back to article Swedish appeals court upholds arrest warrant for Julian Assange

A Swedish appeals court has upheld the European Arrest Warrant for Julian Assange, who is sought in the country on allegations of rape, which he denies. Assange had sought to appeal the warrant for his arrest, though not the charges, as a means of achieving escape from the Ecuadorian embassy where he has been holed up now for …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The 8th, but not the last..

    Assange's lawyers have argued that his stay in the embassy amounts to arbitrary detention. They are matched in this claim by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD), which found earlier this year that Assange was being detained arbitrarily.

    This is exactly what keeps this saga ongoing (and, of course, the lawyers in salary and publicity - the true name of the game). Assange is not detained in that embassy. He can walk out any time, day or night, and face the music like anyone else - and that's the real issue, he'd rather not.

    There is nobody who prevents him from walking out of there, as a matter of fact, there are quite a few people wishing he did..

    1. Chris Miller

      Re: The 8th, but not the last..

      And even if the Swedes withdraw their charges (or they expire), the British authorities will want to talk to Assange about breaking his bail conditions - a serious offence.

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: The 8th, but not the last..

        Google the maximum penalty. CPS guidelines say 6 months if a magistrates court does a summary conviction or 12 months in the case of a Crown Court doing it. Plus losing the bail bond that was put up by his mates, but that's unlikely to worry him that much given that he didn't pay it.

        He'd get more than that if they decide to charge him with contempt of court, hold him in prision until the case is heard (obvious flight risk?) and then stick his case at the bottom of the priority list.

  2. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Stop

    Ah, yes, the famous "afraid of the US" bogeyman.

    The only thing (well, one of the only things) which has remained constant -at least as far as I can see - in this entire sorry saga, is the lack of any concrete steps by the US to show even the slightest bit or interest in Assange (c).

    Yes, there has been a lot of blustering from politicians.

    But is there a *US* warrant for his arrest ?

    Has the US even begun extradition proceedings ?

    Are people aware that in the event Assange (c) is extradited to Sweden, he could not thence be extradited to the US without explicit (and unlikely) UK permission ?

    I know there's a lot of paranoia about the US, but they are not going to risk the cosy UK-US extradition agreement (which would be in tatters if they snatched Assange (c) from Sweden) for the likes of Assange (c) who - willingly if not arbitrarily - is slipping into the back pages of the 2000s, and only has himself to blame.

    He's starting to remind me of those Japanese soldiers that disappeared into Pacific islands in 1945, only to emerge in the 1970s and discover the world has moved on.

    It's been a while since we've had a poll for new El Reg icons. Can I suggest "Oh Do Fuck Off" for the next round ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ah, yes, the famous "afraid of the US" bogeyman.

      But is there a *US* warrant for his arrest ?

      Mr Assange is worried that he will be [cough-cough] spirited away in the dead of night the US and would end up at some rendition camp in a god awful bit of the world. Why?

      He's embarrassed the USA so many times they need to get their revenge in one way or another.

      Like ot hate him, no one deserves that. If he is to spend time in clink then it should be after due legal process.

      Personally, I think he's a bit of a pratt and that's all.

      Well, that's my opinion

      1. 142

        Re: Ah, yes, the famous "afraid of the US" bogeyman.

        Though, if we're talking about *extrajudicially* spiriting him away in the middle of the night, surely that's just as likely from UK or Equador, as Sweden.

        1. Mage Silver badge

          Re: Ah, yes, the famous "afraid of the US" bogeyman.

          Much LESS likely from Sweden.

          Why was he in the UK at all, if he was worried about USA?

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Ah, yes, the famous "afraid of the US" bogeyman.

        "He's embarrassed the USA so many times they need to get their revenge in one way or another."

        Which they're doing very successfully. He's imprisoned himself, at the expense of the Ecuadorians and ourselves. And his ego is being injured by not being taken seriously by them.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ah, yes, the famous "afraid of the US" bogeyman.

      Um, what?

      "lack of any concrete steps to show even the slightest bit of interest in Assange (c)"

      Uh-huh, USGov is perfectly happy to let someone accused of leaking so many secrets wander around scot-free and have no intention of having a quiet word in his ear.

      "begun extradition proceedings"

      Yup, cos nobody was ever picked up off the streets and sent to Guantanamo Bay without the full and proper legal process being observed.

      "not thence be extradited to the US without explicit (and unlikely) UK permission"

      Not only the same answer as the question above, but also why is it unlikely the UK would allow him to be sent? UKGov has been more than happy to hand people over in the past, with far less evidence of wrongdoing. Assange is not a UK-vian and he has freely admitted to whistle-blowing (as he puts it) - or data theft (as USGov describes it). Whatever "special relationship" it was that used to exist between the UK and the US is currently broken, written off by people who think sound-bite politics is more important than like-minded people working together. Whether it can be repaired or not remains to be seen.

      Criminals decide that the restrictions placed upon their actions for the protection of others by the law of the land do not apply to them so why should they feel entitled to any legal protection themselves? You either accept and live within the law or you don't accept it and live outside it - but don't start crying if you suddenly realise what a crock of sh** you have landed yourself in by claiming the law doesn't apply to you. If you break the law, you shouldn't expect the law to protect you.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ah, yes, the famous "afraid of the US" bogeyman.

        "UKGov has been more than happy to hand people over in the past, with far less evidence of wrongdoing."

        Elsewhere on El Reg today:

        Lauri Love extradition A-OK

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Ah, yes, the famous "afraid of the US" bogeyman.

          "".....with far less evidence of wrongdoing."...." Puh-leeeease! That (IMHO) waste of oxygen Lauri Love has so much evidence against him he wasn't even bothering to try denying what he did, he was just trying to get his trial and inevitable conviction in the UK because he thought the UK courts will go much, much easier on him. As it stands, he can still appeal the case he just lost, plus appeal to the Home Office, and then appeal to the courts in Europe. Lauri Love isn't going anywhere for a while yet, but it is looking more and more likely he is just delaying his trip to the States.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Ah, yes, the famous "afraid of the US" bogeyman.

          "Elsewhere on El Reg today:

          Lauri Love extradition A-OK"

          Exactly. And look how long it's taken. Along with similar cases where the accused has not been extradited after even longer judicial processes. Assange really has very little to worry about a US extradition from the UK. After all, he'll have to serve his sentence for absconding while on bail first and that is looked on VERY dimly by UK judges. From what I've seen of Swedish justice, it seems just as unlikely they would extradite hom to the US. Assuming that at some stage the US actually makes a request for extradition, which they seem to be showing little interest in doing. After all, they could have made that request while Assange was still in Sweden before any of the current shenanigans even began.

      2. HereIAmJH

        Re: Ah, yes, the famous "afraid of the US" bogeyman.

        "Uh-huh, USGov is perfectly happy to let someone accused of leaking so many secrets wander around scot-free and have no intention of having a quiet word in his ear."

        Except that Assange didn't leak anything. He published documents that were leaked by Manning. And Manning is spending the next 35 years in Leavenworth Prison. He/She has currently just ended a hunger strike to force the Gov't to pay for sex reassignment surgery.

        Personally, I think extradition would be tough. Assange not a US citizen. He didn't hack any US servers. Proving jurisdiction on a crime seems to be a stretch. And rendition of a public figure would lead to too many questions about black ops.

        1. People's Poet

          Re: Ah, yes, the famous "afraid of the US" bogeyman.

          "Personally, I think extradition would be tough. Assange not a US citizen. He didn't hack any US servers. Proving jurisdiction on a crime seems to be a stretch. And rendition of a public figure would lead to too many questions about black ops."

          Are you kidding me? You can break US law from within the UK and still get sent to prison on the US after being extradited.

          https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/feb/11/businessman-extradited-iran-arms-sale-charges

          For selling batteries!!!

          1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
            Boffin

            @People's Poet ... Re: Ah, yes, the famous "afraid of the US" bogeyman.

            Learn the law.

            Publishing... the leaks... he has some legal protection and it wouldn't be worth the effort.

            Assisting Manning... that's a different story.

            BTW, I think you need to understand what said batteries are used for as to why it was illegal.

          2. blame.exe

            Re: Ah, yes, the famous "afraid of the US" bogeyman.

            Some recent news coverage of two different individuals who have never been in the US and yet are facing deportation to the USA. One was Kim dotcom and the alleged owner of Kickass Torrents. I do find the idea that a country would extradite a citizin or anyone for that matter to a country they have never been a seriously disturbing prospect.

            If I recall correctly Kim Dotcom living in New Zealand has had his assets siezed and is treated as being a fugitive as he is fighting extradition.

        2. PNGuinn Silver badge
          Joke

          Except that Assange didn't leak anything

          I thought that was what the whole Swedish warrant was about in the first place?

          1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
            Facepalm

            At PNGuinn ... Re: Except that Assange didn't leak anything

            Ah but wrong.

            He wasn't fully dressed in a 'rain coat' so he did leak which is why its rape and not consensual sex. Had he worn a 'rain coat', then there wouldn't be an issue because they had consented to protected sex.

            Of course had he instead kept to Rosie and her 5 sisters, none of this would have happened and he would already be in US custody if they wanted him.

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Ah, yes, the famous "afraid of the US" bogeyman.

        "USGov is perfectly happy to let someone accused of leaking so many secrets wander around scot-free"

        Where is he doing this wandering around of which you write?

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Obama, Obama, Obama.

        Why is everyone talking about "the US Government" here when really it is up to Obama as to what happens to AssangeTM? Especially with something of this high visibility? How many executive orders has Obama issued against Assange and Snowden?

        Everyone is treating the U.S. like they are some sort of mysterious bogyman, when really the U.S.'s play is entirely up to Obama and no one else.

      5. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

        @AC ... Re: Ah, yes, the famous "afraid of the US" bogeyman.

        You're getting down voted because you're focusing on the wrong thing.

        Assange may have tweaked the eagle's beak, but publishing the leaks is the least of his worries and he actually does have strong protection here and could very well fight that thanks to Ellsberg.

        The truth is that if Assange isn't paranoid, then there is some merit to the claim he assisted Manning, which is an illegal act.

    3. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Ah, yes, the famous "afraid of the US" bogeyman.

      There may not be any US extradition request at present, America may be suggesting they have no intention of ever making one, but that could change pretty quickly once he's held in a country which could well honour such a request.

      I think he's quite right not to trust the US. We had a government minister embarrassingly having to apologise for Misleading the House after they had been lied to by America, and there are plenty of other cases which show the US cannot be trusted to say what she means or means what she says.

      I recall Assange offered to return to Sweden providing they would make a binding promise not to extradite him to the US but they were not prepared to make such an undertaking.

      Getting out of the embassy without being grabbed by British authorities will be difficult enough, putting him at risk of being deported to the US from the UK.

      Nothing has convinced me that either Sweden or the UK would prevent his extradition to America if that were sought.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ah, yes, the famous "afraid of the US" bogeyman.

        There may not be any US extradition request at present, America may be suggesting they have no intention of ever making one, but that could change pretty quickly once he's held in a country which could well honour such a request.

        Yes, sure. He may also get struck by lightning or die of vitamin D deficiency whilst holed up, so clearly we must assume that will happen too as that is just as likely.

        Why exactly do you think he encouraged people such as Manning? He soon realised that hacking himself would risk his precious unwashed hide, whereas encouraging others with (ultimately empty) promises would provide a happy layer of isolation for himself, again a reason why his "fear of the US' is just a load of self-aggrandising bullshit. I didn't buy that from the moment he brought that idiocy into the world, but the deluded herd of "fans" lapped it up as if it was gospel.

        No wonder the planet is going to shit - critical thinking seems to have all but vanished.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Ah, yes, the famous "afraid of the US" bogeyman.

        "that could change pretty quickly once he's held in a country which could well honour such a request."

        He was held in a country which could well honour such a request. The UK. Where was the arrest warrant?

      3. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

        @Jason B.... Re: Ah, yes, the famous "afraid of the US" bogeyman.

        Assange was asking for blanket immunity because there are no extradition requests in play.

        No Government would do that. Period.

        Again the US wouldn't extradite from Sweden because now the UK would be involved.

        If anything the only thing Assange could be in trouble with is the involvement w Manning in the theft of the material. There the statute of limitations is long. Much longer than Sweden's sex crimes and most likely longer than the patience of Ecuador.

        The issue is this.

        He surrenders from the Embassy... he goes to Sweden.

        Best case for Assange, too much time has elapsed and he gets a plea deal w no jail time... or found not guilty if it goes to trial. Worst case... he is found guilty and because of his stunt they throw the book at him and he gets what? 4 years max?

        The from Sweden, he goes back to the UK.

        I don't know what he would get for jumping bail, lets say 2 yrs max?

        From there, he's booted back to Australia. He doesn't get the option to choose where he goes when he leaves England.

        That's where he will be extradited from if the US does in fact extradite him. (A Clinton Presidency would. Trump may not.)

        The US wouldn't attempt to extradite from the EU. They have a better case in Australia due to his prior bad acts as a teen.

      4. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Ah, yes, the famous "afraid of the US" bogeyman.

        Nothing has convinced me that either Sweden or the UK would prevent his extradition to America if that were sought.

        This is beginning to sound like a "we don't want him, you take him and he'll be your problem" type of thing.

        I do note the tweet that he'd basically switch places with Manning. I'm guessing that life in prison might be better in his mind than in his current residence? Not being smarmy... but wondering what is behind that tweet.

        1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
          Boffin

          @Mark 85 ...Re: Ah, yes, the famous "afraid of the US" bogeyman.

          "This is beginning to sound like a "we don't want him, you take him and he'll be your problem" type of thing."

          While Assange is a pratt, there is the issue of law and the fact that while Assange could theoretically face the death penalty, they will not agree to any extradition to the US unless its off the table. Since there is no extradition on the table, the worst case for Assange is if he's being indicted as a co-conspirator to Manning. If so, he wouldn't face the death penalty but something less than Manning.

          But even still, Assange would have the ability to fight extradition to the US in both Sweden and the UK since he would be in Swedish Custody and due back to the UK for bail jumping. The UK could waive its right and then if Sweden lets him go... that's it. However that would be a riskier move than just waiting until he's sent back to Australia.

          You have to remember as a teen he was convicted of hacking US government and defense systems. This will play against him if the US wanted Assange. Here they could use his past against him. Australia could also remove his right to travel and take away his passport for his antics in Sweden and the UK. (This would be the Australian Government's right. )

          So while the UK and Sweden really don't want him... (who does?) ... they still have to follow their laws and give him the opportunity to fight the extradition. Now having said all of this... if you want to consider how the US would act... look at how they handled Guccifer. He was in, testified / cut a deal, got sentenced and then back to fulfill his current sentence. Afterwards he could come back to the US, face his sentence and then get sent packing back home. (I think that there are other options ...)

          The bottom line, his fear of the US extraditing him from Europe is in my opinion overblown. Its far easier and more likely that if the US wants him, he'll be taken when he gets back to Australia. A lot depends of course on the winds of politics and world current events.

      5. Windrose

        Re: Ah, yes, the famous "afraid of the US" bogeyman.

        "... they were not prepared to make such an undertaking."

        This IS true. The Swedish government actually, honestly and opened REFUSED ... to break Swedish law to benefit St. Julian.

        Only a Swedish court can legally refuse an extradiction request and only AFTER it was actually MADE. What'cha know. Them fiendish swedes comply with their own laws! Terrible.

      6. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Ah, yes, the famous "afraid of the US" bogeyman.

        "but that could change pretty quickly once he's held in a country which could well honour such a request."

        You mean like the UK? Wait...what?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ah, yes, the famous "afraid of the US" bogeyman.

      The only thing (well, one of the only things) which has remained constant -at least as far as I can see - in this entire sorry saga, is the lack of any concrete steps by the US to show even the slightest bit or interest in Assange.

      Shhhhhh! Don't spoil the myth or we'll be buried under the usual nutjobs trying to re-establish that firmly broken premise. You and I (and may others) know that he's wanted for pretty basic stuff, but Assange needs that "I am wanted by the US" myth to distract from that. After all, he's "special".

      If that meant ""especially obnoxious" I would agree, but he's nothing more than a boring, slightly rapey guy who is trying to avoid a chat with the authorities over activities where Wiki"leaks": means something completely different. The only special bit is that het gets to hide in an embassy while other dodgy people get either collared immediately or become politicians.

      By the way, he tried to get Assange™, not ©, but sensibly neither apply :).

    5. Aitor 1 Silver badge

      Re: Ah, yes, the famous "afraid of the US" bogeyman.

      Sorry, but no.

      You are trying to convince me that a person of interest for a rape warrants secre fake basestations, hacking embarry phones and emails, 24/7 surveillance, and inspecting planes with diplomats in different countries.

      No way.

      1. Vincent Ballard

        Re: Ah, yes, the famous "afraid of the US" bogeyman.

        @Aitor1, inspecting planes? Are you sure you're not confusing Assange with Snowden?

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Ah, yes, the famous "afraid of the US" bogeyman.

        "and inspecting planes with diplomats in different countries."

        That was Snowdon they were looking for. Maybe Assanges white hair makes it easy to confuse the two men?

    6. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Ah, yes, the famous "afraid of the US" bogeyman.

      The suspicion has been the Swedish charges are something that looks strong enough for a trial. The idea is to destroy his credibility by using a very public trial where the actual conviction is irrelevant. While the US hates him, so do others because Wikileaks has been a pain in their sides and embarrassing them on a regular basis.

      1. Phil Koenig

        Re: Ah, yes, the famous "afraid of the US" bogeyman.

        Actually the Swedish allegations have always been weak and questionable, and the Swedes already had a chance to question him about the allegations, which they did, and they cleared him to leave the country.

        Sorry but for those who have actually reviewed the actual history in detail and who don't have some kind of in-built bias against the guy, the whole matter stinks to high heaven.

        1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

          @Ohil Koenig. .. Re: Ah, yes, the famous "afraid of the US" bogeyman.

          Look, you really need to learn something about the case and Swedish law.

          Assange goes to Sweden to be questioned and charged. Its a formal process. This would have occurred except that Assange's original lawyer in Sweden ran interference while Assange left the country. He admitted to this under oath in the UK during the first extradition appeal.

          Sorry, but for someone claiming to know something... the only thing stinking in this is Assange. You can easily google and read the transcripts which I believe are still online where the case against him was spelled out.

          Assange had not one but three extradition appeal hearings and each one said he was to go back.

          The law works. Assange had his day in court. Now the women he allegedly raped should have theirs to get some closure.

    7. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Ah, yes, the famous "afraid of the US" bogeyman.

      " the lack of any concrete steps by the US to show even the slightest bit or interest in Assange"

      That's what's really bugging him: being treated as unimportant.

    8. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Boffin

      @Jimmy Page... Re: Ah, yes, the famous "afraid of the US" bogeyman.

      I think to answer your question you have this:

      "

      If Obama grants Manning clemency, Assange will agree to US prison in exchange -- despite its clear unlawfulness https://t.co/MZU30S3Eia

      "

      Why is Assange making this statement?

      The answer is that while there are no charges pending or extradition request, Assange is fearful of the US.

      Its not for publishing the Wikileaks documents. He actually has some legal protections under the claims that he is a journalistic organization. the "Ellsberg" SCOTUS decision back in '71 allows Wikileaks and Assange to claim that they published for the greater good. Any decent lawyer would be able to win that case.

      But the larger issue... Assange may have also participated in the break in and subsequent theft which would carry a heavy prison sentence. We know of this because of evidence revealed in Manning's Article 32 hearing, and if true then Assange is an accomplice. Yet this was never produced during his court martial because Manning had admitted to the facts of the theft. Nor did Manning make any public statements concerning Assange. Assange's fear of the US tends to lend credibility to the claim that he helped Manning break in....

      The whole mess in Sweden is Assange's own doing. Boys will be boys and that's what he gets for taking women for granted. (When in Sweden, play by their rules...) So the whole issue there is that these women should get their day in court, something Assange has deprived them from having...

      The point is that the fear of extradition from the UK or Sweden is over rated. If he did go to Sweden, and he did get found guilty, and he did get prison time... He could be extradited to face a trial in the US, however that scenario would be unlikely. The issue would have to go through both the UK and Sweden. Then there's the issue of bail jumping. Jail time for that. Again the US could extradite him, but he could again fight it and who knows.

      After all of this... he goes back to Australia.

      And here... he yet again could be extradited to the US. Here, however, unlike in the EU/UK, Assange was convicted as a teen for breaking in to US Systems. This could come in to play and would make the extradition much easier.

      So if Assange did assist in the theft. He does have reason to fear the US, except that he will not be rendered in the EU or UK, but in Australia. (I know Brexit won't happen for a while but just getting used to the idea...)

    9. PNGuinn Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Ah, yes, the famous "afraid of the US" bogeyman.

      It's Assange (TM) not Assange (c), is it not?

      I'm bored.

    10. Hans 1 Silver badge

      Re: Ah, yes, the famous "afraid of the US" bogeyman.

      >I know there's a lot of paranoia about the US, but they are not going to risk the cosy UK-US extradition agreement (which would be in tatters if they snatched Assange (c) from Sweden) for the likes of Assange (c) who - willingly if not arbitrarily - is slipping into the back pages of the 2000s, and only has himself to blame.

      Jimmy, listen, I think you live in the past.

      1. UK is no longer a world power

      2. cf 1.

      3. cf 1.

      4. The US-UK extradition agreement is one way only: FROM UK to US

      5. cf 1.

      6. The UK has absolutely NO SAY whatsoever in what Sweden does once Assange is in Sweden.

      7. cf 1.

      8. Neither the US, nor Sweden care what UK thinks in this matter. The US knows UK will accept any decision taken by the US in this matter, just like any other, as they have ALWAYS done since at least 1941 ... if not 1920.

      9. You guessed it, cf 1.

      1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

        @Hans1 ... Re: Ah, yes, the famous "afraid of the US" bogeyman.

        "6. The UK has absolutely NO SAY whatsoever in what Sweden does once Assange is in Sweden."

        Uhm this is wrong. Flat out wrong.

        Because of the EAW and extradition proceedings, if any country made an extradition request to Sweden, the UK would have some input on the request. Depending on the situation, they could object.

        This had been pointed out during the first extradition hearing where Assange put forth the insane idea that this was a plot by the CIA to get him.

        Again the truth... when this all blows over, if the US wanted him in connection to Manning's theft, they will have plenty of time to get him in Australia, assuming he doesn't flee.

        Remember his prior bad acts as a teen will be brought up and used against him in Australia which would pretty much seal the deal. Maybe he wouldn't have ended up such a pratt if that judge had sentenced him to jail instead of probation.

  3. Natalie Gritpants

    If he is ever dissapeared

    no one will care, just assume it's yet more publicity seeking

    1. DropBear Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: If he is ever dissapeared

      Factually incorrect. Although I can't vouch for how many others might share my interest.

    2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

      Re: If he is ever dissapeared

      People would care and many would be happy.

      Seriously... if the US wanted him. He will be extradited in Australia and it would be very public.

      You also have to ask yourself why the US is paying for Chelsea Manning's Sex change operation... ;-)

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Assange, a man who could have been a hero.

    reality check: Look at me! Look at ME!!!!!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'Evading justice'

    I guess it all depends on who's version of justice they speak of.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 'Evading justice'

      "I guess it all depends on who's version of justice they speak of"

      well, he could start with the Swedish version .... unless he thinks a public trial will make him look bad, discolour is self-installed halo or something ...

  6. Lee D Silver badge

    "If Obama grants Manning clemency, Assange will agree to US prison in exchange -- despite its clear unlawfulness"

    Sorry, but suspected offenders do not get to give conditions on their arrest.

    And an arrest isn't a charge.

    And a charge isn't guilt.

    And guilt (or not) doesn't mean the US will try to snipe you from the opposite building. I mean, they're thick, but not THAT thick, and that's if they even DO care enough to be bothered (which I doubt).

    It's really quite simple. You have two choices:

    Live in the embassy forever and hope you never annoy the ambassador - or any of his replacements - enough that they just ask the police to come in and eject you (because they can do that)

    Come outside and be arrested at some point, and face trial at some point, and do whatever time is assigned by a court (if applicable) at some point, and then lose the media circus forever when nothing happens after that.

    Any other option (escape, appeals, negotiations, etc.) will inevitably end in one of the above anyway.

    I hope the embassy has Netflix and Amazon deliveries. Because for sure the UK prison for skipping bail won't even if the Swedes decide they don't care any more.

  7. IsJustabloke Silver badge
    Joke

    None of you are asking the important question!

    Will there be a follow up to the last movie that details his adventures in the Ecuadorian Embassy?!?!

    1. Marketing Hack Silver badge
      Go

      Re: None of you are asking the important question!

      Thursday, June 23, 2016:

      Not F'in chicken empenadas again!!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So,

    the ghost of Noel Edmonds seeks to avoid possible incarceration by actually incarcerating himself??

    I said a few years ago, we was going to Sweden, I still hold that view.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anyone watching "Narcos" ?

    For some reason, I am reminded that Escobar managed to build - and staff - his own jail.

  10. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Go

    Its not all bad for Julian...

    With a good agent, Assange could make a mint endorsing home furnishings, travel pillows, cable TV and video streaming services, hot plates, microwave ovens, potato chips, tanning beds, etc.

    "Wesley-Barrell, the official sofa of Julian Assange!"

  11. John 170

    Very few commenters seem to know the facts of this case...

    1. The UN formally found in February 2016 that Julian Assange is unlawfully detained by Sweden and the UK.

    2. Assange has not been charged and he is not wanted for trial.

    3. Assange does not "believe" there is an ’espionage’ case in the US against him, it is fact.

    4. Assange has not "refused to come to trial or indeed be questioned".

    5. Assange did not "flee".

    6. Assange has already been cleared and the woman says the police made it up in order to ’get him’.

    If you wish to see my sources on the above, visit https://justice4assange.com/assange-case-fact-checker.html

    Although it is a pro-julian website, everything listed there can be independently verified if the nay-sayers only chose to do so.

    1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      Re: Very few commenters seem to know the facts of this case...

      > 2. Assange has not been charged and he is not wanted for trial.

      FFS, if by now you don't know why that's bullshit you're either being willfully ignorant or are just too plain dense to conceive that different countries have different legal systems.

      He cannot be charged (and therefore cannot be wanted for trial) until after the interview they want to have with him. It's not a difficult concept, and it's not new.

      > 4. Assange has not "refused to come to trial or indeed be questioned".

      No, but he (the suspect) is trying very hard to dictate how and where that happens. What other suspects would you say could get away with that?

      > 5. Assange did not "flee".

      For a start, he's a bail jumper which most would consider fleeing. Secondly look up tje circumstances of his departure from Sweden. Not that whether he flee'd Sweden really matters, if he left to visit his Great Aunt Norma the requirement for him to go back wouldn't change.

      Maybe try reading a wider range of sources and verifying facts a little more thoroughly. It might be a fact that he's not been charged, but there's another fact that explains why and that its not unexpected.

    2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Boffin

      @John... Re: Very few commenters seem to know the facts of this case...

      Clearly you don't know the facts you think you do.

      1) Assange jumped bail and is hiding out at the Ecuadorian Embassy. He can leave at any time and face the Swedish Government, along with the UK Government for Jumping Bail.

      2) Assange did flee. (Absconded) This was accomplished with the help of his then Swedish lawyer who admitted to this during the first extradition hearing.

      3) As identified by the Swedish prosecution, their legal system requires that Assange comes in for a formal interview where after the interview they will charge him. In the first extradition hearing, they made it very clear that this wasn't an "interview" per se, but that Assange would be charged.

      4) Assange fled jurisdiction where he needs to be so that they can official charge him, hence the extradition request. He has had not one but three appeal hearings where the extradition request was granted. He then FLED again, jumping bail.

      Look, I can go on, point by point, but you're trotting out the old arguments, all of which have been soundly been rebuked.

      1. John 170

        Re: @John... Very few commenters seem to know the facts of this case...

        1. He can jump into a pot of boiling water if he wanted too, but that doesn't make it a sensible or even legal.

        2. It is not illegal to abscond. You abscond if you are kidnapped, sick, or for any other reason incapable of returning from bail. In the case of Assange, whether you agree or not, there is a very good reason to abscond - the possibility of ending up in a situation similar to Chelsea Manning. He has even said he will go freely if only the Swedes promise not to send him to the USA. And, furthermore, this is a *very* unusual form of absconding, since his location is known to absolutely everyone.

        3. The version of events are absolutely nothing like what you say. He is wanted to give his account for this new case of rape (the previous case was dropped by the prosecutor, and in fact one of the 'defendants' refused to sign the new version of events from the new case, even texting her friend to say 'they are making things up in order to get their hands on him'. That's from Sofia Wilen. Not Anna Ardin, the defendant who produced an unused ripped condom as evidence of aggravated sexual assault (with no chromosomal DNA whatsoever on it). Not Anna Ardin, the author of '7 legal ways to get back at a man who dumped you'. Not Anna Ardin, the alleged victim who refused offers from others for Assange to live with someone else for up to 5 days after the alleged rape, but rather choosing to continue to sleep with and engage in sexual activity with Assange. Ardin has the credibility of a banana. Sofia is the only person with a reasonable testimony, but it is not one of rape, rather, she had never had sex with a man without a condom before (ex-boyfriends confirm) and wanted Assange to take an STD test because she was frightened she might have HIV. That, was all. Furthermore, she didn't go to the police on her own accord, she was prompted by Anna to go with her to create a charge of rape. This is Sofia's words, not mine.

        4. When Assange left Sweden, it was with the explicit permission of Swedish prosecutors as the original case against him had been dropped. He stayed in Sweden for weeks after his initial visit to the police station to answer the allegations. It was only after he was in the UK on work-related business that the second case of rape spun up.

        You know, in these circumstances it's totally normal (and common) for Swedish police to take a statement over the phone, e-mail, or even go and see the un-charged not-even-defendant. But while the allegations are all rather mundane, this is a political issue. The UK even writing to Sweden in a leaked e-mail that they should not come to the UK to interview him, but rather wait for them to deliver him to Sweden.

        I can't go on point by point because I have much better things to do, and you will call them 'old arguments' as that is likely the best defense you have, so instead I will leave you with a quote from one of the lawyers at the UN Working Group for Arbitrary Detention. It's from 7 months ago, if that is acceptable (https://soundcloud.com/user-348328179/defamed-whistleblowers-need-protection-interview-with-alfred-de-zayas)

        "Some people will not like this decision. But I am a lawyer. The experts have spoken. I think it is now out of due respect for the countries concerned to take a big swallow and accept that they are subject to criticism, and cannot act with impunity."

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @John... Very few commenters seem to know the facts of this case...

          "Some people will not like this decision. But I am a lawyer. The experts have spoken. I think it is now out of due respect for the countries concerned to take a big swallow and accept that they are subject to criticism, and cannot act with impunity."

          Nicely pulled out of context. Did you actually listen to the whole thing or just picked out the words that you liked and glued them together in the right order?

          There is a simple fact here: the door is not locked for Saint Jules. He can take his coat, open the door and walk right out - something that is not possible in any definition of "detention". His problem is that he then has to face the consequences of his actions, and that's what this is all about. I have never bought the US story for a second, nor will I - there is just no way in Hell that any official would make the mistake of locking up this idiot, certainly not after he made it clear he's far better at harming himself than any US activity ever could. Unfortunately for Assange, that also means his book will never sell other than at bootsales and flea markets.

          Assange has a simple choice: if he wants fame, he'll have to call the US embassy and ask them to send a car round, at that point he can play the hero and get the martyr fame he wants (which he'd like to have without having to go through the actual suffering in jail part, but that's not how that works). If he wants continued infamy, it doesn't matter where he is: stuck in the Embassy desperately trying to ride along on other people's efforts (who DO take risks) or standing in front of a Swedish court getting confirmed that he's so sad a fucker that he has to sleep with a girl whilst she is still asleep. Either way, he's irrelevant.

          1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
            Boffin

            @AC ... Re: @John... Very few commenters seem to know the facts of this case...

            "

            Assange has a simple choice: if he wants fame, he'll have to call the US embassy and ask them to send a car round, at that point he can play the hero and get the martyr fame he wants (which he'd like to have without having to go through the actual suffering in jail part, but that's not how that works). If he wants continued infamy, it doesn't matter where he is: stuck in the Embassy desperately trying to ride along on other people's efforts (who DO take risks) or standing in front of a Swedish court getting confirmed that he's so sad a fucker that he has to sleep with a girl whilst she is still asleep. Either way, he's irrelevant.

            "

            Actually, not quite. He can go to the US Embassy where he will be detained and handed over to the Brits who will then process him and hand him over to the Swedes. Forget bail. (That's pretty obvious).

            Remember that the US doesn't want him. (Officially) There are no charges against him or any extradition warrants. His offer is fluff and he's getting scared. Manning is getting his gender reassignment surgery.

            So all this does is let the actual course of law play out.

            He faces the courts in Sweden. He may or may not spend any time in Sweden but he will most likely be barred from the country. He goes back to the UK. He faces time for his bail jumping. Probably what... a year? Then the UK tosses him from their country. If he were your garden variety pratt, he would get to choose his destination. But Saint Julian being the most ambitious sort of pratt, will get tossed back to Australia and they will have some choice words for him. They also have the option of baring him from leaving the country and recinding his passport.

            Now if the US wants to... again it may depend on who wins the White House... they have the option of picking him up and charging him... and maybe Manning will testify against him. I have no idea... its possible, but unfortunately my crystal ball only works on probably events I cannot predict the future.

        2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

          @John ... Re: @John... Very few commenters seem to know the facts of this case...

          Wow. Your logic leaves me speechless. (Julian is that you?)

          "2. It is not illegal to abscond."

          Oh but it is illegal to flee jurisdiction while under investigation. Assange's lawyer was in communication with the prosecution when they were asking for him to bring his client in for the formal interview which meant he would be charged.

          The lawyer gave Assange the heads up. Assange flees jurisdiction while the lawyer dodges phone calls from the prosecution. Only he couldn't dodge the text messages left by the prosecution nor claim he didn't receive them. (He did and the phone company can prove it.)

          Again, Assange's Swedish lawyer admitted to this under oath in the UK to the Swedish Prosecutor.

          You can't argue point by point because the evidence is against you.

          Here, lets save some time... Assange had not one, but three appeal hearings. <u>HE LOST ALL THREE. </u>

          The courts even went a step further in establishing the validity of the warrant by looking the the reciprocity of the charges. Meaning would he still be guilty of breaking the law in the UK assuming the facts in evidence were true. NOTE THE FOLLOWING: The EAW treaty specifies something like 32 criminal act/charges that do not require reciprocity. The charge of Rape is one of those that does not require reciprocity. (I think its #22 on the list, so if under Swedish law he is to be charged with rape, then what the say is rape goes. )

          Yet to give Assange the benefit of the doubt, they looked at the evidence presented (again assume it to be true since this isn't a trial) and under UK law, he too would be charged with rape.

          Bottom line, you can make any claims you want, but the actually law (courts in the UK) upheld the warrant and Assange then compounded the issue by jumping bail.

        3. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

          @ John ... #2 Re: @John... Very few commenters seem to know the facts of this case...

          You wrote:

          "3. The version of events are absolutely nothing like what you say."

          Normally I wouldn't say this but you seem to be pretty thick.

          Its not what I say, but what the court documents say.

          Go back and read the testimony from the Swedish Prosecutor when asked about "questioning Assange".

          Here again, she reiterated that its not just questioning (interview) but part of the formal process to charge Assange with the crime. To be clear and blunt, she was asked by the Judge if she intended to charge Assange and her response was yes, he was to be charged.

          While not a lawyer, I've seen some slime ball attorneys do some questionable things. Stuff where they get sanctioned and disbarred. Assange and his lawyer played the percentages that he could flee and not face an EAW and the case would be dropped. Had it been a normal bloke and not some pratt (Assange) that might have been the case. Just not worth the effort. But when you go around tweaking the nose of some very powerful people and play politics, you end up pissing the wrong people off.

          Oh and this is really all about the issue of his alleged rape of those girls. Again if the US wants him. They can grab him in Australia.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Very few commenters seem to know the facts of this case...

      >Assange has already been cleared and the woman says the police made it up in order to ’get him’.

      There were two women who made allegations. Because he's hidden so long, the two charges of molestation and one of unlawful coercion have timed out - leaving only the rape charge. The pro-assange site you reference doesn't mention that - instead it puts words in the mouth of one while completely ignoring the existence of the other. Both women have spoken directly to press early on and more recently through their lawyers.

    4. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: Very few commenters seem to know the facts of this case...

      "If you wish to see my sources on the above, visit https://justice4assange.com/assange-case-fact-checker.html

      Although it is a pro-julian website, everything listed there can be independently verified if the nay-sayers only chose to do so."

      I won't bother going to your website, thanks. Your first 'fact'

      "1. The UN formally found in February 2016 that Julian Assange is unlawfully detained by Sweden and the UK."

      is false. A UN committee found that Assange was arbitrarily detained, not unlawfully detained. the committee consisted of non-lawyers from a variety of countries, and did not worry itself with concepts like the law.

      It is clear that Assange's predicament is neither arbitrary nor detention. The leap of logic they took was that, because Assange cannot leave without being arrested, he is de facto in prison. And because he is 'in prison' according to them, without trial, this detention is therefore arbitrary.

      Note that this logic would apply to anyone hiding from the law: taken a few hostages and won't come out? You are being arbitrarily detained by the authorities. It's crazy but hey, sometimes the UN just has to make political points against certain countries, and this is the only way they can do it.

  12. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Julian Assange™

    @Alexander J Martin

    Whatever happened to the trademark?

  13. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. ecofeco Silver badge

    Not enough popcorn

    See title.

  15. Slx

    I still think It's odd one as you wouldn't really rank Sweden's judiciary as highly corruptible or politically influenced. One would assume it's likely to be a model of jurisprudence?

    I mean, there's a long list of countries that I would consider far more likely to have a risk of political interference in court cases. In general though, most of the small, fairly neutral, Northern European countries tend to be the most likely to actually give someone a fair trail.

    Surely his biggest risk is actually being in London, particularly during a period when it is leaving the EU and all the European Conventions on Human Rights and courts as well as the UK's own Human Rights Act etc may be irrelevant very soon and the place is being run by Big Sister.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "Surely his biggest risk is actually being in London,"

      He was in London (still is, actually). The US made no attempt to start extradition proceedings before he skipped bail.

      "particularly during a period when it is leaving the EU"

      Unwise but probably true"

      "and all the European Conventions on Human Rights"

      Untrue. And BTW Convention is singluar, not plural.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I still think It's odd one as you wouldn't really rank Sweden's judiciary as highly corruptible or politically influenced. One would assume it's likely to be a model of jurisprudence?

      Well, from what we've seen from the Swedes so far, it appears they're totally evil sods on account of failing to bend their rules to accommodate St Jules', err, "novel" view of how courts should treat suspects who bail from one country and then break bail in another. Fancy that: a legal system and its officers that actually stick to the rules. It's practically unheard of. I'm shocked, shocked I tell you.

      </sarcasm>

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    US readers .......

    can a presidential pardon be granted with conditions attached?

    Mr. Obama simply says "The United States will not attempt to extradite Julian Assange™ from the UK or from Sweden for anything related to X, Y, or Z provided he sgrees to stand trial in Sweden, serve any sentence if convicted, then stand trial in the UK, serve any sentence if convicted, and also pay the Ecuadorians some back-rent, at Knightbridge rates, for the entire time he chose to evade the Swedish and UK charges (no matter what his reason for doing so)."

    1. gnasher729 Silver badge

      Re: US readers .......

      Well, Ecuador doesn't deserve anything. They didn't have to let him in. They can throw him out any moment they want to. If I was a tax payer in Ecuador, I would be highly annoyed about the waste of Ecuador tax payer's money.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: US readers .......

        >If I was a tax payer in Ecuador, I would be highly annoyed

        If you were a tax payer in Ecuador you would have much more to be annoyed about - although you'd be keeping quiet about that - not a country that's big on freedom of expression or sites like Wikileaks.

        https://www.amnesty.org/en/countries/americas/ecuador/report-ecuador/

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: US readers .......

      "can a presidential pardon be granted with conditions attached?"

      No idea, but then I also have no idea if an incoming President in the very near future could reverse it. I don't really much, do I? :-)

  17. Phil Koenig

    Apparently..

    For a certain class of person, the only possible explanation for a person who has revealed widespread injustices, lies and governmental abuses and thus rattled feathers in high-places (and is therefore on the run from governments determined to punish him for that) is that he is a self-aggrandizing attention seeker.

    I think such pre-determined conclusions say more about their worldview than his.

    Thank goodness for so many of those "attention-seekers" over the millennia that had the perspicacity and conviction to force society to make important changes that ultimately became the human race's heroes.

    But no, in this case, we keep hearing instead that he's just an "attention seeker".

    If so, that's an attention-seeker we could use more of.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Apparently..

      For a certain class of person, the only possible explanation for a person who has revealed widespread injustices, lies and governmental abuses and thus rattled feathers in high-places (and is therefore on the run from governments determined to punish him for that) is that he is a self-aggrandizing attention seeker.

      For a start one ruffles feathers, but I take issue with your declaration that Assange has revealed such - he only did that at the very beginning, but soon realised that it was much easier riding on the back of other people taking the risk, people he then let down once he had what he wanted. You're also trying to set up an either/or that doesn't exist: he ran ruffle feathers in high places AND be a self-aggrandizing attention seeker. Not that he is, now he just makes people laugh in high places whilst being a self-aggrandizing attention seeker

      Next is the manner of use of the information and their release. For any framework of justice to function, there must be a balance between the penalty for illegally getting hold of data (let's not forget that this usually involves a criminal act) and the benefit to society for revealing enough to expose wrongful activities (usually of a higher magnitude). Key to this balance is a degree of constraint, because just throwing it all on the street may cause collateral damage to people/entities that are innocent or non-participants. If you get those two right and there is evidence of attempts to first get this addressed internally before going public (or significant risk if that was attempted) you will have access to the whistleblower defence against the criminal charges. Assange (& mates) have not exercised much in the way of constraint, probably in a desperate attempt to stay relevant after Assange's antics pretty much destroyed Wikileaks' credibility.

      Last but not least, all of the above offers no excuse for the other things Assange has done, or are you suggesting that the rights of individuals to be free of coercion and/or rape are less that that of a person releasing data that he didn't even acquire himself? Are you suggesting that Assange is more above the law than the people he purports to expose? Oh, I forgot, he didn't do anything, it's all a big plot by the Americans to subvert the legal system of a whole country to catch someone who has annoyed them a bit. I call hypocrite here.

      He once did a few good things, but apparently you can't keep a good idiot down for long. Thank God for him there are enough people that lack the ability to think for themselves or St Jules would already be all out of followers.

  18. Mpeler
    Mushroom

    Fair for me but not for thee

    Meanwhile, hundreds of REAL rapes occur in Sweden (and Germany, and elsewhere) while the *cough* PC Police do nothing.

    Priorities, priorities...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fair for me but not for thee

      The courts are hamstrung by the PC virus as well, incapable of reasonable action. The public information is awash with cases such as this, as Sweden disintegrates before the very eyes of its citizens.

      As soon as a significantly large portion of the population of a country are not ethically or socially aligned with the existing society (this includes the millenials as well as the islamic and other non western Christian cultural groups by the way), that country becomes another country. Sweden is becoming (perhaps has already become) something else and the Swedes have no-one to blame but the blue-eyed naivete and PC stupidity. It is an experiment in real-time, and the preliminary results (Zlatan aside) are not encouraging.

      https://shariaunveiled.wordpress.com/2016/04/29/sweden-muslim-immigrant-rapes-then-pours-lighter-fluid-over-a-swedish-girl-judge-allows-rapist-to-remain-in-sweden/

  19. This post has been deleted by its author

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    New reality TV - By Trump Industries (aka POTUS)

    Where's Julian?

    1. Raid the embassy

    2. Flush him out

    3. Chase!

    All in glorious HD on cable TV.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019