'will of the people'. There is no Sweden.. There is no UK.. There is only ZUUL. Welcome to 2016, Jayjay.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Vindicated?

      > There is only ZUUL

      You mean, he is the keymaster, and Manning is the gatekeeper?

  13. macjules Silver badge

    Err ... but ..

    He wasn't actually detained in the UK. He was on bail and he himself chose to visit | scurry into | abscond into the embassy of his own will.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Err ... but ..

      IIRC he was under house arrest in a big luxurious mansion.

      1. macjules Silver badge

        Re: Err ... but ..

        You mean 'arbitrarily detained in a luxury mansion'?

        1. Mephistro Silver badge

          Re: Err ... but ..

          "You mean 'arbitrarily detained in a luxury mansion'?"

          You mean that if Aung San Suu Kyi or Mahatma Gandhi had been detained for some time in a luxury mansion the Western media and governments wouldn't reckon/define this time as detention time? Please, think over it.

          It surely beats living in a small room in a foreign embassy for years, but the embassy alternative beats a million times being sent to the States, facing a kangarooSecret Court and being sent to some High Security Hell in, say, Nebraska, for decades or for the rest of his days?

          Please consider this carefully: What would you do if you where in the same situation as JA is? Is his decision of entering the Ecuadorian Embassy so far fetched or did he take the right decision? Are you totally sure of that?

          Perhaps the guy has an excess of ego, but does that justify sending him in for decades? For exercising a Human Right? An important part of the "Freedom of Speech" Right? That part which states that "... this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice..."?

          There's lot of smoke and mirrors involved. Let's not be distracted by the pretty lights.

          1. Richard 12 Silver badge

            Re: Err ... but ..

            He was held in that mansion while he was appealing against his EU arrest warrant

            The moment that appeal completed, he was offered bail.

            That's the way appeals work. Trials are similar.

            You get arrested, and you are held while you and your lawyers argue that you shouldn't be extradited, and the other side argue that you should be.

            At the end, a judgement is made and you're either released as innocent, held until the plane is ready, or offered bail on the basis that you are honourable and will present yourself for extradition on a given date.

            This is called a "legal process". It's clearly hard for the UNWGoAD to understand, but most people do.

            He continued his appeal for as long as is possible. That's fine, he has the legal right to do so.

            The judge then offered bail, believing his friends who claimed he was honourable and would abide the ruling.

            He didn't.

            Regardless of whether or not he did rape anyone, he is now a criminal on the run for breaching his bail terms, no different to any other.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Err ... but ..

            There's lot of smoke and mirrors involved. Let's not be distracted by the pretty lights.

            Well yes, but every time people start bringing in these annoying things called "facts" people immediately go back to blowing a lot of smoke into Assange's mirror palace and go back to enthusiastically pointing at said pretty lights to avoid anyone examining the raw data available.

            - Assange himself was heralding Sweden as a bastion of freedom and was planning to move there. Somehow, the US threat was entirely absent then.

            - Assange did the dirty with a few girls with the same aversion to condoms as he is reputed to have to soap, despite explicit requests not to. In most countries that classes as rape, a charge further confirmed by multiple rounds in UK courts.

            - Assange was subsequently facing a rape charge which then got dropped by the girls (side note: the girls are not entirely in control of this as this is criminal law).

            - Assange was told by his solicitor to leg it as the police would like to talk to him again about that event.

            - One of the girls has been reported to have had an STD test in hospital.

            - The girls asked him via the police to have an STD test.

            - Even up until now, there are no reports of him having done so (it's here that questions start to emerge)

            - He was in communication with a Swedish lawyer, so he knew full well that not getting himself tested as requested would re-establish an investigation into rape (side note: now as a full blown criminal investigation which also yielded the EAW).

            - The only source claiming the US extradition risk is Assange himself, and he only started claiming that AFTER he had run away to the UK. There has been no 3rd party confirmation by any independent source that this was indeed a threat. None whatsoever. Not even several years later.

            If you only retain what has been independently confirmed by sources that do not have a direct stake in the outcome, the known facts do not exactly add up in Assange's favour. I don't care that the guy has a personality disorder, most politicians do as well and you should avoid me too before I've had my first coffee. He is, however, desperately trying to sabotage an investigation into his activities, activities which have possible victims.

            You see, it's not just all about Assange...

            1. x 7

              Re: Err ... but ..

              one problem with your synopsis.......

              unless they were working girls (which brings in another set of variables regarding veracity), who has ever heard of a Swedish girl who WANTS to use a condom? That simply never happens

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Err ... but ..

                unless they were working girls (which brings in another set of variables regarding veracity), who has ever heard of a Swedish girl who WANTS to use a condom? That simply never happens

                Not only do you appear to be out of touch with the real world (and it would then be up to you to do the sensible/non-Assange thing), you also forget that these girls DID ask, so attempting to go without is (a) not consensual and (b) causing harm if you pass on an STD.

                If someone can prove you knew that you were unclean it becomes wilful, and depending on the STD you could end up in a lot of trouble that is IMHO entirely justified.

                However, even if we were to give Assange a further undeserved benefit of the doubt, the quickest way to clean this up is to allow the investigation to proceed. Oh, hang on, that's exactly what he's afraid of. Bummer.

                By the way, there is no fundamental difference between working girls or otherwise - they have the same right to being treated fairly and being only engaged with their consent. If you make a distinction there you really ought to update your attitude - even just to the 20th century would be an improvement.

                1. x 7

                  Re: Err ... but ..

                  no you idiot - my point is that the only Swedish girls likely to demand a condom are prostitutes because they know the risk, whereas every other Swede far prefers to do without.

                  As for the veracity comment: the point there is that once a working girl gets into court, shes the target for every form of character assassination possible. But...the simple fact is a lot of those girls ARE damaged mentally in various ways and their affinity for the truth is a fair subject for doubt

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Err ... but ..

                    my point is that the only Swedish girls likely to demand a condom are prostitutes because they know the risk, whereas every other Swede far prefers to do without.

                    I think you'll find Swedish girls too have arrived in the 21st century where this is not only a sensible default, but should even be offered by default by the man - she should not even HAVE to ask for that. As a matter of fact, it is more likely that a Swedish girl is aware of the need for protection than girls from nations where sex education is hampered by national prudishness. I'm afraid your argument doesn't stand up, as it were, even if we were to stick an artificial label on those engaged in prostitution and somehow deem them eligible to different treatment than other human beings.

                    As for the veracity comment: the point there is that once a working girl gets into court, she's the target for every form of character assassination possible.

                    Only in the mind of those who assign different rights to girls engaged in prostitution. Again, that's a Victorian concept that in most modern, slightly more enlightened nations has gone - it may surprise you, but they are human beings too, and they are entitled to the exact same rights as you and me. As a matter of fact, they are actually in a far more vulnerable position exactly because of the sort of views you just espoused.

                    But...the simple fact is a lot of those girls ARE damaged mentally in various ways and their affinity for the truth is a fair subject for doubt

                    I fear that the above more about your current thinking than about girls engaged in prostitution. Do some research. Your view is not unusual, but it is (thankfully) outdated. Educate yourself and mentally place yourself in the position of someone who has no choice - or even someone who HAS made that choice deliberately (and had to go public to stop someone else doing that for far less positive motives), it's worth it.

                  2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                    Stop

                    Re: x 7 Re: Err ... but ..

                    "....my point is that the only Swedish girls likely to demand a condom are prostitutes because they know the risk, whereas every other Swede far prefers to do without....." What, you mean all those teenage years I was getting freebies? Woot! OK, it's possible they took pity on me and it was just charity.

                    Maybe it's changed in the new century but I can assure you your view of Swedish girls does not fit those in the last century.

                    1. x 7

                      Re: x 7 Err ... but ..

                      "it's possible they took pity on me and it was just charity."

                      yes, I guess you must be ugly and they felt sorry for you

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Err ... but ..

            You mean that if Aung San Suu Kyi or Mahatma Gandhi had been detained for some time in a luxury mansion the Western media and governments wouldn't reckon/define this time as detention time? Please, think over it.

            They were not able to leave such mansions which made them prisons. Assange could have walked out at any time - nobody at the embassy was keeping him (by now they would have probably applauded his exit and held open the door for him).

            You should also really not try to surreptitiously compare Assange with Aung San Suu Kyi or Mahatma Gandhi. He is a mere nothing, and, by his own activities, a REAL criminal rather than a political prisoner (if he wants that status he's free to travel to the US, though, but I suspect he wouldn't be arrested but refused entry instead - probably a worse fate for Assange).

            If Assange would have behaved like a decent human being there is every change he would have only had a slap on his wrist for allowing appendage and groupies to meet without a condom (assuming he had not transmitted anything beside the traditional) and he would now happily live in Sweden and annoy governments from there.

            But, over all the years he's been active, the only thing of merit he has done was assisting Snowden, and even that felt more like an attempt to ride along. Manning clearly was not important enough to receive similar assistance, despite promises.

  14. sysconfig

    Makes no sense

    "arbitrary detention" on the parts of the UK and Sweden, and called for his immediate release

    This makes no sense. He hasn't been detained by the UK or Sweden. He skipped bail and arbitrarily detained himself in the Ecuadorian embassy to avoid facing trial relating to rape allegations.

    If the US really wanted him so badly, they would have got him before he holed himself up in his Knightsbridge accommodation. The UK and US are closer allies than the Swedes and the US. He would have been safer going to Sweden. (And I wish he had done so, because he wasted a considerable amount of tax money already.)

    Why should the UK (or Sweden) compensate him for anything? He was free to leave the embassy at any time. Yes, he would be properly detained for breaching the conditions of his bail, but that's his own fault.

    Do the UN have any information in relation to the US's alleged intentions of bringing him there and the UK and Sweden being accomplices in that plot? If that were true, the UN's decision would make more sense. Otherwise it just doesn't.

    1. A K Stiles
      Gimp

      Re: Makes no sense

      Exactly, unless the Ecuadorian ambassador is keeping him bound and gagged in the basement of the embassy (icon?) then he's free to walk out of the door at any time he chooses. The fact that the courts will then wish to speak with him regarding his breach of bail conditions isn't any sort of arbitrary detention, any more than Ronny Biggs was 'arbitrarily detained' in some sunny climate for how many years knowing that he would get his collar felt the moment he set foot back in Blighty. Or the fact that a legally valid European arrest warrant exists because the Swedish 'Plod' would also like a word ("Bork"?) concerning some other allegations that have been made.

      Hopefully, when he finally ends up in a UK court, if he's found guilty the state can claim their full costs back from him!

  15. chivo243 Silver badge

    The old saying

    Time wounds all heels...

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As I stated before..

    I must grudgingly admire Assange for his ability to bollocks his way through what would have been already incarceration for any normal human being.

    His spin doctoring of reality puts even Peter Mandelson to shame, and that's saying something.

    Thank God this isn't the US or he'd be creating precedent for other fugitives accused of rape.

  17. Mage Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Nothing new

    The UN is regularly bonkers. Yes, it better having it than not. But anyone that thinks UN is unbiased, accurate, logical and rational is deluded. It's purely international politics.

    Saudi Arabia on the UN Human Rights?

    The Security Council a hangover from winners of WWII. Read about how the UN Security council approved the Korean War, The folks in Taiwan had the Chinese chair and the Russians were boycotting it. THEN McArthur refused to stop advancing and allow a DMZ at Chinese border, even though virtually ALL of Korean united. UN did nothing! Result, Chinese got more involved and Korean War ended up with original stupid border, which was actually a secret Russian / American agreement before the Japanese defeated in WWII.

  18. Pete4000uk

    So

    Is he coming out or what?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So

      Is he coming out or what?

      I really don't want to know more about his sexual preferences, thanks.

      Oh, the embassy? Well, as far as I know, nobody is keeping him from leaving, despite what the UN seems to think.

  19. Warm Braw Silver badge

    Well, if he's being held against his will...

    ... presumably the British government would have reason to revoke its recognition of the Ecuadorean mission immediately for their unaccetable abuse of their diplomatic status.

    I'm sure all it would take is one word from Mr. Assange that he is an unwilling captor.

    1. A K Stiles
      Coat

      Re: Well, if he's being held against his will...

      I'm sure all it would take is one word from Mr. Assange that he is an unwilling captor.

      So you're saying that, not only is he being held against his will, but he's also being forced to hold someone else captive too?

      1. Warm Braw Silver badge

        Re: Well, if he's being held against his will...

        >he's also being forced to hold someone else captive too?

        Sometimes, 10 minutes of editing time isn't enough to deal with brain lag...

        1. A K Stiles
          Unhappy

          Re: Well, if he's being held against his will...

          >brain lag

          especially on a Friday afternoon with no BOFH to lighten the day!

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  20. somesortoferror
    Mushroom

    Ecuador must release Julian Assange from detention immediately

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Fully agree. Give him his coat and kick him out of the door now.

      The UN has spoken, and he should immediately be allowed to walk out of the door.

      Don't bother ordering a taxi, though, as I suspect a van is already waiting.

    2. M7S

      Time for a protest

      We should all stand outside their embassy with a loudhailer demanding they release him.

      When they come out to protest that they're not detaining him, then we can ask them to bring him out to prove it.

  21. TRT Silver badge

    Perhaps they got confused...

    It will catch up with you.

  22. Peter Simpson 1
    Happy

    Never mind Assange

    I'm drooling over all that HF radio gear in the background...

    73 de KA1AXY

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Peter Simpson 1 Re: Never mind Assange

      "I'm drooling over all that HF radio gear in the background..." It looks like they have used one of the stills from a Bond movie (Goldfinger?).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Never mind Assange

      I'm drooling over all that HF radio gear in the background...

      I knew there was a reason why it short circuited.. :p

    3. segillum

      Re: Never mind Assange

      Looks like a couple of 1960s-vintage Racal RA17s and some other elderly bits and pieces. Don't they have FTTC or FTTP in Hans Crescent?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm 'vindicated

    he'll NEVER grow up.

  24. Tromos

    One person is not the whole world

    This decision carrying the stamp of the United Nations sounds like it has the weight of the entire globe behind it. In actuality, if just one of the three voting in Assange's favour changed their mind, there would be no consensus. Absolutely farcical if a single person is allowed to overturn the laws of the UK, Sweden and Europe as a whole.

  25. SolidSquid

    "As the UK is not a party to the Caracas Convention, we do not recognise ‘diplomatic asylum’."

    This might be the key point raised by the UK. It sounds like (and I'll admit, I haven't read the full judgement) the UN court's opinion is based on the idea that "diplomatic asylum" (which is seems is largely intended for extracting diplomats from war zones) should be recognised by all parties under this convention, but the UK not being a signatory is not bound by it and so does not have to recognise Assange's "asylum" claims

    edit: Also from a quick look for the convention, it seems it largely deals with things like ships, which are able to transport a person back to the country they were granted asylum to, rather than an embassy. If Ecuador were to put him in a diplomatic vehicle he may well have been able to leave safely under this convention (if the UK was a signatory), but they haven't done anything to try and extract him either

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      We're signed up to the Vienna conventions on diplomacy. Which I believe are universal.

      South America have a different tradition. Partly because El Presidente keeps having to make a run for it, as yet another group of unhappy colonels sieze the radio station and shoot-up the palace. So he jumps into the nearest embassy, they then keep him safe until either the coup collapses, or it's certain they've won. Then they negotiate safe passage and exile, for whatever ministers were also quick enough on their feet.

      Sanctuary in embassies is also recognised for political dissidents, journalists and the like.

      But few countries outside South America have signed up to this. The UK diplomat I read stuff by (Charles Crawford) says that the Foreign Office are actively hostile to having people seek asylum in the embassy. You're there to get a specific job done, which is keeping channels open between governments, and this gets in the way of that, and can make relations extremely awkward.

      My impression from their report was that they spent a lot of time talking about Assange's fear of being sent (refouled) from Sweden to the US - and that neither the UK or Swedish authorities have taken account of Ecuador granting him political asylum. This they seem to be claiming gives him some special status which trumps our laws, hence he should be packed off to Ecuador forthwith.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      A nice piece here that covers diplomatic asylum - and how it only applies to the Latin American states that signed up to it: linky

  26. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    Thanks to the UN tribunal

    It's a really weird decision, in many ways. It starts off with a statement on their website, where a bit of the press release has been copied and pasted twice. They had the complaint in September 2014, decided in December 2015! And so two months later seem to have screwed up the deadline.

    There's then a statement from the chair of the tribunal that their decision is legally binding. At least in the sense that it's based on international law. Huh? Are they a court? I'm not sure they're even all lawyers! So what it actually is, is a legal opinion. Hopefully based on the law, though their press statement makes bugger-all sense, and doesn't say why they've come to the decision. Other than Sweden's lack of diligence in pursuing the case.

    I tried to read the full document, but it's incredibly badly laid out. You open the nice Word document, and get an error message, followed by this horribly formatted thing in columns.

    And rather than laying out their decision, it covers the submissions from each party. Sometimes with comments. I got bored halfway through Sweden. The even weirder bit is that it comments on the Swedish stuff, saying where it's failed to cover points made by Assange's team, but in the bits on his submissions doesn't say where they're batshit insane, or actually have a point.

    So one of their points is he was apparently in solitary in Wandsworth. For ten days. I'm assuming this is because you don't tend to mix celebrity prisoners with the general population, but didn't get to the UK bit, so don't know.

    They then describe being out on bail as house arrest. He was under restrictive conditions, on a tag and not allowed to sleep anywhere else. But then he was accused of fleeing from arrest in Sweden, so he was definitely a flight risk. Given he later ran from justice to hide in the Ecuadorian embassy.

    They complain about the length of his "house arrest". But that was entirely because he was appealing extradition. No mention seems to be made that this is a) his choice. And more importantly, b) proof that it's not arbitrary in that there was an ongoing legal process being followed.

    There is some play of the fact that he's not actually been charged. I don't know if they've therefore decided that Sweden's legal system doesn't meet international norms. Because that's clearly an artefact of him fleeing Sweden before they could do their pre-charge interrogation.

    There's then some comment on the fact that Ecuador have granted him asylum. And how this should be recognised, and therefore we should grant him safe passage to Ecuador to enjoy his right to that asylum. I'm out of my depth on international law here - so can't help. Does the deliberations of a proper court system (UK and Sweden) trump an embassy and government granting asylum - given that one uses public due process and the other is a private decision? Or are they saying that anyone who can get asylum from any government has a get out of jail free card? They may have covered it in the bit I didn't read.

    They make the fair point that forcing someone to flee to an embassy for asylum by persecution is the same as imprisonment. But nowhere could I find that they'd said this was what had happened. I guess I'll have to read it again, at the weekend.

    Their summary only says that Sweden should have acted faster. But doesn't say this wasn't possible due to Assange fleeing justice twice.

    Which is the exact point that their one dissenting opinion made.

    I've not seen much decent dissection of the report. Other than a bit from the Guardian here.

    He also didn't find much justification for the findings, but hasn't had much more time to study it than me.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Thanks to the UN tribunal

      Could be a clever ploy to make him think he's won so he comes out.

      No doubt paid for by the Ecuadorian government.

    2. Chris Miller

      Re: Thanks to the UN tribunal

      "I'm not sure they're even all lawyers!"

      Here's the relevant bio page. The only one who appears definitely to have a legal qualification is the Ukrainian, who was the lone dissenting voice (on the not unreasonable grounds that Assange's case did not constitute 'detention').

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Thanks to the UN tribunal

        I notice 4 of them have been "in the job" less than 18 months. And the Australian one only 4 months which means she wasn't there from the start of this investigation (so she didn't give an opinion?)

        1. Vincent Ballard

          Re: Thanks to the UN tribunal

          She didn't vote because Assange is also Australian. Presumably she wanted to avoid any impression of bias.

  27. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Childcatcher

    The Great Vindicator

    ....or something. How DO you vindicate hyperbole? Only a GREAT vindicator can accomplish that!

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: The Great Vindicator

      Well, I would be inclined to agree that there was quite a lot of 'vin' involved, judging by the conclusion they arrived at..

  28. phuzz Silver badge
    IT Angle

    I'm still not sure how the UK and Sweden are improperly detaining him when technically he's in Ecuador...

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apparently, the reason the Ukrainian judge retired ...

    was because he failed to convince the other judges that Assange had chosen to enter the embassy.

    Seems they had imagined the UK had frogmarched him in ...

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/feb/05/un-julian-assange-wikileaks

  30. TJ1

    Even ignoring WGAD, UK Supreme Court suggests the EAW is invalid

    I think like most non-lawyers my instinctive, common-sense, reaction is that Assange flew from justice as soon as his appeal against the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) to the UK Supreme Court (SC) was denied, and his plight is of his own making.

    However I've taken the time to read the full Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD*) opinion, and even ignoring the opinion, was intrigued by the 'source' submission (Assange) in para. 79:

    79. The source asserted that the legal basis for Mr. Assange’s extradition has further eroded. The UK’s response even rested its assertion on a Supreme Court decision which even the Supreme Court has distanced itself from. In the Bucnys case, the Supreme Court revisited its split decision in Assange vs. Swedish Prosecution Authority and explained that the single argument which had become the decisive point in Assange had been reached incorrectly.

    That led me to read up on the SC's decision and reasoning in the 'Bucnys' case:

    2013-11-20: Bucnys & Anor v Ministry of Justice of Lithuania; Lavrov v Ministry of Justice of Estonia

    http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKSC/2013/71.html

    There's a SC legal blog that gives a good overview of the pertinent issues discussed by the court in earlier hearings:

    http://ukscblog.com/new-judgment-bucnys-v-ministry-justice-cases-2013-uksc-71/

    http://ukscblog.com/case-preview-bucnys-lavrov-respondent-v-ministry-of-justice-estonia-appellant/

    Summarising, the court in the 'Bucnys' case re-visited the earlier Assange SC appeal holding. The issue turned on whether the organisation issuing the EAW is a 'judicial authority' (i.e. a Court) or a branch of the executive (i.e. government).

    In the 'Bucnys' case the SC held:

    "...that the relevant ministries of justice could not be a “judicial authority” within the meaning of the Council Framework Decision 2002/584/JHA and/or the Extradition Act 2003, Pt 1 because they were not part of the courts or judiciary as ordinarily understood"

    The submission to the WAGD by Assange points to this in relation to the fact that the EAW was issued by the Swedish Prosecutors office, which is part of the 'executive branch' of government, not a 'judicial authority'.

    This seems to suggest that, were Assange able to return to the SC, it is possible the SC would find the EAW is invalid as that was the decisive point in the original Assange judgement.

    If that were found then the entire legal process since the issuing of the EAW and its certification in the UK would be found invalid, and would presumably lead to the conclusion that Assange's arrest was unlawful.

    * WGAD: 5 members experienced in international human-rights law, and providing their services pro-bono (not paid for by the United Nations). http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Detention/Pages/Members.aspx

  31. Richard 1
    WTF?

    Hang on a second. Commit a crime in a foreign country, get an European Arrest Warrant out for you, wander into a third foreign embassy, claim your being detained against your will, and then the UN will say you can walk out a free man. In what crazy brain does that make sense? How far from the embassy can he walk before the arrest warrant should be respected and he gets arrested, or can he just walk freely around the UK without any concerns of being arrested? Who wants to go raping and pillaging in Sweden? We just pop back to the UK before they catch us and it's all good!

  32. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    IT Angle

    The bitter irony

    for him , is that if he had submitted to extradition, and the interview in Sweden, theres a fair chance the cops would have said "no charges, now fuck off back to Australia"

    Instead of which he's been on the run and detained for the past 6 years.

    But if he had been sent packing, he would'nt be splattered all over the world's media today... and he loves the attention....

    1. redalbert

      Re: The bitter irony

      Assange had no reason to trust the then Australian government, despite the AFP declaring he had initially done nothing wrong. The prime minister had declared him a criminal in a public forum which made it clear Assange would receive little to no support and even raised the possibility of assisting extradition.

      1. x 7

        Re: The bitter irony

        "no reason to trust the then Australian government,"

        why should it trust him? Assange has constantly proved himself unworthy of trust.

        He's a conniving sniveling little runt

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Extradition?!

    Why would the U.S. want to extradite him anyway? It's much less paperwork to deny rights if Persons Of Interest never reach the states.

  34. BurnT'offering

    If we really want to force him out

    We could switch the embassy's ISP to Talk Talk

  35. Harry the Bastard

    facts

    fact: he's not been found guilty, a court has to decide that, not internet experts, even el reg ones

    fact: he's not even been charged with a crime in sweden, it's accusation, you'd think if there was evidence they'd have managed to charge him by now, funny that

    fact: he's repeatedly offered to be questioned, which is all the swedes claim they want to do, but for some reason they decline, funny that

    fact: he deeply pissed off the usa, uk and others when wikileaks spluffed snowden's blagged info to the world, after which the accusations were brought out to justify extradition, funny that

    fact: whether these assange groupies, who by their own admissions chose to get into bed with him and in one case agreed they had consensual sex with him, were then assaulted as they claim, i do not know, but he's not accused of abducting, torturing or imprisoning them

    fact: the usa, at the highest levels of government, approved the abduction, torture and detention without trial of many people, including british nationals, some of whom have after many years been released without production of any evidence that they were guilty of any crime

    fact: cameron has been accused of porcine necrophilia and he's not sued for libel, funny that, but it doesn't make him guilty, personally i think it's nonsensical, but on the published information, the accusations against assange have exactly the same degree of corroboration, except, unlike cameron, assange claims innocence

    the law needs to be consistent, everyone who is advocating extraditing assange without charge, when he has a plausible fear of then being handed over to another country with a proven track record of government approved abduction, torture and false imprisonment, needs to take a deep breath and think about the facts not the bullshit, and wonder why there is one law for assange and another for the rest

    if he did assault these women, fine, nail him, but the way things are it does seem funny that the swedes haven't charged him, have proven to be uninterested in questioning him, and seek only to get him onto their territory from where he quite reasonably fears he may suddenly find himself usa bound and alone in the hands of proven torturers

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re facts

      Fact: He is accused of rape. That is a serious offence.

      (It has also been used as an instrument of torture, but that's not important right now.)

      Fact: Under Swedish law the accused has to be interviewed face to face and charged at interview.

      Fact: He ran away before they could do that, and they did not block him from boarding because they believed that he wouldn't run away and so didn't apply for a travel ban.

      Fact: That interview is what the Swedes want. They think there is a reasonable chance that after interviewing him they will want to charge him. Their law requires him to be present to argue his case.

      That's actually very similar to here.

      In the UK, you're arrested "on suspicion" and interviewed, perhaps "under caution".

      You may then be released to go back to your daily business. Often are, in fact.

      Later on they may ask you to come back in for further questioning - they want to clarify something, new evidence has appeared or similar.

      At that later interview they may decide to charge you - or decide that there's no case to answer. Or that there isn't enough evidence to charge, but they're going to keep looking.

      Note that even formally dropping it doesn't mean they can't re-arrest you. If new evidence comes to light then they are bound to come knocking.

      Fact: He is guilty of breaching his UK bail conditions. The sentencing guidelines are published online, and while IANAJ he ticks almost all the boxes for the maximum possible sentence which I believe is 40 weeks imprisonment.

      - He is certainly fully culpable and intended to cause maximum harm, is definitely flouting the authority of the Court - and deliberately did so again yesterday.

  36. phil dude

    cognitive dissonance

    It is interesting to see just how polarising this topic is.

    I would suggest there is among the deliberate confusion thrown up by the media and governments (both of them have much to gain from the scandal), that there is a fog of cognitive dissonance.

    Every time I read comments you get phrases like "Swedish law" , "British law" , "American law", giving reasons why things can or cannot happen. To put a cherry on it, there are "treaties" between governments, saying what can or cannot, will or will not happen.

    It is important to remember there is one law for you and I, and none for government*, if they want you bad enough.

    P.

    *See Declaration of Indpendence

  37. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    FAIL

    Sounds like....

    the usual UN "Citizens of the World" idealists teaming up with various non-Western nations who want to focus attention on alledged problems in the UK so that their own questionable justice systems are spared some scrutiny.

  38. Lutter

    UN Panel of Silly Walks

    The statement is clear: the man must be allowed to make a silly walk outside the embassy.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    However there is an arrest warrant out for him because he tried to hack the US AF decades ago and that section of charges includes crimes where the death penalty is a punishment. The charge I expect he will face will result in an 18 year stay at the US govt facility. I think he is right to think the Swedes will release him to the US where he will be found guilty and locked up for 18 years. The UK won't release him to the US because the crimes he will be charged with can result in the death penalty.

    To those who say there isn't a warrant out for his arrest, there is a john doe warrant out for the author of the program strobe. He is one of the authors of that program. If he ends up in the USA, he is going to jail for a very long time.

  40. x 7

    " lone dissenter Vladimir Tochilovsky"

    Things never cease to amaze. A Russian on our side! Buy him a barrel of vodka, quick

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      He's Ukranian.

      I'm sure he'll still take the vodka though...

      1. x 7

        "He's Ukranian."

        my mistake, I apologise to him. Explains why he voted for sanity.

        He still deserves the vodka

  41. x 7

    wheres that "rent a bomb threat" group who came out online the other day?

    how much would it cost to get them to put a fake alert in about the Ecuadorian Embassy?

    We could nab him then during the evacuation, or if he refuses to leave we could send a couple of guys in to grab him in the confusion.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/society/man-is-being-arbitrarily-detained-at-argos-un-rules-20160205105926

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sad to see some of the Anti Asssange comments here

    It's only when we start supporting brave whistleblowers that we will be able to get governments that are working for the people instead of against.

    It's seems obvious to me that the charges against him are trumped up - especially as it happened soon after a whole load of information was dumped onto the Internet.

    Our focus should be on :-

    - what was revealed in the dumps

    - who is very nervous about the kind of information revealed and why

    ...instead of the ensuing circus which very cleverly distracting us from important truths that might emerge.

    Anybody who believes they can trust their Government is living is cloud cuckoo land

    1. x 7

      Re: Sad to see some of the Anti Asssange comments here

      Good to see some of the Anti Asssange comments here

      its only when security risks like Assange are shot and buried that we can start to turn off the drip feed of military and other secure information to the Russian and Muslim forces that so endangers out free way of live

      Assange is a threat to western democracy and his continuing ongoing freedom is a risk and effrontery to civilisation.

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