back to article Sweden decides Julian Assange™ 'remains detained in absentia'

Sweden's judiciary has decided it would like to keep Julian Assange “detained in absentia” as it feels he still has questions to answer. The Stockholm City Court decided this week that “Julian Assange will still be detained, suspected on probable cause for rape, less serious crime.” The court has promised to release an …

  1. Mark 85 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    As if Argentina doesn't have enough problems right now with a lot of civil unrest in the country. Besides not answering Sweden's request, it now has a couch-cat hiding out in the embassy.

    So, if Argentina closes the embassy due their in-country problems I guess Assange will get a day in court...?

    1. moiety
    2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Headmaster

      @Mark...

      I think you meant Ecuador ...

      NO icon for geo-spatial nazi

      1. Notas Badoff Silver badge

        Re: @Mark...

        But @Mark did use the absolutely correct icon originally. How you get Ecuador mixed up with Argentina I don't know. BBC has an article today on the need for "global skills". Yes.

    3. Scorchio!!
      Angel

      "Besides not answering Sweden's request, it now has a couch-cat hiding out in the embassy."

      I hope he doesn't try to surprise his pussy in the night, that might be peenful.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I hope he doesn't try to surprise his pussy in the night, that might be peenful.

        Well, what else is he going to do?

        Being stuck in an embassy must have cramped his pussy-acquiring ability (although I'd call this cruelty to both animals and embassy staff). On the plus side, as that is the exact thing that got him into trouble in the first place this may not be a bad thing and prevents further cat-astrophes.

      2. Trigonoceps occipitalis

        "surprise his pussy in the night"

        Isn't that why he is a fugitive in the first place?

    4. Mark 85 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Arghhhh..... teach me to post after a rather rough day. Blew... hand me the Twig of Fail and I'll go do penance.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I could have dug a tunnel out of that embassy by now. Just saying.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge
      Facepalm

      I could have dug a tunnel walked out of that embassy by now.

    2. DavCrav Silver badge

      "I could have dug a tunnel out of that embassy by now. Just saying."

      You do know their embassy is on the first floor, right? It'd be a short tunnel, with a ten-foot drop at the end.

      1. John G Imrie Silver badge

        Escape tunnels

        One tunnel out of Colditz Castle started at the top of the chapel clock tower

        1. Unep Eurobats

          Re: Escape tunnels

          I see that kind of thing on building sites all the time. It's like a long chain of big yellow plastic buckets. Quite fun if the angle isn't too close to the vertical.

    3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Do remember not to run the escape tunnel too deep either. Unless you want to wind up fried on the underground tracks. Or squashed. Or both...

  3. getHandle

    Does "detained in absentia" count towards any future jail time?

    At this rate he will have served a chunk of any sentence he may or may not receive for his alleged crimes.

    1. d3vy Silver badge

      Re: Does "detained in absentia" count towards any future jail time?

      Ahh, but the concern is not the Swedish charges, it's the possibility of extradition to the US

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Does "detained in absentia" count towards any future jail time?

        "t's the possibility of extradition to the US"

        It's the possibility that the US couldn't care less about extraditing him. The humiliation!

        1. Uffish
          Windows

          Re: "couldn't care less"

          I have no quarrel with your opinions but don't present them as facts. The reason for the whole sorry saga is very definitely the USA.

          Where's the pernickity old codger icon?

      2. Not That Andrew

        Re: Does "detained in absentia" count towards any future jail time?

        If the US really wanted to extradite him they could have extradited him from the UK when he was still lounging around leeching of the rich fools who paid his bail. Who he appears to have no intention of repaying.

        1. boltar Silver badge

          Re: Does "detained in absentia" count towards any future jail time?

          "If the US really wanted to extradite him they could have extradited him from the UK when he was still lounging around leeching of the rich fools who paid his bail. "

          Quite and Assange knows it. But that doesn't stop the clueless SJWs from still banging on about extradition. Far more likely is he's worried about a guilty verdict in Sweden over the rape allegations.

          As for the rich bleeding hearts who funded him, one can only hope their lonely braincells have learned a valuable life lesson but I won't hold my breath.

          Isn't it funny how sweden was the progressive liberal poster child for womens rights with the right-on crowd - until suddenly womens rights collided with the rights of some narcissistic egomanic and they choose to side with the latter simply because he stuck it to the US of A. Its a funny (and hypocritical) old world.

        2. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: Does "detained in absentia" count towards any future jail time?

          If the US really wanted to extradite him they could have extradited him from the UK when he was still lounging around leeching of the rich fools who paid his bail. Who he appears to have no intention of repaying.

          So maybe the real reason isn't the US he's worried about but "friends" of those who put up the bail money?

      3. Indolent Wretch

        Re: Does "detained in absentia" count towards any future jail time?

        Ha! The concern has always been the Swedish charges, it's the 0.00001% possibility of extradition to the US that Assange has used as an excuse to avoid them.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Does "detained in absentia" count towards any future jail time?

        At this point the extradition to the US is nothing but away of distracting from the seriousness of his legal problems.

    2. Lars Johansson

      Re: Does "detained in absentia" count towards any future jail time?

      If he had spent the time actually being detained by Swedish authorities, then yes. But since he is on the run, his self imposed detention doesn't count.

      "Detained in absentia" means that once he is actually detained, he will immediately progress to the second stage of pre trial detention without any court ruling.

      Of course, if he ever is brought to justice, charges long prepared will be brought against him rather swiftly, with no deed to renegotiate his detention...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Does "detained in absentia" count towards any future jail time?

        FYI:

        http://espresso.repubblica.it/internazionale/2015/10/16/news/five-years-confined-new-foia-documents-shed-light-on-the-julian-assange-case-1.235129

        They won't interview him in the UK because he would have the right not to answer and his lawyers might spin it as "no case to answer". This is why Marianna hasn't laid formal charges against him yet.

        She can drag her heals till 2020, and probably will given the 5 years she's dragged it out so far.

  4. James 51 Silver badge

    How long till he spends more time locked up in the embassy than he would in prison?

    1. SolidSquid

      I think I remember an article a while back suggesting he already has

    2. Smooth Newt Silver badge
      Alert

      Time locked up

      How long till he spends more time locked up in the embassy than he would in prison?

      Given the choice, even with a Swedish prison as the alternative, I know where I would rather be. And his alternative may be a lifetime in a US Supermax.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Time locked up

        And his alternative may be a lifetime in a US Supermax.

        Unlikely, as has been illustrated many times over. There is no way the US will help him become some sort of reluctant "martyr for the cause".

      2. phuzz Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: Time locked up

        Actually, I'd take the Swedish prison please. You'd be allowed some time out of doors, even if it would just be shuffling round a yard. There'd be more interaction with other human beings, and most importantly, you would know the maximum time that you'd have to be in there for.

        It's also worth noting that re-offending rates in Sweden are low, so they must be doing something right overall.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Time locked up

          It's also worth noting that re-offending rates in Sweden are low, so they must be doing something right overall.

          That's just one statistic in isolation. Given that (a) prison is pretty depressing, (b) the Swedish national sport is suicide, how many people actually get out of jail to even have the choice between going straight or re-offending?

          1. John H Woods Silver badge

            Re: Time locked up

            "the Swedish national sport is suicide" --- AC

            They may need to up their game then.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Time locked up

          "Actually, I'd take the Swedish prison please. You'd be allowed some time out of doors, even if it would just be shuffling round a yard."

          Swedish prisons, especially for non-violent low grade prisoners are quite progressive. Rather than "shuffling round a yard" it's more likely to be a walk i the garden. Along with TV and internet access and plenty of other privileges in fairly nice accommodation. He might even get "days off" although his proven flight risk might be a mark against that option.

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Time locked up

        "And his alternative may be a lifetime in a US Supermax"

        His alternative may be a lifetime of the ego damage of being totally ignored by the US.

  5. sysconfig

    Detention?

    Why is it that people seem to be referring to Assange's current situation as detention? He's not detained. He is avoiding detention by choice. His current situation is that he chose to live in a Knightsbridge flat, a prime location, with guards and concierge service, and even allowed to have a pet. He is free to go - at the risk of actually being detained to finally answer to some allegations.

    The US don't want him. He has made himself quite irrelevant already (apart from some mediocre entertainment value). If they wanted him, they would have done so long before he managed to break his bail conditions. He's not a British Citizen, so the UK wouldn't have hesitated to hand him over, if asked nicely.

  6. IHateWearingATie
    Black Helicopters

    Julian Who?

    I wonder if he has a dartboard with Ed Snowdon's photo on it in the corner of the room?

    1. Chris Miller
      Headmaster

      Re: Julian Who?

      Snowdoen

  7. decayofsouls

    Is Julian even news-worthy anymore?

    "If the US really wanted to extradite him they could have extradited him from the UK when he was still lounging around leeching of the rich fools who paid his bail. "

    Despite what Assange, and his supporters claim, the UK couldn't send him to the US if they wanted to right now, nor could Sweden - as being member states of the EU they are under EU law which means they are not allowed to extradite to countries that have the death penalty.

    Also sysconfig is correct; he isn't being detained (despite the wording of him, his supporters, his cat and the press) as he chose to exile/confine himself in the embassy to avoid prosecution (essentially he ran and hid rather than face justice) and the police force outside are there to arrest him (at which point he would be detained) for the crime (I say crime because he is guilty of doing this) bail-jumping that he did to get to the embassy in the first place before his subsequent trial for rape (notice trial as this still needs to go through court to be declared guilty and is innocent till proven otherwise).

    On a side note, as he is guilty of breach of bail in the UK, I am still unsure how Ecuador decided to, and can continue to, offer him safe haven as (my legalese is rusty but I seem to recall) the Vienna Convention states that embassies must respect local laws.

    1. Thesheep

      Re: Is Julian even news-worthy anymore?

      Of course Sweden and the UK can extradite him to the US - there are plenty of extraditions to the US every year. You are presumably confusing this with being extradited on a charge that could carry the death penalty.

      1. decayofsouls

        Re: Is Julian even news-worthy anymore?

        Yes you are correct, thanks for the correction, it is "where the death penalty applies". However, this is exactly what Assange and fan club are saying - extradition to the US would have him face the death penalty. In which case we can't send him there, can we? (if we can't then how has this argument convinced an embassy to take him in).

    2. John H Woods Silver badge

      Re: Is Julian even news-worthy anymore?

      " ... under EU law ..." -- decayofsouls

      Don't want to be pedantic, but with an EU referendum coming up in the UK perhaps we should note that it is actually the sixth protocol of the ECHR (I think) that covers this and that this is under the remit of the Council of Europe*, which has nothing** to do with the EU.

      I don't think it prevents extradition where the death penalty does not apply (which could be because of the nature of the offence or, I think, a prior agreement that it will not be sought).

      *same flag, same anthem, different members, different purpose. Although I don't think any country would be allowed to join the EU without being a member of the CofE.

      **NTBCW the Council of the European Union, which is one of the two chambers in the EU legislature (the other being the European Parliament). Also not to be confused with the European Council :-)

      1. decayofsouls

        Re: Is Julian even news-worthy anymore?

        You may be right, I was going by the extradition agreement signed by the European Union (EU) and the United States of America (U.S), which entered into force on 1 February 2010, that states:

        The requested country may grant extradition for an offence that is punishable by death under the laws of the requesting country but not under its own laws on condition that:

        (a) the death penalty will not be imposed; or (b) if the death penalty is imposed, it will not be carried out.

        The UK does have its own Extradition Act (2003?) which repeats this; that if the person could face the death penalty (unless the Secretary of State gets adequate written assurance that the death penalty will not be imposed or, if imposed, will not be carried out) then extradition is prohibited.

    3. Mike Taylor

      Re: Is Julian even news-worthy anymore?

      Not just to avoid prosecution, he appears to have run rather than face questioning.

  8. Scroticus Canis Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Couldn't they at least ....

    ... have got him a white cat? Where is their sense of coordination?

  9. AnotherBird
    FAIL

    His own fault

    This is no longer news. He is only a man refusing to go to Sweden, so an investigation can continue. It is his own fault that he is in the situation.

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