back to article Julian Assange wins at hide-and-seek game against Sweden

Sweden's director of public prosecutions has today suspended an investigation into Julian Assange regarding rape allegations. The vitamin D-deprived WikiLeaks founder tweeted a pic of himself to celebrate the news: pic.twitter.com/dDvB1Vekhg — Julian Assange (@JulianAssange) May 19, 2017 The pale WikiLeaks boss has been …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Damn the cunt got away with it! Still we can still throw the book at him for jumping bail...

    1. Velv Silver badge
      Boffin

      There's no evidence he did or did not "get away with it". He's avoided being questioned and any subsequent trial by his peers for an alleged crime. While he is an utter (obscenity), the principle of innocent until proven guilty remains true, no matter how much I may think he's guilty of the alleged crime as per the laws of Sweden.

      The crime we do know he's committed is the jumping of bail, and only time will tell us if he "gets away with" that crime.

      1. PatientOne

        "There's no evidence he did or did not "get away with it". He's avoided being questioned and any subsequent trial by his peers for an alleged crime."

        The evidence would be the testimony of the women involved. That's the problem with cases like this: Unless reported immediately, it quickly devolves into one person's word against another's.

        The Swedish haven't dropped the case, either: That runs out in 2020 and they've said if he turns up in Sweden before then, then they'll have that chat. It's only the EU arrest warrant they're dropping.

        The bail jumping, of cause, is also a contempt of court, so I'd hope he does get a fine AND a year's stay in prison, just to add to his inverse tan.

        1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

          The women don't wish to make any testimony. They never did. It was the swedish police and some politician who wanted to press charges, for an offence that hadn't occurred.

          1. Yes Me Silver badge
            Holmes

            @Adrian 4

            How do you know it was "an offence that hadn't occurred"? If you weren't in the room, only the woman and the man concerned know the truth. And the man declined to explain himself to the prosecutor.

            1. Truckle The Uncivil

              Re: @Adrian 4

              And both the women in the two separate rooms claimed there was no rape. As you say, they are the only ones that know.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "The women don't wish to make any testimony. They never did"

            They made a complaint. But only after finding out he slept with both of them one after the other!

        2. Scroticus Canis Silver badge
          Holmes

          @ PatientOne - It's only the EU arrest warrant they're dropping

          True, but why not let it run until 2020 after which it would fall away as would any potential charge under Swedish law? Does it cost money to have an open warrant?

          I hope the Met don't screw up the skipping bail charges as this he is demonstrably guilty of. Nice bit of real bird and then an Australian Gov. paid ticket back to Oz as PNG*

          * persona non grata not Papua New Guinea though I can think of a place there for him.

        3. Archtech Silver badge

          No charges have ever been brought

          "The evidence would be the testimony of the women involved".

          Precisely.

          'The woman of whom Mr. Assange is accused of the offence of "lesser rape" (a technical term in Swedish law) sent an SMS to a friend saying that she "did not want to accuse JA [of] anything" and "it was the police who made up the charges". The other woman tweeted in 2013 that she had never been raped. Both women’s testimonies say that they consented to the sex. A senior prosecutor already dismissed the ’rape’ accusation, saying that there were no grounds for accusing Mr. Assange on this basis'.

          https://justice4assange.com/

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: No charges have ever been brought

            https://justice4assange.com/

            A prerequisite for justice is to show up in court, and not jump bail. Assange's problems are of his own making.

          2. Archtech Silver badge

            Re: No charges have ever been brought

            'Julian Assange has been vindicated because the Swedish case against him was corrupt. The prosecutor, Marianne Ny, obstructed justice and should be prosecuted. Her obsession with Assange not only embarrassed her colleagues and the judiciary but exposed the Swedish state's collusion with the United States in its crimes of war and "rendition".

            'Had Assange not sought refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London, he would have been on his way to the kind of American torture pit Chelsea Manning had to endure.

            'This prospect was obscured by the grim farce played out in Sweden. "It's a laughing stock," said James Catlin, one of Assange's Australian lawyers. "It is as if they make it up as they go along".

            'It may have seemed that way, but there was always serious purpose. In 2008, a secret Pentagon document prepared by the "Cyber Counterintelligence Assessments Branch" foretold a detailed plan to discredit WikiLeaks and smear Assange personally.

            'The "mission" was to destroy the "trust" that was WikiLeaks' "centre of gravity". This would be achieved with threats of "exposure [and] criminal prosecution". Silencing and criminalising such an unpredictable source of truth-telling was the aim.

            'Perhaps this was understandable. WikiLeaks has exposed the way America dominates much of human affairs, including its epic crimes, especially in Afghanistan and Iraq: the wholesale, often homicidal killing of civilians and the contempt for sovereignty and international law'.

            http://johnpilger.com/articles/getting-julian-assange-the-untold-story

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: No charges have ever been brought

            https://justice4assange.com/

            No thanks, I prefer to get my facts either from trustworthy sources (like direct reports) or setups that don't have an automatic bias from a group lead by someone who has already been found to lie and not being very good at it.

            The facts do not suggest Assange is innocent of the charges. Assange activities do not suggest he is innocent either. Ergo something stinks here on the Assange side and for once it's not his reported aversion to soap.

        4. Truckle The Uncivil

          @PatientOne

          The repeated testimony of the alleged victims is that there was no rape.

          The initial prosecutor said there was no case to answer.

          When one of the alleged victims said she was not raped the new (inappropriate) prosecutor replied that she was not a lawyer.

      2. LDS Silver badge

        Yes, but you need to defend yourself in a tribunal (in a civil and democratic country, and Sweden looks to be one), not escaping away trying to avoid the trial.

        Otherwise those who have the means to escape a trial long enough would be never proven guilty - even if they are, and so "get away with it" - while those who have not the mean will never have such "right".

        The gullible people who paid his bail have nothing to say?

        1. Archtech Silver badge

          "Yes, but you need to defend yourself in a tribunal (in a civil and democratic country, and Sweden looks to be one), not escaping away trying to avoid the trial".

          Assange delayed his departure from Sweden for several weeks for exactly that reason. He did not fly to the UK until the original prosecutor had interviewed him and told him no charges would be brought.

          It is astounding and quite unprecedented, when the alleged "victims" are on public record as having acknowledged that they do not believe any crime was committed and that they do not wish a prosecution to take place, and when the prosecutor has interviewed the accused and publicly announced that there is no evidence and so they are not bringing charges, for a different prosecutor suddenly to pop up and act as if none of that had ever happened.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Assange delayed his departure from Sweden for several weeks for exactly that reason. He did not fly to the UK until the original prosecutor had interviewed him and told him no charges would be brought.

            But then ran like hell when he realised someone had asked a really smart question that he couldn't explain away. Those are not the actions of an innocent man.

      3. Orv Silver badge

        This is real life, not "The Fugitive." People who are innocent don't generally run. They certainly don't hole themselves up for years to try to avoid giving a deposition.

      4. Yves Kurisaki

        You must be a Tory voter

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        the principle of innocent until proven guilty remains true

        Sure, but did anyone (including St Jules™ himself) bother to inform the fanbase who has been hardcore trolling the two girls? As far as I can tell, nobody extended that same courtesy to the victims.

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge

          I have always thought all this was pure BS on his part. Yes, it could have easily cleared up if he'd followed the rules much as expects those his site exposes. He uses Wikileaks seeking justice, etc. yet decides he's immune to anyone seeking justice from him. He basically washed his hands of Manning and (if reports are to be believed) failed to assist with legal counsel for Manning's trial. All the rest of his moaning and whining have purely been self serving attention seeking. His running and hiding was an act of sheer cowardness much the sort we'd see from a two year old hiding under his bed because he was afraid of the punishment for breaking a window.

          Sorry JA fans... I'm still thinking of him somewhere lower than whale shit.

    2. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
      Stop

      Damn the cunt got away with it!

      Because "innocent until proven guilty" is so passé these days.

      I don't particularly like Assange as a person but I dislike the judging and demonisation of people in 'the court of public opinion' even more.

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Not even been charged, but skipped bail.

        Also why on earth would Sweden send him to the USA? His excuse for not facing questioning is mental. The UK extradites people to USA, but didn't, because actually, the USA at the time didn't charge him. The USA doesn't like him, though AFAIK have never charged him?

        Maybe he likes the embassy.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not even been charged, but skipped bail.

          "Also why on earth would Sweden send him to the USA?"

          Because the Americans clearly want him, the whole thing with the "he didn't use a condom, so it was rape" thing is utterly ridiculous and obviously a setup. The Swedes also aren't likely to refuse a US extradition request.

          Also don't discount the way the backhanded way the US judicial system works. For instance they forced an internationally routed plane to land in Europe when they thought Snowden might be on it...And there have been numerous cases where they have tricked people into flying to the US so they can arrest them. What they generally don't do is let you know in advance they want you. Assange is utterly right to be worried about the possibility.

      2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
        Boffin

        @Jason Boomberg

        The concept of 'innocent until proven guilty' is so very often misquoted and not well understood.

        All it means is that during a trial the burden of proof is on the prosecutor to show guilt and not for the accused to prove innocence.

        Outside of a trial, Assange can be judged by the 'court' of public opinion.

        As to his guilt, the evidence was presented in British Court in defense of the EAW. While it is taken on its face as being true, the British Court found it compelling enough to warrant his return for a trial.

        The fact that he fled jurisdiction and then jumped bail does not help his case nor the vote of public opinion.

        Lets face it. Had he gone back or not left at all... he would have gotten a slap on the wrist and kicked out of the country.

        Now he's going to get the boot from the UK back to Australia.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: @Jason Boomberg

          "Now he's going to get the boot from the UK back to Australia."

          Unless the US issue an extradition warrant. There was no sign of that happening under the previous administration but the current one seems to be thinking about it. It's possible that his delaying tactics may well have brought about the very situation he was trying to avoid. Of course actually being wanted by the US is good for his ego and he can continue to stay where he is.

          I wonder how long the Embassy's lease has to run...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Honey trap. Oldest trick in the book...

    4. Christoph Silver badge

      How about reading some actual information about what has been happening? He has not been charged with anything, he was wanted for questioning and the prosecutor deliberately delayed that for many years. That's the second prosecutor, who took over the case at her own insistence after the first one said there was no case to answer.

      1. mhenriday
        Boffin

        Ms Ny, who, as prosecutor in Göteborg, should never have assigned the case, which belonged to Stockholm and which was originally dismissed by a chief prosecutor here, has presided over one of the major recent scandals in Sweden's well-filled repertoire of judicial mishaps. But she did succeed in interfering with Mr Assange's work and in forcing him into taking refuge in Ecuador's UK embassy to avoid being turned over to the tender mercies of the US government. Let us hope that Ms Ny's work for the US (un)intellegence agencies and that country's Department of (In)Justice has not gone unrewarded....

        Henri

        1. PickledAardvark

          A UK court (or several) determined that Assange should be returned to Sweden for trial (he flew directly from Sweden to the UK). He fled his bed whilst on bail for trial in Sweden -- therefore he is still chargeable for bail flight in the UK -- which needs to be proved, of course. And he may owe the mates who put up his bail money, whatever courts charged them.

          Assange took flight when he was on bail in the UK -- after living at the home of a liberal UK journalist with access to telephones and the internet. Journalists, then, didn't have a problem talking with Assange.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            "therefore he is still chargeable for bail flight in the UK -- which needs to be proved, of course."

            That was proved the moment he broke his bail conditions and failed to turn up in court.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              "That was proved the moment he broke his bail conditions and failed to turn up in court."

              Oh goodie. Two down votes from Assange fanbois who don't understand UK law. Care to explain how he'll be proved innocent of jumping bail?

        2. Scorchio!!

          Mr Assange's "work"? Let's remember that Assange was prosecuted and found guilty on (AIR) 17 counts, including breaking into an Australian police computer to monitor their investigations into him for breaking into Pentagon air force computers. Assange was told that he would next time be given a term in prison, which is precisely what should have happened in the first place. However, Assange clearly learned from this and ensured that his dabs have (thus far) not been found on the packages. Whilst I'm about it, when he was in the UK his behaviour toward women (as reported by a journalist no less, whose g/f/whatever Assange seduced) is in line with the profile that he has generated from the start. As I type these lines I also remember Assange's 16 year old 'partner', the one who bore his son. It all adds up into a very interesting profile.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Mr Assange's "work"

            We all have lots to thank Assange for. He is largely responsible for publicising and therefore helping to put a blocker on at least some of the things that would have led to us all living in a real life 1984.

          2. Truckle The Uncivil

            @Scorhio!!

            While what you say may be true - or not, it is not really relevant to the case at hand. That style of argument is called character assassination.

        3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          "to avoid being turned over to the tender mercies of the US government."

          Oh, I seem to have missed the US extradition request. Can you provide a link to that please?

      2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
        WTF?

        @Christoph.

        I'm sorry, but you really should learn the facts of the case.

        Assange absconded. He fled jurisdiction with the help of his then Swedish lawyer.

        This is well documented and the lawyer admitted to his role while testifying in British Court during the first extradition hearing.

        Also Swedish law restricts their ability to charge anyone with a crime in absentia. So they have to extradite him back to Sweden so that they can charge him. This too was detailed during Assange's first of three extradition hearings.

        And to be clear, the facts are that after the three courts ruled against him, he jumped bail and fled to the Embassy.

        The Prosecutor didn't delay anything.

        Seems you've been sucking on Assange's something...

        1. mhenriday
          WTF?

          Re: @Christoph.

          «Also Swedish law restricts their ability to charge anyone with a crime in absentia. So they have to extradite him back to Sweden so that they can charge him. This too was detailed during Assange's first of three extradition hearings.» Ah, that famous expert on Swedish law, one «Ian Michael Gumby», who doesn't understand that Swedish prosecutors can - and do - take depositions from persons under investigation even if said persons are not in Sweden. As a matter of fact, dear Ms Ny - who, as noted above, should never have been allowed to get near the cased - did precisely that, after delaying, contrary to what the good Mr Gumby would have us believe (but then he's not exactly noted for his devotion to the truth) for nearly five years. Let us hope she is adequately rewarded by her sponsors in the USA....

          I don't what Mr Gumby's been sucking on, but I'd suggest, for obvious health reasons, keeping one's distance from both it and him....

          Henri

      3. Stork Bronze badge

        I have, and one of the reasons it has taken so long is that Sweden need him there if they want to charge him. Assange knows that very well. He is _not_ exonerated.

        One way or another, the theory of this being a ruse to have him sent to the US is a bit thin. It would be very easy to argue against extradition from SE to US as the whole WikiLeaks stuff it political - which is clearly exempt in the extradition treaty.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        How about reading some actual information about what has been happening? He has not been charged with anything, he was wanted for questioning and the prosecutor deliberately delayed that for many years.

        The second prosecutor did everything by the book, the delaying was on Assange's part by pretending to collaborate (in the press) whilst in reality imposing conditions he (and lawyers) knew full well would be impossible to meet if a prosecutor would permit a suspect to set terms (which would be a travesty of justice on its own). Kindly don't twist the facts. If Assange hadn't fled like someone who knows he's guilty he'd have the interview and probably got a fine UNLESS there is an STD in play, which could explain (a) the delay (tests take time) and (b) the absolute fear of Assange of being in Sweden after having declared it the beacon of freedom first.

        That's the second prosecutor, who took over the case at her own insistence after the first one said there was no case to answer.

        That can happen in ANY country if new facts come to light, as they appear to have done.

        1. Truckle The Uncivil

          What new facts came to light?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            What new facts came to light?

            I suspect we would know by now if Assange had not gone into hiding like all "innocent" people do..

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You are Theresa may and I claim my five pounds.

      1. Marketing Hack Silver badge
        Headmaster

        "I will be able to decide to resume the investigation immediately"

        It sounds to me as if Julian is still liable to be questioned by the Swedes, they have essentially suspended the investigation while he is in a situation where they can't get to him. However, if Britain were to jail him for bail-jumping, then the Swedes could probably resume their investigation.

        1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
          Boffin

          @Marketing Hack... Re: "I will be able to decide to resume the investigation immediately"

          I don't think that they would do that.

          I think that they will let him get out of the UK before thinking of any options.

          The real issue is what the UK does.

          His lawyers want to negotiate some sort of deal.

          The UK could say no, or they could give him some prison time, or something in between before kicking him out of the country back to Australia.

          And I would be very surprised if they don't send him back since he's traveling on an Aussie passport.

        2. Archtech Silver badge

          Re: "I will be able to decide to resume the investigation immediately"

          Hello, he has already BEEN questioned by Swedish prosecutors - not once but TWICE. Once in Stockholm, where he extended his stay for that reason alone, and once at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London several months ago.

        3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: "I will be able to decide to resume the investigation immediately"

          "However, if Britain were to jail him for bail-jumping, then the Swedes could probably resume their investigation."

          And, IIRC, there's no expiration on bail jumping since that is contempt of court, something very much frowned upon by the judiciary. Assange WILL pay for that abuse at some point. His media posturing has made it impossible for him to leave the UK without being spotted even if the police decide it's no longer worth the effort to hang around on street corners near the embassy. Unless he tries to get out on a fake passport, adding to his offences.

    6. macjules Silver badge

      It's all a cunning ploy ..

      Just wait until he's out of the embassy .. then its bag, tag and Gitmo time for Saint Jules of Leaks

    7. Grunchy

      Whats all this BS about "innocent until proven guilty" that's only for the courts, who must be impartial if not "blind" to all matters.

      People, sheeple -- we are allowed to think for ourselves. NOBODY is required to believe in "innocent until proven guilty", as a matter of fact, I personally believe in "Guilty the moment you do the crime".

      With respect to A-hole Assange, sadly I know nothing about his case so I dunno. I am not such a fool to assume he's innocent though - he's definitely guilty of something.

      Somehow or other, he deserves the scrutiny he's under.

      1. sabroni Silver badge
        Happy

        re: I personally believe in "Guilty the moment you do the crime".

        You've not really thought that one through, have you?

      2. Adrian 4 Silver badge

        So , er, if you know nothing about the case, how is it that you judge him an asshole ?

        Did you think that he was wrong to publicise US military crjmes ?

      3. macjules Silver badge

        In 5 years of washing his socks and the cat in the embassy guest loo, it seems that Mr Assange has spent an awfully large amount of time creating user accounts on The Register. Never seen so many down votes on even minor sceptical comments.

    8. Scorchio!!
      Thumb Up

      Yes. He's whining about it right now on the radio; when in the UK behave according to the laws, no matter what you think of them. I want him to receive the same treatment that any other individual would in this country.

      1. Truckle The Uncivil

        The same treatment Laurie Love is receiving? Duck Fat.

      2. Truckle The Uncivil

        @Scorchio!!

        You are aware that they changed the U.K. law such that if the Swedish warrant was issued today the U.K. would not honour it.

        The reason being that it was not issued by a Swedish court merely the prosecutor. It is no longer recognised as a legal warrant in the U.K.

    9. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

      @AC not really...

      He pulled a Roman Polanski.

      If the El Reg statement from the prosecutor is correct, they can reopen the case, however, while that possibility exists... they probably won't.

      However, he still faces the Brits for jumping bail.

      That is another thing and they will most likely toss him on a plane back to Australia.

    10. Oh Homer
      Headmaster

      I wish they'd stop calling it "rape".

      Only in Sweden could a condom ripping during voluntary sex qualify as "rape".

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: I wish they'd stop calling it "rape".

        Not even in Sweden. What makes it rape is that he continued to have penetrative intercourse after it had ripped, despite his partner making it clear that she only consented to sex if he used a condom. All he had to do was pause and use a new one, but as we've seen over the past few years anything which doesn't turn out as he wants is always someone else's fault.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I wish they'd stop calling it "rape".

          Not even in Sweden. What makes it rape is that he continued to have penetrative intercourse after it had ripped, despite his partner making it clear that she only consented to sex if he used a condom.

          As far as I'm aware, even that would not immediately ping "rape", if Assange had consented to the STD tests as asked by the girls that too would have stopped it escalating. Assange's refusal to do so can be interpreted in many ways, one theory is that he already knew what the result would be.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I wish they'd stop calling it "rape".

        Which also didn't happen, allegedly

        1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: I wish they'd stop calling it "rape".

          Yet another AC who doesn't bother to learn the facts.

          The allegations were spelled out in the EAW and the subsequent appeals.

          The evidence was presented in a UK court. So there is no ability to say that there is no claim.

          If you re-read the first appeals challenge you'll learn that Assange's lawyers attempted to apply an affirmative defense. No one disputed that the sex occurred.

          So the act did happen. Does it meet the standard of rape? That's up to a court to decide. However on the surface if true then it does.

          Assange fled jurisdiction. Remember that had he stayed, the worst thing would be 4 years in jail and then booted out with the probability he would be booted from ever visiting Sweden again. This would have been a footnote in history.

          As to Assange's fear from the US... Publishing the details... isn't enough to get him extradited and charged. Assisting Manning in the theft? Then he's going to face charges under the Espionage Act and he will not face anything worse than Manning. Note that Manning's self mutilation would not be an option for Assange, although there would be two women in Sweden who would probably argue it to be a just fate. (The separation of Julian from his little friend who doesn't like to wear a raincoat. )

      3. Archtech Silver badge

        Re: I wish they'd stop calling it "rape".

        So now we know that seven Register readers believe that "a condom ripping during voluntary sex" does qualify as rape.

    11. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Seems he has a good legal team, including in the UK, and will be going after those who libelled him.

      1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
        Boffin

        @AC, too funny.

        Look, before you start to make legal claims like libel, I suggest you actually learn something of the law and the legal definition of libel.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @AC, too funny.

          Or defamation, take your pick. You can sneer all you like, but that is what will happen.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Seems he has a good legal team, including in the UK, and will be going after those who libelled him.

        He can start with me then: Assange was accused of rape AND HAS NOT BEEN CLEARED OF THIS CHARGE. Let's be clear here, Sweden is NOT stating there's no case to answer as Assange and co have been alleging, they're stating they are not going to waste any more state resources following it up.

        Now, just ONE question: if there was no case to answer, why not collaborate* and clear the air?

        Yes, I thought so.

        * No, really collaborate, not making up new rules to suit yourself and frustrate the very process capable of publicly and transparently clearing your name. If there is one case which would have never been able to do something under the table, it would be the Assange rape case, so the fact that he hasn't gone in with all cameras on it suggests to me that there are indeed facts in this case that don't look so good for Assange, hence the big song and dance and bleating about lawyers.

    12. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Anonymous Coward?

      OP - Anonymous Coward? More like Anonymous Bastard?

  2. Alister Silver badge

    I do hope that the Metropolitan Police Service are not going to let Assange slip through their fingers, if they reduce the resources they allocate to watching him.

    The gurning twat is still a criminal.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      The gurning twat is still a criminal.

      Correct - for jumping bail. He has not committed any other offenses on the statute book. However, even that has passed the statute of limitations as per the Bail act of 1976; Where bail is granted by the police and the defendant fails to surrender, the police may charge him as long as the charge is laid within six months of him failing to surrender, or three months of him surrendering to custody, being arrested or being brought before the court for the offence for which he is bailed, whichever is sooner - ss. 6(11) - (14) of the Bail Act 1976.

      This is from CPS guidance on bail: http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/a_to_c/bail/#a32

      6 months failing to surrender have passed and he cannot be arrested for the offense for which he is bailed as that prosecution is dropped. So they are entitled to resource him at EXACTLY ZERO resource as per current law. The law says he should just walk out of the embassy and the police are not entitled to bother him as the original charge has been dropped. So (un)fortunately (un or without un depends on viewpoint), we can no longer even nail him for jumping bail.

      As far as his other crimes, pissing into Hillary's cornflakes is not a criminal offense.

      1. Alister Silver badge

        @ Voland's right hand

        You misunderstood the passage you quoted:

        Where bail is granted by the police and the defendant fails to surrender, the police may charge him as long as the charge is laid within six months of him failing to surrender, or three months of him surrendering to custody, being arrested or being brought before the court for the offence for which he is bailed, whichever is sooner - ss. 6(11) - (14) of the Bail Act 1976.

        He was charged with it almost immediately, so there is no statute of limitations.

        Also, whilst quoting, you conveniently forgot this bit:

        Where a defendant has been bailed by the court and fails to surrender, the court may try him for that offence at any point after he has been brought before the court for that offence, irrespective of the length of time since he failed to surrender - s. 6(10) of the Bail Act 1976.

      2. DavCrav Silver badge

        "6 months failing to surrender have passed and he cannot be arrested for the offense for which he is bailed as that prosecution is dropped. So they are entitled to resource him at EXACTLY ZERO resource as per current law. The law says he should just walk out of the embassy and the police are not entitled to bother him as the original charge has been dropped. So (un)fortunately (un or without un depends on viewpoint), we can no longer even nail him for jumping bail."

        I'm not sure that's true. A warrant has already been served for his arrest under the Bail Act, hence his guarantors losing all their money. There is no statute of limitations for the Bail Act.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        There's still a warrant out there from Westminster Magistrates' Court, a Court order attached to his bail, and he chose to breach that.

        1. macjules Silver badge

          Right now I strongly suspect that there is indeed an extradition request lodged with the Home Office and just waiting for Assange to depart Ecuadorian territory in a blaze of publicity for it to be date stamped and enforced.

          A 2 to 5 year wait in HMP Pentonville for due process with (I would presume) absolutely zero chance of bail is possibly what awaits Mr Assange right now.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        he gurning twat is still a criminal

        SURELY, skipping bail is more than sufficient ground to give him a one-way ticket to the land of the free! Hell, who cares about "ground", just cuff him, we'll throw something to the press dogs later, who cares anyway?! And this, my children, is the rule of law and democracy of the country you're going to grow in :/

        1. Alister Silver badge

          Re: he gurning twat is still a criminal

          @AC

          I'm not in favour of him being given a one-way ticket to the land of the free!.

          However, he has never offered to pay back those loyal supporters who mistakenly stood bail for him, and he's never paid the money he promised to Chelsea Manning, and he seems to think he is above the law.

          I am therefore quite in favour of him having to face the consequences of his actions in jumping bail.

          1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

            Re: he gurning twat is still a criminal

            Have the supporters complained ?

            How do you know what arrangements he's made with them ?

            I think it's reasonable to assume they were happy for him to jump bail with the loss of their money unless you have evidence otherwise.

      5. This post has been deleted by its author

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        That's Police Bail - it's a different thing to the bail people cough up money for.

    2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Slightly complicated...

      Yes, he committed an offence of jumping bail.

      BUT the charge for which he was on bail has been dropped, so in hindsight there was no reason for him to be on bail in the first place. So is it reasonable, fair and just (as opposed to legal) to continue to pursue him for something he wouldn't have done in the first place if things had moved faster, i.e. the Swedes had decided at the beginning that there didn't seem to be enough evidence?

      Yes, he's a <insert insulting term here> but it does seem a tad unfair.

      1. Mike Richards Silver badge

        Re: Slightly complicated...

        You are bailed on charges, not on whether you actually committed the offence.

        Assange jumped bail, he is alleged to broken the law and faces up to a year in prison followed by either extradition to the US if they want him, or forcible removal from the UK as his presence is not in the public interest.

        1. mhenriday
          Boffin

          Re: Slightly complicated...

          «You are bailed on charges, not on whether you actually committed the offence.» Perhaps, Mike Rogers, you might want to take into account the fact that Mr Assange was <u>never</u> charged by Sweden. He was wanted for questioning by Ms Ny - who, as a prosecutor in Göteborg, should never had been assigned the case, which belonged to Stockholm, where it had already been dismissed by another chief prosecutor. This case is merely yet another example - as if one were needed - of our subservience here in Sweden to the interests of those running the United States....

          Henri

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Slightly complicated...

            Nice try, but he has never been *charged* with anything, did you miss that part? And the girls are not interested in doing so.

            1. DavCrav Silver badge

              Re: Slightly complicated...

              "Nice try, but he has never been *charged* with anything, did you miss that part? And the girls are not interested in doing so."

              Again, again, again, Swedish legal system not the same as UK/US one. The 'charging' part happens right at the end, when you are taken to trial. Jesus Christ people, these facts are not particularly difficult to remember.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Slightly complicated...

                Is it too difficult for you to understand that the girls refused to press charges?

                1. Archtech Silver badge

                  Re: Slightly complicated...

                  "Is it too difficult for you to understand that the girls refused to press charges?"

                  I think it's too difficult for him to accept that the alleged (or, actually, not alleged) offences were not committed against him, and that not only does he know nothing about it, it is none of his business.

          2. Stork Bronze badge

            Re: Slightly complicated...

            @henri - to my best knowledge he can not be charged in absentia - this is why Sweden has tried for so long to get him there.

        2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

          @Mike Richards ..Re: Slightly complicated...

          Sorry, no, he would not go to the US.

          In fact the US would not issue any sort of warrant or extradition request of Assange while he's in the UK.

          That would allow Assange to do another appeal to block the extradition and this time they would probably remand him to jail during the appeal. Because the potential crime would be under the espionage act and there is the possibility of the death penalty, he would have grounds to fight the extradition even though he wouldn't really face the death penalty.

          If the US wanted him... they would wait until he leaves the UK and is back on dry land in Australia.

          1. Zolko

            @Ian Michael Gumby

            "In fact the US would not issue any sort of warrant or extradition request of Assange while he's in the UK."

            very true, they'd probably just grab him on the streets and take him to the US in an anonymous Citation jet taking off during night. Actually, probably not the US, but Saudi Arabia or some other dictatorship with secret prisons.

            You seem imply that Assange would get a fair legal case, but all evidence points to the contrary. You did read the newspapers about Guantanamo, extraordinary rendition, secret Citation flights, black prisons run from US bases in some random countries, the plane of the Ecuadorian president downed over Austria because they thought that Snowden was in there, didn't you ? So, very clearly, Assange can fear much more than the UK justice.

          2. Archtech Silver badge

            Re: @Mike Richards ..Slightly complicated...

            "In fact the US would not issue any sort of warrant or extradition request of Assange while he's in the UK".

            Thanks for that firm assurance, er, Mr President.

            Oh wait a moment - even if Ian were the President of the USA, we still couldn't believe a word he said.

      2. Brangdon

        Re: Pen-y-gors

        The Swedes haven't dropped the case because of lack of evidence. They've dropped it because they can't proceed without physical access to him, which they are unlikely to get. It's not their fault they have no access, it's his, because he jumped bail and fled to the embassy. It seems fair to me to prosecute him for his own actions.

        They've also said they may reopen the case if he becomes available. That may happen if he leaves the embassy, is arrested for bail-jumping, and the Swedes issue a new arrest warrant while he's in jail. (I doubt he'll get bail a second time, given he's a proven flight risk.) It seems to me he has to stay in the embassy at least until the statute of limitations expires on the final accusation. If he truly does not fear the rape case but does fear extradition, I don't see when he'll ever be able to leave. The UK will never guarantee not to extradite him to the USA.

        If he does leave the embassy after the rape case is dropped, it will confirm that he was in fact avoiding justice for that and the extradition thing was just a pretext.

        It's also worth noting that he said he'd hand himself to America if Chelsea Manning was shown clemency, and that has now happened (as her sentence was reduced and she's out of jail). So he's got no excuse to hide on that score.

        1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

          Re: Pen-y-gors

          They've dropped it because they can't proceed without physical access to him, which they are unlikely to get.

          Though he had been interviewed in the presence of a Swedish prosecutor at the Ecuadorian embassy on 14th November 2016 -

          http://www.voanews.com/a/sweden-gets-written-report-from-assange-interview-in-london/3664245.html

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Pen-y-gors

          Assange and his legal team offered to travel to Sweden for questioning if it could guarantee he would not be extradited to the US, where he's under investigation for his work with WikiLeaks. He also repeatedly offered to be questioned in London.

          Swedish prosecutors refused to do so until November 2016, when Chief Prosecutor Ingrid Isgren interviewed the WikiLeaks founder in the embassy

          1. Richard 12 Silver badge

            @AC - No country can EVER give that guarantee.

            The law does not permit it.

            The most any prosecutor could say is that they haven't yet received such a request.

            He was demanding that Swedish prosecutors break their own law, international law and their treaties with the US.

            That gets a flat "No".

            Sweden are legally obliged to properly consider all extradition warrants on their individual merits. They cannot give a private individual arbitrary immunity from everything they might or might not have done in another country's jurisdiction.

            And frankly, his actions have made it far more likely that he end up rendered somewhere.

            If he'd gone to Sweden in the first place then he would be a free man by now, and would have been able to continue his work unhindered.

            Instead he is a wanted fugitive. Jumping Court bail has no limitation. He will be pursued for that forever, and will receive and serve the maximum sentence.

            At that point, if the US wants him, they will get him.

            Under Obama the US did not give a damn about Assange. Under Trump however...

      3. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: Slightly complicated...

        "BUT the charge for which he was on bail has been dropped, so in hindsight there was no reason for him to be on bail in the first place. So is it reasonable, fair and just (as opposed to legal) to continue to pursue him for something he wouldn't have done in the first place if things had moved faster, i.e. the Swedes had decided at the beginning that there didn't seem to be enough evidence?"

        Well, of course. Instead of having his day in court he chose to jump bail. And the Swedes, and I think I am going to have to shout at this point, (sorry everybody) DID NOT DROP THE CASE THROUGH LACK OF EVIDENCE. They dropped it because it was clear Assange wasn't leaving the embassy, and since they can't get him, Swedish law says they have to drop it. So he hasn't been vindicated, he's just been enough of a criminal (i.e., a fugitive from the law) that the other side has given up.

        UK law doesn't have this requirement, so he's going to be couchsurfing for a while longer if he doesn't want to end up in new digs with the letters 'HMP' at the start.

      4. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

        @Bad Pen-y Re: Slightly complicated...

        Sorry no, its not complicated.

        Regardless of the dismissal of the EAW, it doesn't change the fact that he lost his appeal (3 times) and then jumped bail.

        Withdrawing the EAW doesn't negate his crime in the UK of jumping bail.

        He's still on the hook and if caught will face the UK courts and then get tossed off the island back to his homeland a yet larger island called Australia.

        He can then be barred entry back in to the UK as well as barred from Sweden after 2020 or arrested in Sweden if he tried to enter and gained access prior to 2020.

        I would suggest you stop trying to play lawyer. You're not very good at it.

      5. PickledAardvark

        Re: Slightly complicated...

        Assange is walking stalking taking the piss out of everyone. When asked where he lives, in a UK court, he gave an OZ PO Box number; second answer was nonsense.

        Law can't touch Assange; law doesn't need need to touch Assange..

      6. Stork Bronze badge

        Re: Slightly complicated...

        The Swedes have _not_decided there is not enough evidence. They have decided this has been going nowhere for a while and that this is not likely to change, and they are then according to their law forces to shelve it.

  3. Ole Juul Silver badge

    big savings

    The MPS will provide a level of resourcing which is proportionate to that offence.

    Without further comment one could imagine that the "proportionate" resourcing wouldn't amount to even one officer. They'd probably still have to keep the resources quite high for political reasons though.

    1. Adam 52 Silver badge

      Re: big savings

      It's a embassy. The Met will have someone there anyway. This way they get to charge for that person against two budgets and spend the spare cash elsewhere.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: big savings

      "Without further comment one could imagine that the "proportionate" resourcing wouldn't amount to even one officer."

      Likewise, I'm not sure what they mean by "proportionate", or even what level they are reducing from, but I remember there were news stories about 18 months ago saying the 24/7 presence was to be stopped and replaced with a "proportionate response"

      Also, not every embassy gets a 24/7 police officer standing outside the front door.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MPS Comments...

    "The MPS will provide a level of resourcing which is proportionate to that offence. The MPS will not comment further on the operational plan."

    There are about 20 officers currently commenting "FFS - there goes our cushy number, we'll have to do some real work now"

  5. Jay 2

    Actions == consequences

    Well I'd like to think as soon as he steps foot outside the embassy we'll nick him for bail jumping.

    At that point it wouldn't suprise me if Trump (after a quick win, and smarting about the release of Chelsea Manning) decides to put in an extradition request. After all it may have been Manning who aquired the data, but it was the Assange-led Wikileaks that gave it a wider audience.

    And then all the self-publicising idot may end up where he was trying to avoid in the first place, deep in the US legal system. All that because he wasn't very sensible when it came to use of what's in his trousers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Actions == consequences

      > At that point it wouldn't suprise me if Trump (after a quick win, and smarting about the release of Chelsea Manning) decides to put in an extradition request.

      IIRC the whole point of this stupid affair is that while he's in the UK he can't be extradited to the US as he's an Australian citizen. The extradition treaties mean we have to send him back to Oz and the Yanks have to get him from there. Whereas if he was in Sweden he could be extradited directly to the US.

      1. Jay 2

        Re: Actions == consequences

        Ah I see, I didn't know that rather important bit of info. In that case, he better start researching how friendly the Oz government want to be with the US...

      2. SolidSquid

        Re: Actions == consequences

        Actually if he were sent over to Sweden under a European Arrest Warrant then Sweden wouldn't be permitted (under the terms of the arrest warrant) to extradite him without the permission of the UK. If it's true that the UK can't extradite him without the consent of Oz, I suspect this would mean we couldn't sign off on anything other than Sweden sending him to Oz or Oz agreeing to have him sent

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Actions == consequences

          I don't believe the Aussies get a veto on where we send him to, if and when we eventually deport him somewhere. He's subject to UK law, as he's in the UK and came here legally and of his own choice. The usual procedure would be that we'd bung him back to Oz, because that's whose passport he came here on - although he could presumably be deported to Ecuador if they gave him citizenship (so far he only has asylum).

          It is correct that the EAW gives our courts a veto on what Sweden can do with him though. They're not allowed to exradite to a third country without our permission.

          As it happens the Swedish extradition treaties with the US are far tougher than ours, which was a pile of shit written by Blair's lot in a fit of stupidity, and sadly not yet repealed. In my opinion no extradition treaty should be in place that doesn't allow the Home Secretary a public interest veto over extradition, which neither the US or EAW do - hence I'd personally like to get rid of both, and replace them with the normal kind of extradition treaties that most other countries use, and that we use with everyone but the US and EU.

          1. the spectacularly refined chap

            Re: Actions == consequences

            I don't believe the Aussies get a veto on where we send him to, if and when we eventually deport him somewhere.

            That was my understanding too based on commentary by qualified legal counsel on previous events. Specifically, he would have been safer in Sweden against supposed extradition to the US. If extradited to Sweden a condition would automatically be attached preventing subsequent re-extradition without explicit UK consent. Over here he can be extradited without fourth party involvement.

            1. DougS Silver badge

              Trump won't want him

              He LOVES Wikileaks, remember? He doesn't want to risk upsetting them by jailing their leader, they may have some stuff on him they can release. Given Trump's legal issues at this point, he could ill afford such a risk.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Actions == consequences

      Sorry, you mentioned both Trump and Assange - which particular "self-publicising idiot" do you mean might end up "deep in the US legal system"?

    3. HereIAmJH

      Re: Actions == consequences

      "At that point it wouldn't suprise me if Trump (after a quick win, and smarting about the release of Chelsea Manning) decides to put in an extradition request."

      Ironically, Obama didn't want him. Trump now has an empty cell to fill, and a need to look tough. But the clock is ticking, maybe he just has to stick around a little longer and Pence won't want to bother with him. Leaving him free to enjoy his incarceration for jumping bail.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But but but.......

    The alternate reality is that he was set-up by the Feds/CBI/NSA (whoever) for screwing 2 chicks . Have not anyone cross examined or interrogated those women to confirm whether this was a honeytrap ?

    His leaks are not even on scale matching Snowdens - FFS.

    Let him go and our Mets can save a few millions and do some real work. Pity, he will still be a marked man, now that Trump is in charge, who will do anything to regain some credibility, by snitching him somehow. Who better than than this minnow.

    Good luck Julian. You will need it.

    1. SolidSquid

      Re: But but but.......

      "Have not anyone cross examined or interrogated those women to confirm whether this was a honeytrap ?"

      That's something which would usually happen as part of the trial proceedings, which never happened because he dodged out of the country despite knowing he was wanted for questioning on additional charges (or at least his lawyer was aware of this)

      1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

        Re: But but but.......

        > That's something which would usually happen as part of the trial proceedings

        Exactly. By his own hand, Mr. Assange will never be "the man found innocent of rape". He will always be "the man that avoided the question of whether he was innocent of rape", until the end of his days.

        That's fairly long winded, I'm sure it will be shortened to "Possible Rapist Julian Assange" over time.

        Ps. I note his tweet: "Detained for 7 years without charge while my children grew up and my name was slandered. I do not forgive or forget.” There is no doubt, he really is a first-rate cock.

        1. DougS Silver badge

          If he's a "first rate cock"

          He'll probably still be able to pull the ladies, even with the 'possible rapist' allegation following him around the rest of his days.

          1. Archtech Silver badge

            Re: If he's a "first rate cock"

            "He'll probably still be able to pull the ladies, even with the 'possible rapist' allegation following him around the rest of his days".

            Jealous, are we? I thought so.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: But but but.......

        "Have not anyone cross examined or interrogated those women to confirm whether this was a honeytrap ?"

        This has allegedly been confirmed by Swedes who know the identity of the accusers. Particularly in regards to the older one.

    2. Stuart 22

      Re: But but but.......

      "The alternate reality is that he was set-up by the Feds/CBI/NSA (whoever) for screwing 2 chicks"

      If this was true it was done under a previous administration. Now, whatever you think of Assange, it ain't going to be that he is not a smart technical cookie. If he hasn't got the drop on who hacked and leaked the DNC then he ain't half the man I thought he was.

      So in these days of Special Counsels and vultures circulating the White House spiralling into a chasm - extraditing Julian to a US Courthouse to testify might not be the smartest move. But then, perhaps, we don't have the smartest guy making the decision. If it is his decision.

      On the other hand the intelligence community might just want Julian to spill the beans to help remove or neutralise their chief headache. I guess it comes down to who is really running the Dept of Justice.

      Time to order more popcorn ...

  7. Dick Kennedy

    Sounds like the US grand jury finally got its act together. I suspect the US Justice Dept has asked Sweden to stand down, thereby removing its prior claim over Assange. With that complexion, he's not going to look good in orange.

  8. Christopher Lane

    Does anybody else find it strange...

    ...that the Swedes drops the charges two days after Chelsea Manning is released?

    1. JimC Silver badge

      Re: Does anybody else find it strange...

      Its at very least an odd coincidence.

    2. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Does anybody else find it strange...

      They haven't.

      They have shelved the case and dropped the arrest warrant because it's not going anywhere, and Swedish law says they can't keep the warrant open.

      It is possible that the timings are related because JA said he'd come out if Manning was released. She has been and he's not come out - so his word is bollocks.

      The case can be taken back off the shelf and a new warrant issued until some time in 2020, as it seems Swedish law allows some rape cases to "time out".

      The only real change is that now the UK get to try him first, instead of Sweden.

  9. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

    The people who put up (and lost) the bail money

    They're obviously not short of a few bob, so they tick the "rich" box. Where do the stand as regards ticking the "powerful" box?

    If he manages to get out the embassy somehow, will he be spending the rest of his lifetime looking over his shoulder waiting for an <ahem> accident to happen to him?

  10. davcefai

    Entertainment

    I love watching politicians squirm. Assange has provided me with entertainment.

    On a more serious note:

    No matter what anybody thinks of him as a person, he has rendered the world a service. Politicians preach "open government". Wikileaks has helped to achieve some of it.

    1. Orv Silver badge

      Re: Entertainment

      Yeah, he's just *very* selective about *which* governments he helps or hurts. He is not, for instance, at all interested in opening up the Russian government.

      1. Phil Koenig

        Re: Entertainment

        Re: Assange's "selectivity", of course it would never have occurred to any of his numerous bitter critics who made their mind up about him the moment they heard all that state propaganda about him and never bothered to look at the details.. that he might actually be protecting Edward Snowden by not going full-tilt against Russia at the moment?

        Or that Russia is one of the very very few countries in the world (2 or 3 at the most) which has the power and capabilities to a) keep Snowden away from US clutches, and B) provide some kind of platform to someone like Assange (eg via RT) who is persona-non-grata anywhere the US has significant influence? Does anyone in their right mind think that the BBC is going to provide Assange with a neutral platform from which to criticize western countries?

        Most of the shrill critics from what I can tell basically decided whether they like him or not based on whether he leaked anything on their buddies recently and what their favorite politician tells them to think. The US Republicans hated him and Wikileaks with a passion for years and were incessantly braying for his head until Wikileaks released some damaging material on their political foes that ultimately helped them win the election, whereupon they all kissed and made up and got on the Wikileaks bandwagon. Pathetic.

      2. Velv Silver badge
        Terminator

        Re: Entertainment

        He is not, for instance, at all interested in opening up the Russian government.

        Do you fancy trying Polonium Tea?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Now the Swedes have lost interest, wouldn't it be easier just to say, "alright, sod off back to Australia or Ecuador" and let them worry about?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Indeed, deport him to Australia then we can watch without being involved of another US Antipodean extradition saga al la Kim Dotcom without it costing the UK taxpayer any more money.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      She won't allow.

      Not really, since its a gift from the gods for her highness (read Theresa May) to show her gratitude to the Merkins and Trump her undying loyalty and alliedness to the cause of war on terrorism and all that jazz. It was under her watch as home secretary that the Trumped up charges (xcuse the pun) were brandished and a lot of stink was raised about Julian Assange and his mis-doings in damaging the NATO coalition. We Brits are suffering the most intense surveillance (both Cameras and online) under her stewardship since 2010 then ever before and alot of RIPA like intrusive powers bestowed on themselves under various guises. (Think of the children? Anyone? She doesnt have any)

      She's got another chance to suck Trump's balls by handing over JA to them on a platter ! ANd gain publicity.

      How opportune & convenient.Sycophancy of the highest order.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: She won't allow.

        "Think of the children? Anyone? She doesnt have any"

        I wonder why? No, don't answer that, I think I know.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That picture...

    Looks like he's trying out a pose for a new Tinder pic.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    French law, as opposed to English law, has an interesting concept of consequential innocence. IIRC any offence committed in a defence against an alleged offence - is null and void if the original allegation fails.

    The classic example was helping someone escape from prison. If they were subsequently found to be innocent - then no offence had been committed in helping them to escape. No doubt the Devil will be in the details.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      So he should have fled to France

      Also irrelevant, because this is just the European arrest warrant that's been dropped, not the case.

      He has another two years* during which Sweden can reissue the warrant, followed by one year when Sweden can issue an extradition requst, and then the case itself has to be dropped.

      Most countries would not allow this - to escape rape, simply hide for 10 years?

      * I assume May wants us to withdraw from the EAW system along with everything else.

    2. Archtech Silver badge

      Obviously fair

      Thanks for informing me about this - I'm delighted to hear there is something I can like about French law.

  14. I Am Spartacus
    WTF?

    So, are the Swedes going to pay

    The MPS has had a guard on the Ecuadorian Embassy dor for some time and racked up considerable cost to the British Taxpayer. We did this because there was an arrest warrant for Assange (TM).

    Now that they have just dropped the case, we are left with the bill. Shouldn't the Swedes pay the cost of this?

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Re: So, are the Swedes going to pay

      The MPS has had a guard on the Ecuadorian Embassy door for some time and racked up considerable cost to the British Taxpayer. We did this because there was an arrest warrant for Assange (TM).

      No, we did this because he had committed a crime in the UK, of failing to answer his bail conditions.

      Now that they have just dropped the case, we are left with the bill. Shouldn't the Swedes pay the cost of this?

      No, Assange should pay it, he's still wanted for the charge of failing to answer his bail.

      1. Phil Koenig

        Re: So, are the Swedes going to pay

        If you honestly think that the UK spends millions of pounds and 5 years of 24-hour baby-sitting for every bail scofflaw in the country then I think it's time to go home and dry out.

    2. Mike Shepherd

      Re: So, are the Swedes going to pay

      The UK will pick up the tab, in support of the US empire.

    3. Goldmember

      Re: So, are the Swedes going to pay

      "Now that they have just dropped the case, we are left with the bill. Shouldn't the Swedes pay the cost of this?"

      The case hasn't been dropped, it's just been suspended as they can't physically get to him while he's here. Quote from the article:

      “If he, at a later date, makes himself available, I will be able to decide to resume the investigation immediately,”

      But you're right in that a ridiculous amount of resource has been spaffed on guarding him. He has cunning, and a team of loyal backers/ supporters who can make a lot of noise in the media. It was clear he wasn't going to back down and give himeself up.

      Years ago, they should have instructed officers to quietly turn their backs and quickly have a taxi take him to Heathrow with a one-way ticket to Ecuador. It would have saved millions.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: So, are the Swedes going to pay

        Imagine you are him, and are presented with such an offer. Are you really going to take them at their word that you won't be arrested once you leave the embassy grounds?

  15. R3sistance

    Brexit

    Presumably Sweden is foreseeing the European Arrest Warrant no longer being valid in the UK post brexit and so has given up since now it is just a matter of time until that comes about. Not that the rape allegations have ever had a real shred of evidence behind them anyways but the fear being that Sweden would hand Assange over to the US post trial. Assange after all is guilty of the biggest crime in the world, he went against the US Government and leaked dirty stuff they were doing, while I do not like Assange on a personal level, I don't think anything he has actually done is deserving of any real jail time.

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Brexit

      We had an opt-out from some of the EAW provisions, and May opted back in. My guess is that May will want to keep it, or have something equivalent to it, when we leave the EU.

  16. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    Another long walk to freedom

    All pretence that the US don't want him, and any fear they did was only in Assange's head, have gone now the CIA and federal prosecutors have made it clear they do.

    If he is arrested it is almost certain that we would extradite him to the US or deport him to Australia or somewhere equally likely to extradite him to the US.

    He is going to be in the embassy for a long while yet.

  17. Hans 1 Silver badge
    Boffin

    Sweden

    Lets not forget that Sweden is like the US when it comes to sexual intercourse! You need at the very least "formal written consent" for sexual intercourse and you better understand what is written on the form, if you attempt any act not covered by the document, you are liable! Of course, if you can find a lawyer after leaving the disco before you get to hers, better make use of your find and have him witness your "agreement to have fun".

    Crazy world, this!

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Sweden

      "You need at the very least 'formal written consent' for sexual intercourse"

      crazy world indeed. it drives me to becoming "robosexual"

      1. DropBear Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Sweden

        I hate to break it to you, but soon you might need some appropriately punched tape for that too - you can't just exploit those poor robots willy-nilly like they were mere objects...

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
          Happy

          Re: Sweden

          Error 8008!

          This device has performed an illegal operation.

          Please reboot and re-insert floppy.

    2. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Sweden

      Sorry, a signed consent form is no use, because you can revoke consent at any time.

      The case here was, they had consensual sex, then she fell asleep, and he had sex with her while she was sleeping, without a condom, which was not consensual.

      1. Orv Silver badge

        Re: Sweden

        Ah, that new "stealthing" trend I hear so much about.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Consequently, there is no basis upon which to continue the investigation.

    Someone found out where the bodies are buried.

  19. ZanzibarRastapopulous

    Ecuador.

    Do we really want to host an embassy that shelters accused rapists from the police?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ecuador.

      Why not? Remove all the embassies whose staff who do not agree with human rights - and there would be a fire sale in London.

      The whole point of an embassy is that you cede territorial jurisdiction to its physical space and to the contents of its diplomatic bags. It is the front line of diplomatic relations between countries - whether they are pals or putative enemies.

      1. ZanzibarRastapopulous

        Re: Ecuador.

        > The whole point of an embassy is...

        I'll tell you what it isn't, and that is for sheltering wanted men from the justice of the host nation.

        I think a few people went off on one about his guilt or innocence, well I don't know either way, but he is wanted by the police to face justice and Ecuador has used it's embassy placed in a special trusted position to undermine our justice system in a way equally regardless of his guilt or innocence.

        It's not on.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ecuador.

      On the whole accused rapist thing, the emphasis should be on ACCUSED. I have a friend who was once about to be jailed for rape when he came clean that he was hacking a teacher's grade book, verified by logs and his knowledge of the teacher in question's credentials, at the time (and yeah, he got expelled for that, but it was better than the alternative). I've another friend who was forced out of the closet because he was with his boyfriend at the time that he was supposedly raping a woman. And I myself was once accused of the crime by a disgruntled ex, but when it supposedly happened I was at an ice hockey game 200 miles away.

      This is not to disparage real rape victims, who deserve all the support we can give them, but it must be remembered that innocent until proven guilty is there for a reason. And if a woman should want to drag a man's name through the mud for whatever reason there is no easier way for her to do so than to accuse him of rape, so we must insist on more than just her say-so when the accusation is made, unpopular though that way of thinking seems to be.

      Accused rapist != rapist.

      1. HereIAmJH

        Re: Ecuador.

        And I have a friend who was raped in the parking lot of a bar by a stranger and suffered debilitating trauma for years afterwards. And another who was raped by an ex in front of her infant son when he dropped by for a 'visit'. Two sides of every coin.

        Julian should just stop being a douche and go stand up for himself in Swedish court. Everything he has done since makes him appear guilty. And considering the hurdles women face in reporting sex crimes, I'm inclined to believe the reason he doesn't is because he knows he did something wrong.

        1. Orv Silver badge

          Re: Ecuador.

          I'd wager for every false rape accusation there's 20 women who never reported being raped because they didn't think they'd be believed, or feared retribution. I know at least two personally, and I don't know that many people.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Ecuador.

            I'd wager for every false rape accusation there's 20 women who never reported being raped because they didn't think they'd be believed, or feared retribution. I know at least two personally, and I don't know that many people.

            In myy experience - equally as anecdotal as yours - demonstrably false rape accusations outnumber ones that could possibly be true pretty significantly. And I know of a number of men who rotted in prison for years despite having done nothing before their accusers came clean because the jry failed to hold them as innocent until proven guilty.

            Overall my best guess is that roughly half of all rape accusations are false and roughly a quarter of real rapes go unreported. Then again in this area the burden of proof seems to be on the accused in such cases, so it could be different in an area less inclined to immediately assume guilt.

            Anon because I have been called all sorts of dirty things for being the alibi of an accused rapist. She hit on him and got pissed when he stayed loyal to his girlfriend and rejected her drunken advances - and to be clear her advances included trying to undo his jeans after being told to buzz off, and yes, I saw it. And the thanks he got for his loyalty? He was arrested on ficticious rape charges the next day and his girlfriend dumped him. When I defended him the police and DA were pursuing some crazy conspiracy theory about how we were in cahoots before a woman came forward as another witness and confirmed our version of the story. Only then did they drop the case. I share that to illustrate how big a problem it is in this area.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Ecuador.

              "Overall my best guess is that roughly half of all rape accusations are false and roughly a quarter of real rapes go unreported. "

              Wubba wubba wubba!

              That sounds like you talk to guys and not women. And yes, there are totally false rape accusations thrown around, although many don't get further than the cops asking a few questions. But somewhere between 5-10% of rapes get reported, and maybe half of those go on to be an actual investigation (ie pressed charges).

              It is a real pain, and a waste of time all around, but any credible report of a sexual crime needs to be investigated. Most false complaints are solved after 5-10 hours of police investigative work is done on them. As in you case, a couple of interviews and it's sorted, reputation damage aside.

              My personal experience is *every* woman over 25 I've known has either been raped, or something damned close. Most multiple times, often by the same attacker. About maybe 10% of the guys I've known have been accused of any sexual crime, and the ones who have raped people seem pretty unable to accept it. You know, that the drunk 15 year old totally wanted it etc. So I think your numbers are waaaay off.

              For vindictive stuff, it's the family accusations of stuff against kids, since that isn't quick to disprove.

              Since I image you'll be all "piffle, mens have it worse" just remember that about ten percent of victims of sexual assault are male, but you won't hear anything about them. Being falsely accused of rape will lose you some friends, admitting you where raped will lose your entire social circle. I'll take hate and anger over pity, at least you're a real person to other people.

        2. JimC Silver badge

          Re: did something wrong.

          Or possibly because he did something he doesn't believe to be wrong, but knows is illegal. Not the first time.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ecuador.

      Apparently the accusers aren't accusing him anymore since years ago, imagine?

  20. sisk Silver badge

    Personally I've got a pretty low opinion of Assange as a person and from his public behavior I believe it is entirely possible that he is exactly that kind of douchebag. That said, the accusation doesn't make it so.

    All the same I believe his fears of extradition to the US and harsh treatment therein are completely justified. I also believe he missed his best window of potential freedom. Had he left the embassy six months ago Obama would have probably been inclined to leave him alone. I mean how would it look if the man commuted Chelsea Manning's sentence and then went after Assange? Now though? With a lunatic^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^hTrump at the helm? Yeah, he's got more reason to be afraid than ever.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      I'm pretty sure he was a dead issue in the US as so much time had passed with not much happening. But then he started overtly interfering in the elections - he didn't just dump the Clinton emails on Wikileaks, he kept releasing new bunches at inconvenient times throughout the campaign - to make sure it got maximum and continuous coverage.

      Of course it may be that he thought Clinton had a grudge against him. Or that the US are out to get him and so Trump might be grateful and save him. However Trump has the attention span of a gnat, doesn't appear to reward loyalty for very long and is totally self-obsessed. So nailing Assange might look to him to be a way of "proving" that it wasn't Russian influence that won him the election after all.

      The only reason I don't automatically assume Assange is a rapist avoding his just deserts is that I think he might be genuinely paranoid enough to believe all the bollocks he spouts about the US being out to get him. Even though he was talking about becoming a Swedish citizen, and only fled their supposedly US corrupted system after the rape charges were about to be made. The very night before his appointment with the prosecutors in fact.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "doesn't appear to reward loyalty for very long and is totally self-obsessed"

        You could say that about both of them.

  21. GrapeBunch Bronze badge
    Terminator

    No offence intended towards any character in popular fiction

    But what is the Swedish word for "weasel"? No offence intended towards any Mustela genius either. I don't see how the Swedish pronouncement will make a tinker's cuss of difference to Assange. Though in the wacky world of bureaucracy, it may make a difference to Ecuador. His choice is the same: indefinitely remain a virtual prisoner (unless/until Ecuador gets tired of the opera), free to speak; or become a real prisoner "free" of any protections of international diplomacy, wanted forever by the relentless State of Destiny, known not for Scone but for extraordinary rendition. Because semper fie, he won't be getting a real tan anytime soon, except possibly in an exercise yard. Australians are so very careful about sunburn these days.

    1. PickledAardvark

      Re: No offence intended towards any character in popular fiction

      "But what is the Swedish word for "weasel"?"

      Its almost the same word as lads and lasses in the north of England say it. (From Lancs.)

  22. NonSSL-Login
    Black Helicopters

    Timing

    Someone has decided now that it's better to have him out of the embassy than stuck in it.......if Assange does get to leave, he should be extremely wary of pointed umbrella tips, glowing tea and girls wearing 'LOL' t-shirts.

  23. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Who needs Enemies with Friends like These and Her, Theresa

    Has not the UKGBNI Prime Minister, Ms Theresa May, not told the world and his dogs that any decision to now prosecute Assange for anything is down to Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), for it is she who decides on police action and if it is in the public interest to seek a conviction and punishment/imprisonment for the greater public good?

    FFS, Thanks Theresa, for nothing … I do not forgive and forget.

  24. PickledAardvark

    Assange said...

    or proclaimed that "In Sweden, indefinite detention is a policy".

    Yep. The country where he lived briefly -- I don't know, tell me, Swedes -- they don't intern people. You really have to piss swedes to go to gaol.

    Just like England, where we don't intern people who seriously piss off coppers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Assange said...

      There are actually some *Nordic* cases of that kind of thing.

      For example the imprisonment until death of James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell

      in Dragsholm castle 40 kilometres west of Copenhagen

      He pissed off a Norwegian lady, you see.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Throndsen

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Hepburn,_4th_Earl_of_Bothwell#Escape_to_Scandinavia_and_imprisonment_there

      There is legendarily a groove worn in a circle in the stone floor around a stone pillar to which he was attached by chain.

      Woman scorned, and all that.

      Kind of relevant in this case, allegedly to do with the older accuser being rather miffed at the attentions of the younger one to Assange, regardless of any honey trap activities. There is allegedly evidence of the miffed-ness in SMS messages.

  25. a cynic writes...

    The case for the defence

    In the unlikely event that there's anyone who hasn't made up their mind, the case papers from the extradition hearing are here.

  26. Pierre Castille

    Since we have invested so much money in St Julian of Assange, why don't we sell him to the highest bidder?

  27. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Happy

    Swedish Meatballs Are MY Favorite

    ...one can not be faulted for assuming from recent developments that rape by ANYONE in Sweden is no longer considered to be a crime. Between the NAZIs, the Muslims and people like Assange Sweden is simply incapable of prosecuting them ALL.

  28. Phil Koenig

    I just love these people whose minds were already made up 5 years ago

    This is the most ridiculous international legal case I have ever seen.

    Sweden issues an international arrest warrant for a guy who had already been cleared to leave their country after they questioned him on Swedish soil the first time around. Then after he leaves the country they decide to re-open the matter - likely after back-channel pressure from one of those exclusive club-members with 5 eyes.. The way they've been after him you'd think he blew up the Swedish parliament or something.

    Assange and his legal assistants offered many many times over the years to speak to the Swedish prosecutors, but they refused to take a plane flight to the UK to do so and instead created this ridiculous circus where the cost for the UK to babysit him all this time has probably exceeded 1000 times what the cost of traveling to London would have been to interview the guy who they claim they "do not have physical access to". (Yeah, I suppose that's code for "physical access to kidnap him, chain him to a wall and send him for US-style "extraordinary rendition"" in one of those peachy "black sites" the US loves to use when they want to avoid the inconvenience of legal and publicly-known detention.)

    The Swedes waited something like 5-6 years before they bothered to travel to the UK to interview him and then a few months later they drop the case.

    It's ridiculous, it's absurd, he should be a free man.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I just love these people whose minds were already made up 5 years ago

      You're a bit wrong on some of that...

      Assange left Sweden six days after Prosecutor Ny first contacted his lawyer to request an interview (a second-stage interview, the potential preliminary to a prosecution). Apparently in the intervening week his lawyer was unable to speak to him, although the public knowledge of this was muddied by the lawyer falsely claiming that no request had been made - these facts were admitted by his lawyer in Woolwich Crown Court; see http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/assange-lawyer-admits-he-was-wrong-over-interview-2208622.html

      Assange having not returned to Sweden in the subsequent two months, a European Arrest Warrant was issued at the end of November 2010, after the Swedish arrest warrant had already withstood a challenge (meaning the Swedish judicial system found that there was a potential case to answer). This was challenged and upheld three times in the UK, with the judgement being quite clear that the charges in the EAW were serious enough to warrant extradition: However, what is alleged here is that Mr Assange “deliberately consummated sexual intercourse with her by improperly exploiting that she, due to sleep, was in a helpless state”. In this country that would amount to rape.

      The reason that the Swedish prosecutor demanded that Assange present himself in Sweden for questioning is that this second-stage interview is the prelude to arrest (unless the results of the interview suggest that arrest is not warranted, e.g. convince the prosecutor to suspend or drop the case). So travelling to London to interview a man already a fugitive from both Swedish and British arrest warrants is an absurdity: if the outcome proceeding with the prosecution then it just upholds the existing warrant which he is already defying. As we know in the end the Swedish prosecutor did "interview" him (actually she got to watch an Ecuadorian prosecutor interview him with the results later being supplied in Spanish) and evidently the arrest warrant wasn't dropped on the basis of that interview.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I just love these people whose minds were already made up 5 years ago

        Details of the interview in London

        http://www.smh.com.au/world/swedish-prosecutor-ingrid-isgren-arrives-to-interview-julian-assange-at-the-londons-ecuadorian-embassy-20161114-gsp7wn.html

    2. a cynic writes...

      Re: I just love these people whose minds were already made up 5 years ago

      ahem....I linked above to the court records. I hadn't made up my mind until I read them. To give you a flavour:

      The Court rejected Mr Assange’s contention that under the law of England and Wales consent to sexual intercourse on condition a condom was used was remained consent to sexual intercourse even if a condom was not used or removed. (paras 86-91)

      But hey, don't take my word for it. Read the documents then make up your own mind.

      I might be biased as I've a daughter in her 20s. Personally I'd convict the bastard.

    3. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: I just love these people whose minds were already made up 5 years ago

      And I really dislike people who refuse to read the court records and so continue to believe falsehoods.

      He ran from an active rape investigation, and when the EAW was upheld, he ran from that as well. He's still running.

      He's a fugitive suspected rapist. No more, no less.

  29. nilfs2
    WTF?

    Why are not the criminals described on Wikileaks's documents facing the law as well? their crimes are way, way more serious than a false rape accusation.

  30. PickledAardvark

    Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was not a nice man. But he knew enough to be interesting.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Why the freaking fashion for namedropping Sasha these days? The Soviet Union voted itself out of existence 26 years ago. Is it in some historical revisionist HHer garbage site somewhere?

      It's like the endless Churchill said this that or the other Daily Stormer type bollocks.

      Churchill surely liked wiping out their heroes, of that there is little doubt, unlike the "quotes".

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When does the embassy building lease expire?

    Moving day would be fun.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I do rather like it when

    A minor scrote (aka: toe-rag) frustrates the very establishment to its core.

    +1 for the little guy, guilty or not.

  33. arctic_haze Silver badge

    European Arrest Warrant?

    Does it meant that the hard Brexit will solve his British problems within less than 2 years?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: European Arrest Warrant?

      No. The UK will still need a bilateral extradition agreement with the EU and in all likelihood that will look very much like the current EAW initially until and unless a different agreement is later negotiated. An all new agreement will likely take years. I suspect many agreements and treaties with the EU will be based on existing rules and regulations simply to get something in place quickly while negotiations continue for new arrangements.

  34. Archtech Silver badge

    Who are these people?

    There seem to be an awful lot of comments here by people who either work for the US or UK government, or relish slavery and being kept in ignorance.

    Assange has merely been doing what good journalists have always done - and what is their bounden duty to do. What the people who uncovered the Watergate scandal and many others did.

    Without discovery and revelation of information about what governments are doing, citizens have no idea what is being done in their names and with their money. If those who criticize Assange want to live in a Western version of the USSR or Nazi Germany, that's fine for them - but many of us prefer freedom.

    1. Stork Bronze badge

      Re: Who are these people?

      I do not criticise him for running WikiLeaks as such. I may criticise him for not running it terribly transparent (accounts?), for washing his hands of Manning, and certainly for being a pompous git and running away from a court case.

      Snowden is in a different league.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sofia Wilden “talked to her [ultra militant lesbian] friends afterwards she understood she had been the victim of a crime". The only crime that happen is regret and rejection. You don't make breakfast and take your rapist to the train station then buy them a ticket. This shit makes me sick.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What we've got here

    is failure to communicate. Some men you just can't reach.

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