back to article UK and Ecuador working on Assange escape mechanism

Ecuador's foreign minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa says the country is working with the UK to find a way for Julian Assange to leave its embassy. Espinosa is attending the 47th General Assembly of the Organization of American States in Cancun and told reporters there that Ecuador and the UK are talking about doing something …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just build a big wooden horse, hide him in it and send it as gift.

  2. Winkypop Silver badge
    Devil

    Shown the Ecuadoor

    Would he be safer from the bad guys in Ecuador?

    Probably not.

    1. Ole Juul Silver badge

      Re: Shown the Ecuadoor

      This is made possible because the US is losing it's grip on other countries, such as the UK. Ecuador has maintained its sovereignty for a long time already, so Assange may well be safer there than where he is now.

      1. MyffyW Silver badge

        Re: Shown the Ecuadoor

        Assange - The Rector of Stiffkey for the Internet Age

        [With due apologies for besmirching the reputation of the late Harold Davidson]

      2. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: Shown the Ecuadoor

        At least he avoided ending up in the territory of that famously sycophantic, US-lapdog, Sweden.

        Instead he stayed in the UK knowing that they never kowtow to the yanks, or bow down to their imperialistic demands.

        Wait, do I have that the right way round?

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
          Happy

          Re: Shown the Ecuadoor

          The Swedish Chef is a CIA plant! Keeping an eye on the subversive Muppets. Miss Piggy is a commie you know.

          And Kermit is a radical green...

        2. JohnG Silver badge

          Re: Shown the Ecuadoor

          "At least he avoided ending up in the territory of that famously sycophantic, US-lapdog, Sweden.

          Instead he stayed in the UK knowing that they never kowtow to the yanks, or bow down to their imperialistic demands."

          And he did this thoughout a period in which the US government showed absolutely no interest in him - no charges, no extradition requests, nothing. Now, there is some suggestion that the new administration sees things differently.

  3. Phil Kingston Silver badge

    I hope the talks are kept brief and there's an end in sight to squandering tax payer's money on that showboating joker.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      A recent Radio 4 Book of the Week was the account of the man hired to be Assange's ghost writer . As it turned out, Assange kept promising to provide notes and read through the drafts but never did, stringing the publisher along.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08vk79l

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        As it turned out, Assange kept promising to provide notes and read through the drafts but never did, stringing the publisher along.

        Hang on, someone actually believed Assange's promises? LOL

      2. ggray

        I recently listened to that very program and having turned sour on Assange it was both a good story and good confirmation that my early feelings were right (when friends were lauding his selflessness).

        The recent article about his announcement of big news which he then said he would make later was

        instructive less by the text than by the photo...it almost seemed as if the photographer had to take special care to make the few there seem to be just part of a larger group.

        It was also wonderfully ridiculous to see him standing on the small balcony, just above the street. A position which if it were another floor or two higher might have conveyed a sense of privilege, of prestige but as it was, it was ludicrous. But he seemed to behave as if he were giving an audience rather than an abbreviated statement.

        He may have a trove of previously acquired files but I don't know that he is accomplishing much now; more still beating an old drum. I don't think history will judge him kindly; I hope his warts and all will be a continuing part of whatever story is told. I think Dickens could have done justice to the final meanness of Assange's character.

        Something no one has asked (on other forums about him) is what about the money people who trusted him lost when he jumped bail? Judging from the radio program he has a very bad habit of not paying his bills, especially those of his lawyers, so why would he treat friends differently? I wonder if they still consider themselves his friends?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          It was also wonderfully ridiculous to see him standing on the small balcony, just above the street. A position which if it were another floor or two higher might have conveyed a sense of privilege, of prestige but as it was, it was ludicrous. But he seemed to behave as if he were giving an audience rather than an abbreviated statement.

          Yes, I wasn't exactly taken by his Urbi et Orbi attitude either. Oh, how he wishes we would forget he's but a measly fugitive from justice and a potential rapist*.

          * That the investigation has been suspended is by no means the exoneration he tries to spin it as. His frantic antics to avoid these investigations suggests there is definitely something to these allegations or he would have brazened it out in a blaze of publicity.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Timing

            I didn't think there was any educated person who didn't notice anything suspicious about the timing or the Sweedish charges.

            If you pretend there is a trial using the available information in the media, then by using the American standard of reasonable doubt, Assange is innocent. But even that is over thinking the issue. The accusation arose after Assange posted the Iraq leaks.

  4. Forget It
    Go

    Why not just send a squad of Assange look-alikes to the embassy. then he can walk out with them while the police dither trying to guess which one to arrest - See Pale Fire by Nabokov or I was Sadam's double, etc.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Getting out of the embassy shouldn't be a problem - the 24/7 police presence was abandoned in 2015, when the total cost had already hit £11m. It's reassuring to know that the Met Police are so well resourced that they can spend that amount of money on keeping one bail jumper holed up, isn't it?

      1. Adam 52 Silver badge

        Addressing the implicit dig here - at the moment the Met is so stretched that some officers are working 30 hour shifts and they've been working 14 day weeks. That's 30 hours with only toilet breaks and maybe munching a donut in the car, 11 hours rest (including commuting and eating), then 30 more hours day after day.

        1. CraPo

          You are Dianne Abbott and I claim my £5

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        when the total cost had already hit £11m

        Assange will be very worried now Cressida Dick's in charge. Shooting a South American dead only results in a £175k fine and a rap on the knuckles for H&S failings.

        1. macjules Silver badge

          Not forgetting to put the entire blame onto the SRR.

      3. Brangdon

        Re: so well resourced

        When that money was spent, he was more than just a bail jumper. There was a European Arrest Warrant on him, which we were obliged to honour. Now that warrant has been dropped, it is purely a local matter, so perhaps it can be resolved.

        On the other hand, the case itself hasn't been dropped, and the Swedes have said they will revive it if Assange ever comes within their reach. I think Assange has to be careful here. If he spends any time in police custody, the Swedes might act.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: so well resourced

          When that money was spent, he was more than just a bail jumper. There was a European Arrest Warrant on him, which we were obliged to honour.

          You reckon the Met would spend £11m trying to enforce random European arrest warrants? Whatever one's sympathy for Assange, or lack of it, it's difficult to conclude other than that there's been a strong political dimension to this from Day 1 - which has only served to make his paranoid arguments more credible.

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Re: so well resourced

            Credas,

            There's no need for politics here. When was the last time a suspected criminal ran into a London embassy? This is something to be discouraged. So it needs to be seen to fail. Both to other crims, and embassies who might enjoy causing trouble.

            Plus, if you very publicly take the piss out of the criminal justice system, it'll almost certainly try to bite you back.

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

        3. JohnG Silver badge

          Re: so well resourced

          "There was a European Arrest Warrant on him, which we were obliged to honour. Now that warrant has been dropped, it is purely a local matter, so perhaps it can be resolved."

          The original reason for him being given bail (the EAW) has disappeared, so his lawyers could probably get the breach of bail issue resolved fairly easily (e.g. he surrenders to the court, the government keeps the bail money from his friends, he walks free). He could then vanish to Ecuador or wherever, before the Yanks have a chance to dream up some charges and submit an extradition request.

          1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

            Re: so well resourced

            > The original reason for him being given bail (the EAW) has disappeared, so his lawyers could probably get the breach of bail issue resolved fairly easily (e.g. he surrenders to the court, the government keeps the bail money from his friends, he walks free)

            Possibly, but it's by no means a given. He did jump bail, which is contempt of court. It doesn't matter whether you think you're being tried for something that's bollocks, you're expected to comply with the court's orders. Deliberately ignoring them isn't something that will be looked on kindly, and that's all on Assange to be honest. He seemed perfectly happy with our legal system when taking his case through every level, and then legged it when it was obvious it wasn't going his way.

            The bail money is gone either way, and I suspect he'll get more than a ticking off when he eventually presents himself to court. One thing is for sure, though, should he ever get nicked again, he's well and truly burnt any chance of getting bail ever again. Though that, of course, will also be part of a conspiracy against him...

            1. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Re: so well resourced

              "Possibly, but it's by no means a given. He did jump bail, which is contempt of court."

              The standard penalty for a first time bail breach is a dressing down in court and "don't do it again"

              This is usually the case even for habitual bail breachers (personal experience with a local thug causing trouble). Treating him differently would set things up for a messy set of appeals despite the publicity associated with what he did.

              1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

                Re: so well resourced

                Unfortunately judges do treat high profile cases differently to low profile ones. So he might get a stiffer penalty, as it's public, in order to make a public point. Which is the downside of facing the criminal justice system if you're famous - the upside being you probably get better lawyers.

                But it comes down to time. If he surrenders himself in the expectation of getting just a slapped wrist from the magistrate, he needs to be seen that day by the magistrate, and then deported to Australia that day. Otherwise he's going to be in cusody (being a bail-jumper he's an obvious flight risk) and at that point Sweden can nab him again. I can't see the wheels of justice turning that quickly.

                Obviously if the conspiracy theories are to be believed, so might the US. Though even if true, they'd have to move pretty damned fast. If he genuinely believes the US stuff, and I think he is possibly that paranoid, then how's he ever going to leave the embassy?

      4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "when the total cost had already hit £11m."

        Unless that was a special job filled by officers on overtime, or they employed extra officers to account for that job, then the actual cost was a few less officers available for other duties. I'm sure it caused extra costs to be incurred but I take that £11m with a truck load of salt.

  5. DougS Silver badge

    Diplomatic pouch?

    What are the rules for these? Would it be possible to ship him out in a box with airholes, and the UK be prevented from searching it?

    Better yet, would it be possible to ship him out in a box without airholes?

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Diplomatic pouch?

      A box without airholes is better known as a casket.

      1. VinceH Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Diplomatic pouch?

        "A box without airholes is better known as a casket."

        Handy. No need to move him from one box to another for his burial.

      2. Scroticus Canis
        Holmes

        Re: A box without airholes is better known as a casket.

        And your point being?

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Diplomatic pouch?

      This trick has been tried before - though it was Nigeria I think and the person in question had been kidnapped. British police seized the diplomatic baggage at the airport and opened it.

    3. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Diplomatic pouch?

      As in the Umaru Dikko affair. The plan was though to have him locked in a crate with an Israeli doctor supervising him IIRC, the doctor ended up doing 14 years for abduction.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Quito

    Nicer climate for sure... But in this part of the world he could be disappeared in a heartbeat. So he shouldn't go! Not that he'd be badly missed unlike Snowden.

  7. Mark 85 Silver badge

    The worst thing in the world for Assange...

    would be for the US government to just ignore him. The second worst thing would be the press to ignore him.

    1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      Re: The worst thing in the world for Assange...

      It'd also be the smart thing for the US to do, as it'd help discredit Assange as a paranoid nutjob. But given who's running the place at the moment, I suspect that's less likely to happen.

      1. BoldMan

        Re: The worst thing in the world for Assange...

        Isn't that what they've been doing for the last few years? The USA had repeatedly said they were not interested in him - the only person who keeps saying this is the twat himself.

        1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

          Re: The worst thing in the world for Assange...

          It is, but it doesn't have quite as much impact while he's holed up because the conspiracy theorists just say that he's holed up because the US want him. When it'll really make a difference, is when he's in easy, easy reach and they do nothing

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The worst thing in the world for Assange...

          The official line in the US might be that they are not interested in him. However, all it needs is one slimpy pole climibing DA to think that arresting Assange would be a sure fire route into the Governors mansion/a Senate seat or worse, President then all bets are off.

          It think that Assange is affraid of is being [cough-cough] spirited away/removed by men in Beige Raincoats from a British Police Station, onto a US Jet and be out of UK Jurisdiction before any legal attempts to block it could be started. He'd probably surface in Gitmo a few years later.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The worst thing in the world for Assange...

            removed by men in Beige Raincoats

            Nowadays they're black. You're thinking of Columbo, but that was a while ago :).

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: The worst thing in the world for Assange...

        "discredit Assange as a paranoid nutjob. But given who's running the place at the moment"

        Takes one to know one.

        1. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

          Re: The worst thing in the world for Assange...

          "discredit Assange as a paranoid nutjob. But given who's running the place at the moment"

          Takes one to know one.

          The thought just crossed my mind that they could end up the best of buddies.

          There's nothing stranger than life.

      3. cosmogoblin
        Joke

        Re: The worst thing in the world for Assange...

        Donald Trump: "Who's this Julian fellow?"

        Jared Kushner: "He's a paranoid nutjob."

        Donald Trump: "Great! Make him secretary of state."

        1. Tim Jenkins

          Re: The worst thing in the world for Assange...

          Given the nature of the original allegations in Sweden that sparked this whole sorry saga off, Assange and Trump might find they some interesting anecdotes to swap, and maybe some hair-care tips too.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The worst thing in the world for Assange...

      "The worst thing in the world for Assange would be for the US government to just ignore him"

      of course, if they really want to discredit him, they could give him a job working directly for Mr Trump ....

  8. Mycho Silver badge

    Is Transportation still on the legal books?

    I know it's been ended a long time ago, but I wondered if there's anything they forgot to remove about sending prisoners to Australia. It would solve everything.

    1. Winkypop Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Is Transportation still on the legal books?

      Hang on, convicts yes, but we do have limits!

    2. Velv Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Is Transportation still on the legal books?

      Maybe I missed something, but given he's an Australian citizen we don't need transportation rules to send him to Australia, his citizenship guarantees we can return him as a prisoner.

      We just have to take him into custody first...

      1. Mycho Silver badge

        Re: Is Transportation still on the legal books?

        We need to find a way to make it clear we're dumping him back on his Ozzie countrymen and not on Trump, then I'm sure we can take him into custody for the half hour it takes to dump him on a plane back to the land where everything is trying to kill you.

        Not suggesting it will kill him, it's just his home.

  9. macjules Silver badge

    And what does Assange say?

    You can bet your bottom dollar that Assange will not obey any agreement whatsoever. The only thing that man is interested in is self-publicity, even at the cost of his freedom.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: And what does Assange say?

      Well, all the Ecuadorians have to do is push him out the embassy door. Or just invite the police in to arrest him, they're fully entitled to enter with permission from the ambassador or home government.

      Alternatively, if they want something less public, they cut off his internet access, and nice food, and ration him to one Ferrero Rocher per day.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: And what does Assange say?

        ration him to one Ferrero Rocher per day.

        Or, even worse, expired MREs, courtesy of the US Army.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And what does Assange say?

      He has his freedom, he chooses not to use it.

  10. theN8

    Maybe they should send the boys from 22 Para in to sort it out? It worked on the Iranian embassy.

    1. jaduncan

      Is the Daily Mail website closed for the day?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Is the Daily Mail website closed for the day?"

        oooh - is it? Please? Could it be longer that just a day?

    2. Rich 11 Silver badge

      22 Para? Is that a combined-ops group of 2 Para and 22 SAS?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It worked on the Iranian embassy.

      Did it really? Due to our feckless and disgraceful government, the main Libyan suspect for the murder of an unarmed policewoman now lives in the UK, and although arrested a few weeks ago for the murder of Yvonne Fletcher, was released on "national security grounds" the next day.

      You have to wonder what exactly is so utterly rotten about our governments, the Home Office, the immigration authorities, and our rather crappy security services that foreign murderers from unstable and hostile countries are welcomed here.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You have to wonder what exactly is so utterly rotten about our governments, the Home Office, the immigration authorities, and our rather crappy security services that foreign murderers from unstable and hostile countries are welcomed here.

        Possible quid pro quo as deniable operators?

  11. Richard Wharram

    Sure let him go

    But just ensure there's a mix-up so he accidentally lands in Sweden.

  12. Natalie Gritpants

    On a serious note

    Any agreement to not enforce the law would be a bad thing for UK justice. All sorts of rich and powerful people would be given the impression that if they make it expensive for the law to be applied they would be given an exception.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: On a serious note

      All sorts of rich and powerful people would be given the impression that if they make it expensive for the law to be applied they would be given an exception.

      Hardly an impression, more a matter of fact. And not just rich people, big companies. Why make US tech companies and coffee chains pay their dues, when you can persecute individual IT contractors? Why prosecute dangerous driving by Saudi "princes" and moron top footballers when you can just use speed cameras on the hoi-polloi? Why force banks to behave ethically when you can just waste everybody's time micro-managing gas and electricity suppliers?

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: On a serious note

      There's no mechanism to do this, unless they pass a special law. The government can't officially tell the police what to do in operational matters and they can't tell the courts what to do at all.

      And of course Sweden's investigation has been dropped for lack of progress. Their prosecutors office is apparently forced to act proportionately, and so give up when they can't get anywhere. It appears (though it's obviously hard to know), that Ecuador lied about cooperating with the Swedes, and didn't allow the formal interview at which Assange could actually be charged - only alllowed some sort of limited questioning - hence they gave up.

      However as soon as Jules leaves the embassy, Sweden can re-issue the EAW on the one remaining outstanding charge and get him back. So even if he's only held by the Met for one day, before being taken to a magistrates court, fined for bail jumping and deported to Oz - that gives Sweden the time to get him again.

      Last time Ecuador tried to get the Foreign Office to talk, they didn't get very far. And that was when the Met were supposedly spending a million pounds a second stopping his daring escape attempts - presumably overtime doughnuts cost extra...

      So I suspect this is wishful thinking, give the attitude displayed here by the FCO:

      At a meeting last Tuesday between Ms Alban [Ecuador's ambassador] and Hugo Swire, the Foreign Office minister responsible for Latin America, Ms Alban is said to have asked: "What are we going to do about the stone in the shoe?"

      Mr Swire's response, according to a source who was in the room, was: "Not my stone, not my shoe."

      From what I've read from Charles Crawford (an ex ambassdor of ours), the Foreign Office take a dim view of this sort of thing - he says the job of an embassy is to build as good a relationship as possible with the host country, and be as clear a communications channel as possible - and not deliberately creating embarrassment for them. Which is why British embassies would try to avoid taking in even legitimate cases seeking asylum if they can manage it, let alone this crock of shit cooked up by Assange. So they've no incentive to help, and from what I understand actively want Ecuador to suffer the consequences of having taken this pot-shot at the British system.

  13. Bangem

    Is it worth it

    failing to surrender to UK courts is grounds for trial.

    Maximum of 12 months, if found guilty. Why doesn't he just walk out, get arrested by the UK and explain to the courts why he ran? Now that sweden have dropped the case, surely a judge would just send him on his way?

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Is it worth it

      Sweden haven't dropped the case. They've dropped the arrest warrant. On grounds that it's disproportionate to continue pursuing the case when there's zero chance of an arrest.

      However the prosecutor made it clear that the case can be revived, should there be a chance to do so. The statute of limitations on rape charges is 10 years, so I think that leaves Julian 4 more to wait? And as soon as he ends up in UK police custody, Sweden just need to re-issue that EAW and the Swedish then get him. So even if our magistrates let him off with a fine, a slapped wrist and a one-way trip to Australia - that's enough time for Sweden to get the paperwork faxed across, if they want to.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Is it worth it

        Sweden haven't dropped the case. They've dropped the arrest warrant. On grounds that it's disproportionate to continue pursuing the case when there's zero chance of an arrest.

        Yes - also important to re-emphasize that this does not amount to a declaration that he is innocent, but merely an indication of how long he has been given justice the runaround by abusing the asylum system.

      2. Mike Moyle Silver badge

        Re: Is it worth it

        "And as soon as he ends up in UK police custody, Sweden just need to re-issue that EAW and the Swedish then get him."

        Maybe he's hoping that Brexit will mean that the EAW won't be valid in the UK?

      3. Bangem

        Re: Is it worth it

        @I ain't Spartacus

        thanks for clearing that up, sir. Everyday is a learnin' day!

  14. Blofeld's Cat
    Coat

    Escape tunnel ...

    Apparently there's a tunnel, with an entrance close to the embassy, that runs all the way to Heathrow Airport. Perhaps he could be smuggled down that.

    It's called the Piccadilly Line, so the "smuggling" bit should be fairly straightforward ...

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Re: Escape tunnel ...

      Apparently there's a tunnel, with an entrance close to the embassy, that runs all the way to Heathrow Airport. Perhaps he could be smuggled down that.

      Nope, he could never afford Heathrow Express' fares.

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: Escape tunnel ...

        But it is only £3.10 off peak on the Picadilly Line.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: Escape tunnel ...

      Look, I dislike Julian Assange as much as the next man, but sending him onto the Tube in Summer, and then onto Heathrow, is way too cruel.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Escape tunnel ...

        On the plus side, it's worth observing that the front of the Piccadilly line train is already painted red..

  15. Joe Harrison Silver badge

    Mail readers

    I doubt yer average Reg reader actually has any specific knowledge in depth about the years-long Assange story. I certainly don't. Of course as a handy substitute the media has provided a full-on Corbyn-style character assassination and it's frightening to hear otherwise intelligent people regurgitating that wholesale. Think for yourselves!

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Mail readers

      I did think for myself. He's an arsehole. A narcisistic self-publicist who doesn't give a fuck for anyone other than himself. He may, or may not, genuinely believe in his professed ideals - but that doesn't entitle him to sexually assault people. Now I don't know whether he's guilty of that, the running makes him look guilty, but I suspect he is genuinely paranoid so that could also explain his behaviour.

      But most of the bad PR about Julian Assange, is generated by Julian Assange.

      Did I say he was a total arsehole?

      As for your bollocks about "Corbyn style character assassination", it's bollocks. He's supposed to be a big boy. He ran for leadership of a major political party, and then the country. With that territory comes both unfair political attacks and legitimate scrutiy. He doesn't appear to like either. Also with that comes standing on your own record. His record is pretty shit. Even many of the people on his own side don't think he's up to the job, why should anyone else?

      There is no global conspiracy. Evil or otherwise. It's scarier than that. Nobody is in control. Stuff just happens. And conspiracies also happen, but more of them fail spectacularly than succeed. Conspiracy is hard.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Mail readers

        Conspiracy is hard.

        Conspiracy Cat [1] says "nah, you just need the right genetics"..

        [1] A character I made up many, many years ago but never did anything with. Feel free to use, with attribution..

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
          Devil

          Re: Mail readers

          Talking of Corbyn...

          Conspiracy Cat meets Conspiracy Catweazle...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mail readers

      it's frightening to hear otherwise intelligent people regurgitating that wholesale. Think for yourselves!

      Yes, it is indeed worrying to detect just how uncritical anything that Assange has said has been accepted by his fans/followers as the gospel truth. Clearly, critical independence of thinking has given way to groupthink where even the rather large gaping holes in the Assange story are glossed over in what emerged to be an early version of the "fake news" tactic that Trump now deploys.

      Kindly refrain from projecting your failures onto others, thanks.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why make it so complicated?

    Ecuador's foreign minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa says the country is working with the UK to find a way for Julian Assange to leave its embassy.

    I don't understand. As far as I have been able to make, that embassy does have a front door and he is there voluntarily - he could have left with Nigel Farage. Or is the problem that the staff is by now so pissed off with him that they would like to eject him via the grandstanding balcony instead?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why make it so complicated?

      "he could have left with Nigel Farage"

      Now I like that idea. One simple mistake, and .....

      1. ggray

        Re: Why make it so complicated?

        No proof but since dear Nigel has said he doesn't remember why he went to see him AND this happened after sweetie Nigel had been hobnobbing with his bestest friend Donald the Trump

        I think he was carrying cash from Trump To Assange.

        With the scrutiny they're both under the normal 'wire the money' wouldn't work. Enter Farage.

        There might be a good reason for Farage to visit Assange but no one's talking.

        I just remember Assange saying something about 'release Chelsea Manning and I'll surrender'...

        which he totally backtracked on.

        I loved a recent article in the Graun where reporters showed up because Julian had an important

        announcement...then he did the balcony scene (that is so funny...most photos does expose the

        fact that the balcony is only slightly above street level ), saying he couldn't reveal now, but he would later. The photographer managed to get close to a dozen people in the shot...and even those were

        spread out a bit. So Assange has turned into a non-event.

  17. Bob Hoskins

    Honestly

    I don't think I want to see the guy swan off to Ecuador after all the crap he's pulled. Don't get me wrong, I think the world needs organisations like Wikileaks it just doesn't need Assange. I also think that Ecuador overestimate their own influence and misunderstand how our legal system works. The moment he steps out of the embassy he will be arrested - what happens next is a huge mess of what Sweden decide to do (they can still request extradition), what the yanks want to do (as someone said earlier it will just take one ambitious DA to throw a spanner in the works. Questions as to how long he would survive in Quito I will leave to others to speculate on. One final point is that he has not behaved like an innocent man and that means trial by media and on that I'd say the verdict is pretty much guilty.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Honestly

      I think the world needs organisations like Wikileaks it just doesn't need Assange.

      The world only needs WL if it stops trying to play politics. It is worth remembering that they helped getting that orange disaster in the White House to power, and probably soon Mike Pence as an inevitable consequence.

  18. Number6

    Can't they just agree to look the other way for 24 hours while he nips over to Heathrow or Gatwick and gets on a flight to Ecuador? Much cheaper and easier all round.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      No. At least not officially. And I doubt they'd trust Ecuador or Assange not to blab/gloat about it afterwards.

      Officially, and legally, the government can't tell the police what to do. Unofficially ministers can obviously have a quiet word. So long as the risk is worth it, or the likelihood of getting caught is low.

      In this case I don't think anyone cares enough to risk their career over it. Plus I strongly suspect the Foreign Office are enjoying Ecuador's discomfort. They accepted his asylum for some cheap publicity, and to make the US look bad. With a side order of embarrassing the UK government.

      So I think the FCO want to make them suffer for it. As well as the genuine policy goal of discouraging other embassies in London from sheltering criminals. The fact that Assamge suffers ten years self-imposed imprisonment for a crime many suspect he's both guilty of and would get off in court, is just a bonus...

  19. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: "while he nips over to Heathrow or Gatwick and gets on a flight to Ecuador?"

      "There's no direct flights from the UK to this neck of the woods."

      Even assuming there was a direct flight, would that be safe?

      Honest question: if a suspected criminal is on an international flight, does international law allow an overflown country to demand that the flight lands on their territory so that the suspect can be arrested? If the answer is yes, Assange needs the willing connivance of more than just the UK.

  20. Nehmo

    voting

    Instead of working my brain on a decent post, I'm just going to vote.

    Let the embassy rat go.

  21. deadlockvictim Silver badge

    Compromise

    How about this for a compromise?

    The governments of Ecuador, the U.K. and Sweden come to an agreement.

    Allow the Swedes to hold Assange on trial within the Ecuadorian embassy. Televise the trial live, as an open trial within an embassy is not at all easy.

    If Assange is found guilty, then he serves his jail sentence in Ecuador. The U.K. government would let him travel safely to the airport for transport.

    This way everybody but the Americans are happy.

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