back to article Yes, Assange, we'll still nick you for skipping bail, rules court

Infamous cupboard-dwelling WikiLeaker Julian Assange has failed yet again to get his arrest warrant for jumping bail quashed by an English judge. Only last week Assange was told by District Judge Emma Arbuthnot, the Chief Magistrate of England and Wales, that the warrant was very much still valid. Naturally, Assange did not …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "arguably wrong"

    Some days it must really suck to be a QC.

    1. Chris Miller

      Re: "arguably wrong"

      Some days it must really suck to be a QC.

      You still get paid, though. A barrister's duty is to present the arguments in favour of their client in the best light that can be achieved. Even when those arguments are pathetically weak (as with Assange), they must still be presented. I expect both legal teams were well aware of the true position.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: "arguably wrong"

        I believe a good lawyer is supposed to advise you that you're being a blithering idiot and wasting your money. Then if you insist, make sure that said wasted money is directed towards their wallet.

        1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
          Boffin

          @Sparty ... Re: "arguably wrong"

          This actually wasn't a waste of money.

          Its really more of a sign that Assange is getting tossed of the couch in the embassy.

          It was a long shot and worth the gamble. If he won... he walks out, boards a flight to Ecuador.

          If he loses... he has to figure out his next move.

          He had to know it was a long shot.

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Re: @Sparty ... "arguably wrong"

            I think it was a waste of money. But hey - it's only donations to wikileaks being diverted for his personal gratification.

            As for it being his last chance, I don't think so. Ecuador probably won't kick him out now. They've invested too much political capital in playing the hero / victims of the evil imperialist running-dogs. Kicking him out makes them look ridiculous / cowardly / dishonest - take your pick. Or possibly all three. Either he's still a hero, in which case they're cowards for abandoning him - or they're admitting the whole thing was a childish stunt all along. In which case they've wasted everybody's time and money protecting a possible sex-criminal and have pissed all over another country's justice system.

          2. Archie1954

            Re: @Sparty ... "arguably wrong"

            It should not have been a long shot! The court should have both taken judicial notice of the EU's resolution demanding his release without prejudice and the fact that the original Swedish warrant that commenced the whole problem was withdrawn. In other words, the whole judicial mess was a conspiracy to begin with. If the court is too stupid to understand what is right in its face than the judge should resign forthwith! What a terrible condemnation of the compromised British judicial system.

            1. flayman

              Re: @Sparty ... "arguably wrong"

              What EU resolution? You mean the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention? There has been no EU resolution and the ECHR refused to hear the case.

            2. flayman

              Re: @Sparty ... "arguably wrong"

              People should not be so quick to trash the British judicial system while spewing half truths and partially understood judicial theory. The British system of justice is far from perfect, but it has a good reputation around the world for being fair and independent. EU resolution, what nonsense! What aspect of EU law comes into play here with the extradition of a non-EU citizen from one EU country to another? You heard about some international body (a UN working group) who published an opinion, and it went into your mind as having been some binding EU resolution. Arm yourself with facts and you might not be so upset.

            3. NoneSuch

              Re: @Sparty ... "arguably wrong"

              "The court should have both taken judicial notice of the EU's resolution demanding his release without prejudice and the fact that the original Swedish warrant that commenced the whole problem was withdrawn."

              If you receive a speeding ticket, then kick the officer's posterior in frustration and later have the ticket thrown out. You're still on the hook for the butt kicking. Failure to appear is a UK crime, not Swedish.

              https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/488503/Arrest_warrants_version_2.0__EXT__clean.pdf

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      John Scarlett, THE "dodgy-dossier", John Scarlett?

      https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/02/assange-judges-husband-runs-security-firm-ex-head-mi6

      I think Assange is an idiot

      some others are less forgiving, some more-so

      more research is needed, over to tha interwebs

      craig murray org uk ASSANGE-JUDGES-HUSBAND-RUNS-SECURITY-FIRM-EX-HEAD-MI6

  2. ukgnome

    maybe his mate Farage could assist?

    1. TheTick

      Does interviewing someone for LBC make you their mate then?

      1. ukgnome

        No - dropping off a USB stick to him does though.

      2. DrXym Silver badge

        Interviewing someone for LBC makes for a good cover story. Doesn't explain why Farage of all people was in communication with Assange.

        Especially as Farage is the UK's #1 toady bum kisser to Trump. And Trump of course really like himself some wikileaks. Kind of suspicious.

        1. Adze

          "UK's #1 toady bum kisser"

          Number two, surely. Definitely a "jobbie", either way.

  3. DontFeedTheTrolls Silver badge
    Holmes

    Schrödinger's Embassy

    It really is Schrödinger situation - until he walks out the door of the Ecuador Embassy nobody knows if he really will end up in the USA.

    If he walks out, is arrested and jailed for jumping bail, and a subsequent extradition request is submitted, he's totally vindicated, and it's grounds to reject the request.

    If he walks out, is arrested and jailed for jumping bail, then walks free after serving his time, it proves what an asshole he has been and how insignificant he is considered by the world.

    If he stays in the Embassy, we'll never know what the outcome would have been. Until he opens the box, we'll never know...

    1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Schrödinger's Embassy

      @DontFeedTheTrolls

      Absolutely the most enjoyable summary of the situation I've ever read, and a pretty accurate assessment as well. Have an upvote and a pint.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Schrödinger's Embassy

      I think we already know he's a total arsehole. Whatever you may think of his politics - or the rights and wrongs of his worries about the US nabbing him.

      I guess we'll learn something very interesting if he waits until the 10 year statute of limitations runs out on the Swedish rape case, and he only then comes out.

      Other than that though, I get the impressions he's a bit random, and though genuinely paranoid is also either very lazy, or only paranoid when it suits him. That guy that he brought in to ghost-write an authorised biography, then reneged on the deal once he'd spent the advance, wrote something like that about him. Said that he was paranoid sometimes, but then other times totally lax. As if he wasn't sure if the paranoia was just Walther Mitty enjoying playing at spy games, or genuine. Or maybe a bit of both.

      1. John Sanders
        Holmes

        Re: Schrödinger's Embassy

        The Clintons wants him dead, if he steps in the USA he's done for.

      2. Archtech Silver badge

        Re: Schrödinger's Embassy

        "I think we already know he's a total arsehole".

        Any evidence for that? At all?

        1. flayman

          Re: Schrödinger's Embassy

          This comment is sort of funny. Someone who happily asserts without any proof that the United States are looking to have Julian Assange assassinated is also demanding evidence in support of an opinion stated as "I think we already know he's a total arsehole".

    3. Roger Lipscombe

      Re: Schrödinger's Embassy

      He's only safe while he's physically in the embassy, right? Why don't we suggest that the Ecuadorians move their embassy? A suitable property just became available on Grosvenor Square, I believe.

      They move, he doesn't. He's no longer in an embassy; he gets arrested. They move, he attempts to move. He's on the street; he gets arrested.

      1. Scorchio!!

        Re: Schrödinger's Embassy

        "Why don't we suggest that the Ecuadorians move their embassy?"

        There is a short cut; create an emergency, perhaps fire safety related, so the embassy is evacuated. Into the loving arms of Plod.

        1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
          Boffin

          @Scorochoi!! Re: Schrödinger's Embassy

          No need.

          He's slowly killing himself by staying in the embassy. Its a self imposed prison.

          The embassy can at any time tell him to leave.

          So he goes to jail in the UK. He gets set out of the country. I don't see the UK letting him go to Ecuador. He's been a total prat and has given the UK a black eye. Note: Its possible a liberal judge who doesn't like Trump will let him go to Ecuador.

          And of course... unless they are transporting him like a prisoner... (most likely not) Unless there's a direct flight from the UK to Australia, he'll most likely have to get off the plane. There, he can get off and switch to a different plane on a flight to Ecuador. Even here, he may face some challenges, but still its possible to do it.

        2. AndersBreiner

          Re: Schrödinger's Embassy

          They could use this

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diplomatic_and_Consular_Premises_Act_1987

          However I think they've decided not to because it would set a precedent for foreign governments to close UK embassies if they shelter fugitives.

    4. Andrew Norton

      Re: Schrödinger's Embassy

      Actually, we do already know. they don't want him.

      not only have they stated that themselves at numerous points, Everyone else in the grand jury investigation (those that did the work and not just write the press releases) have not been snatched, or extradited. They've not even had problems when they've visited the US.

      Additionally, for someone who feared the US, funny how he went from a country that doesn't extradite to the US for political crimes (Sweden) straight to the country with the lowest bar for US extradition (UK). The only reason he'd have gone to the UK is if he needed to leave Sweden quick (that evening) and wanted to stay more than 30 days, as he only had 21 days left on a schengen visa at the time. As a commonwealth citizen, he had no visa requirements and leave to stay for 180 days - ideal if your lawyer has just told you that you'll be arrested at the interview scheduled for the morning.

      He then spent 600 days in the UK, in a known address, walking the same route at the same time, to a rural police station. If he was afraid of extralegal incarceration (extraordinary rendition) why wasn't it a problem then? Why was it only suddenly a problem 2 days after a final order to send him on to Sweden had been sent down.

      Next, to this day, no indictment. I believe the grand jury has even been disbanded, so no new one can come down. Under the speedy trial act, they've got 180 days to act on the indictment or its dead, so any that had been handed down would be dead unless sealed, and it wouldn't be sealed, because there's no point - they get sealed just to prevent the knowledge of them, but since he believes theres one, there's no justification possible for sealing it. So no indictment, means no extradition.

      Legally, factually, there's absolutely no basis to believe that there was ever a threat of involuntary US holidays for Assange ,but it's a useful bogieman for him to trot out and feed his paranoia.and it has essentially become the cornerstone of the Assange branding.

      1. Lomax

        Re: Schrödinger's Embassy

        > United States attorney-general Jeff Sessions says the Trump administration will make it “a priority” to arrest leakers, including Julian Assange.

        https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/04/21/arresting_leakers_like_assange_now_a_priority_for_trump_administration/

        > US authorities have prepared charges to seek the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, US officials familiar with the matter tell CNN.

        http://edition.cnn.com/2017/04/20/politics/julian-assange-wikileaks-us-charges/index.html

        1. Andrew Norton

          Re: Schrödinger's Embassy

          One's a press release, has no evidential basis. And Trump's always been big on 'loyalty' and he'll try and push for leakers of his administration.

          As for the second, where's the indictment then? no indictment, no charges, no extradition order. Oh it's sealed? Sealed so that he'll be unaware of its existance and thus won't attempt to destroy or conceal evidence that may be gathered against him (the reason for sealing)

          The problem with this is that Assange has actually done everything possible to make a sealed indictment a legal no-go. As he thinks there's one, he'll act as if there is one, and thus it's not possible to justify sealing it. And if they had got an indictment that wasn't sealed, we'd already know about it. In addition, since it hadn't been presented for the basis of an extradition warrant, it's now invalid as it was not acted on in a timely manner.

          It's these little things that torpedo his claims.

          1. kain preacher Silver badge

            Re: Schrödinger's Embassy

            As for the second, where's the indictment then? no indictment, no charges, no extradition order. Oh it's sealed? Sealed so that he'll be unaware of its existance and thus won't attempt to destroy or conceal evidence that may be gathered against him (the reason for sealing)

            Wrong a sealed indictment means a only the parties to it can see it. Julian would still get a .copy.

          2. veti Silver badge

            Re: Schrödinger's Embassy

            Trump is only "big on loyalty" one way. He cares passionately that people are loyal to him, but he shows no sign of recognising any obligation to return or reward that loyalty. See: all the people he's dismissed (or have quit) from his campaign and/or administration and then disowned, with varying degrees of disparagement and vehemence.

            I'm pretty sure Trump would claim him if he thought it would give him a diplomatic triumph he could tweet about. "Winning" is all he cares about. I also wouldn't put it past him to make the attempt even if he knew it only had a small chance of working, because "losing" doesn't cost him anything either - he just blames it on his innumerable enemies (who are, of course, no fault of his, they're completely evil and irrational).

            1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
              Coat

              Re: Schrödinger's Embassy

              I thought his whole situation came about due to Schrodingers jonny? He was aware of its velocity (zero) but not it's position (in a random drawer) relative to the box in question. Allegedly m'lud.

            2. DougS Silver badge

              @veti

              I wasn't suggesting Trump would be hands off due to loyalty, but due to fear that Wikileaks may have been leaked some info that could be very damaging to Trump they are "saving for a rainy day".

              Remember what Trump REALLY fears isn't proof of collusion or obstruction of justice, but proof his businesses have been knowingly laundering dirty Russian money for years and years.

              1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

                Re: @veti

                I've never heard of that new smear...when did you make it up?

                1. wallaby

                  Re: @veti

                  Oh come on.... really !!!!

                  The sound of a trump comes from an arse

                  Trump is the biggest arse around, stop being an apologist and leave the redneck king to his own defences

        2. DougS Silver badge

          Re: Schrödinger's Embassy

          Why would Trump want to see Assange arrested? Wikileaks only leaked stuff about Hillary, there haven't been any leaks from the Trump administration on their site. Which is quite amazing, considering how leaky the Trump administration has been to everyone else...

          The interesting question in my mind is whether Wikileaks was a (mostly?) unwitting pawn in the Trump/Russia discussions (won't call it collusion yet as that remains to be proven) over releasing emails that make Hillary look bad, or they took an active part. Clinton has had it in for him ever since the state department cable leak when she was SoS, and so he had reason not to want to see her become president. You could understand his fear of extradition if she was president, but why with Trump when hardly any US citizens give a damn what happens to Assange?

          After all, Trump "loves Wikileaks", arresting its founder would seem to be counterproductive - he has no way of knowing if they have received something incriminating on him that they've been sitting on. Why take the risk of poking the bear?

          1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

            Re: Schrödinger's Embassy

            ...Why would Trump want to see Assange arrested?...

            The FBI and the NSA want Assange dead. And, as we have seen, they are quite happy to operate on their own without any political oversight...

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Schrödinger's Embassy

            "After all, Trump "loves Wikileaks", arresting its founder would seem to be counterproductive"

            The problem with Trump is that he make so many contradictory statements, you really don't have any idea which way he's going to jump at any one time.

    5. PNGuinn
      Trollface

      Re: Schrödinger's Embassy @MrHungryTroll

      You raise some very interesting and important questions.

      Does the embassy have a cat, even a white cat?

      Does Mr A spend his life stroking it.

      Is this responsible for the shoulder problems?

      What about the cat?

      Enquiring minds etc etc ....

      1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

        Re: Schrödinger's Embassy @MrHungryTroll

        @PNGuinn

        Does the embassy have a cat,

        At one point he did have one - a gift from his children...

        No recent updates on the twitter feed

        https://mobile.twitter.com/EmbassyCat

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2wYuXMLsOw

        http://fortune.com/2016/05/10/julian-assange-embassy-cat-wikileaks/

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Schrödinger's Embassy @MrHungryTroll

        "Does the embassy have a cat, even a white cat?

        Does Mr A spend his life stroking it."

        Ahem. Stroking a pussy was how he got into trouble in the first place. Yes, that's my coat, the one with the spots.

      3. Roj Blake Silver badge

        Re: Does the embassy have a cat, even a white cat?

        They actually went and bought a cat for Assange, to keep him company.

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Does the embassy have a cat, even a white cat?

          They actually went and bought a cat for Assange, to keep him company.

          And where were PETA when this hideous animal abuse was happening? Oh yes, trying to drum up donations by spending lots of cash trying to prove that a monkey owns the rights to a selfie..

      4. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Schrödinger's Embassy @MrHungryTroll

        Does the embassy have a cat, even a white cat?

        Does Mr A spend his life stroking it?

        If so, I sincerely hope that the cat sues him for emotional damage and unsolicited fondling..

        (Either that or, like my left arm[1], demostrate why cats have claws and teeth..)

        [1] 7Kg of formerly-feral ginger cat doesn't want to do to the vet for his booster injection. I pick him up by the scruff of his neck without taking the basic precaution of donning armour. Much leakage of red stuff ensues (all mine).

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Schrödinger's Embassy

      >It really is Schrödinger situation - until he walks out the door

      But is the light still on if the door is closed ?

    7. Stuart 22

      Re: Schrödinger's Embassy

      Its not the Trump administration Julian has to worry about - it's Robert Meuller. Which would be a worry for Trump if Jules is willing to do a deal ...

    8. JohnG

      Re: Schrödinger's Embassy

      It isn't clear that Assange has broken any US law and the US authorities have not levelled any charges or submitted any request for his extradition, here or in Sweden. The previous US government showed absolutely no interest in Assange and the case in Sweden seemed fairly weak. The current US government has shown some interest in Assange but haven't actually done anything yet. He has definitely jumped bail in the UK and courts typically take a dim view of people ignoring them. He might be better off facng the music in the UK - then getting free treatment for his tooth and his shoulder whilst serving time. As he is only likely to get a couple of weeks for jumping bail, his time might be up before he has finished his treatment.

    9. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Boffin

      @Troll Feeder Re: Schrödinger's Embassy

      At this time, the US has made no indication that they want Assange.

      If he walks out... he will be taken in to custody by the UK and will have to deal with jumping bail.

      That's it.

      When he does his time, pays his fine... its up to the UK to determine what to do with him.

      They will most likely toss him from the UK and put him on a plane to Australia.

      If they are nice... they may let him get on a plane to Ecuador. (Most likely not)

      So he goes to Australia.

      Here... the Australians can take his passport away. Now that he has an Ecuadorian passport, he might be able to leave before the US decides that they want him. The Australian Government is more than likely willing to send him to the US considering his conviction while a teen for hacking US government systems.

      That's most likely where he'll get nabbed.

      The bottom line... he's not going to be staying there much longer.

    10. leenex

      Re: Schrödinger's Embassy

      One more:

      If he walks out, is arrested and jailed for jumping bail, a subsequent extradition request is submitted, he ends up in the USA and gets executed, he's dead.

    11. flayman

      Re: Schrödinger's Embassy

      "If he walks out, is arrested and jailed for jumping bail, and a subsequent extradition request is submitted, he's totally vindicated, and it's grounds to reject the request."

      Sorry, but I completely disagree. The United States are free to request his extradition if they feel there is a case to answer. They have not requested his extradition. That fact remains. Before Sweden dropped its request, any other request would need to wait in the queue. If Assange were handed over to Sweden, they would not be permitted to turn him over to anyone else without permission from the UK because we would still be responsible for him. Assange says he really fears some sort of extra-judicial rendering to America. No way. That would never happen with such a huge spotlight. It would be roundly condemned in the strongest possible terms and would seriously chill diplomatic relations. Julian Assange is a paranoid delusional narcissist. He is also a coward. He's happy to let others take the risks publishing sensitive information. People like Brad/Chelsea. He is himself unprepared to take the martyr's path for his own cause.

      1. Jennak.

        Re: Schrödinger's Embassy

        Julian never forced Chelsea, Brad, Edward Into doing what they did.

        It was their own choice.

        So it’s hard to see why you believe he allows others to take the all the risk for posting sensitive material- especially given the fact that he, himself, has been locked up for 6+ year now.

        1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

          Re: Schrödinger's Embassy

          He hasn't been locked up. He's free to leave the embassy at any time. He's just too much of a pussy to face the consequences of his actions.

    12. Archtech Silver badge

      Re: Schrödinger's Embassy

      And if he gets it wrong, he dies. Perhaps slowly and horribly.

    13. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Schrödinger's Embassy

      If he walks out, is arrested and jailed for jumping bail, then walks free after serving his time

      .. at which point, several large men with sloping foreheads put a blackout bag over his head and bundle him into a van?

      (Not that I'm saying that'll happen - although I wouldn't put it past Assange to pay someone to do it and then later pull off an amazing "escape" from his evil captors.. You have to maintain your presence in the public eye after all!)

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Schrödinger's Embassy

        ".. at which point, several large men with sloping foreheads put a blackout bag over his head and bundle him into a van?"

        What's changed that that might be thing now? Why wasn't it done while he was effectively a free man on bail?

    14. LucasNorth

      Re: Schrödinger's Embassy

      That's no reason at all to the reject the extradition request. It stand's or falls on it's own merits not whatever is going on in Assange's twisted little mind

  4. 2+2=5 Silver badge

    > "Rather than rendering Mr Assange to the United States, if the US had initiated a request to extradite Mr Assange from Sweden, Sweden would have contacted this court and the judiciary here would have had to consider the request."

    - District Judge Emma Arbuthnot

    Dear Emma, you seem to have completely missed the point. The problem is not what the US has done (past tense) but what the US will do (future tense). Do you really need me to point that out to you?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No, she really doesn't. Her business is Law, not prognostication. What on earth makes you think she reads El Reg in the first place, and values your opinion in the second?

      1. 2+2=5 Silver badge

        > No, she really doesn't. Her business is Law, not prognostication. What on earth makes you think she reads El Reg in the first place, and values your opinion in the second?

        Doesn't what? Or do you mean "hasn't" as in hasn't missed the point?

        You are right: her business is Law. And her response to Assange's argument that if he were sent to Sweden he would be subject to the risk of extradition etc was to fob him off with "the US have done nothing so far". That's not a proper response, in law or otherwise.

        If the court's view is they don't care about what might happen in the future then she should say so. My complaint is with her sidestepping the question. That's for politicians not judges.

        1. Gerhard Mack

          "You are right: her business is Law. And her response to Assange's argument that if he were sent to Sweden he would be subject to the risk of extradition etc was to fob him off with "the US have done nothing so far". That's not a proper response, in law or otherwise.

          If the court's view is they don't care about what might happen in the future then she should say so. My complaint is with her sidestepping the question. That's for politicians not judges."

          You have somehow missed the rest of what she said. The point was also that if he were sent to Sweden and the Americans requested his extradition, the UK would have to agree to it before it could happen.

          1. Archtech Silver badge

            "The point was also that if he were sent to Sweden and the Americans requested his extradition, the UK would have to agree to it before it could happen".

            Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

            That's the funniest yet.

          2. 2+2=5 Silver badge

            > You have somehow missed the rest of what she said. The point was also that if he were sent to Sweden and the Americans requested his extradition, the UK would have to agree to it before it could happen.

            I agree that she said that but it is patently nonsense. If he were to hand himself in and serve out a sentence for skipping bail, and was then extradited to Sweden, the UK authorities would have no further control whatsoever: he wouldn't be on UK territory and he is not a UK citizen. The idea that the UK would be consulted and asked to approve any subsequent extradition request made to Sweden by the US is nonsense.

            1. Gerhard Mack

              "I agree that she said that but it is patently nonsense. If he were to hand himself in and serve out a sentence for skipping bail, and was then extradited to Sweden, the UK authorities would have no further control whatsoever: he wouldn't be on UK territory and he is not a UK citizen. The idea that the UK would be consulted and asked to approve any subsequent extradition request made to Sweden by the US is nonsense."

              That is not how extradition works in the EU. If a person is extradited from one EU country to another, the first country must agree before the person can be sent elsewhere. To happen the way you describe, he would have to serve out his sentence in Sweden, return to the UK then return to Sweden again on his own free will.

            2. flayman

              "If he were to hand himself in and serve out a sentence for skipping bail, and was then extradited to Sweden, the UK authorities would have no further control whatsoever: he wouldn't be on UK territory and he is not a UK citizen"

              Absolutely wrong. It is a feature of international law called the Doctrine of Speciality, which Sweden have acknowledged: https://www.aklagare.se/en/nyheter--press/media/the-assange-matter/kan-assange-utlamnas-fran-sverige-till-usa/

              There is also the fundamental principle of non-refoulement.

              1. 2+2=5 Silver badge

                "If he were to hand himself in and serve out a sentence for skipping bail, and was then extradited to Sweden, the UK authorities would have no further control whatsoever: he wouldn't be on UK territory and he is not a UK citizen"

                Absolutely wrong. It is a feature of international law called the Doctrine of Speciality, which Sweden have acknowledged: https://www.aklagare.se/en/nyheter--press/media/the-assange-matter/kan-assange-utlamnas-fran-sverige-till-usa/

                There is also the fundamental principle of non-refoulement.

                Doctrine of Speciality applies only to criminal offences committed in the country the person is being extradited to and named in the extradition request. There is nothing covering the expectation of a subsequent extradition request from a 3rd country.

                Also the quote from the Swedish authorities that you link to states:

                Every extradition case is to be judged on its own individual merits. For that reason the Swedish government cannot provide a guarantee in advance that Julian Assange would not be subject to further extradition to the USA.

                Non-refoulement, assuming you mean if or when Assange eventually gets to Sweden, doesn't apply because it covers the return of refugees/asylum seekers to the country they came from - and Assange won't have come from the US to Sweden.

                If you mean from the UK to Sweden then it doesn't apply because Assange is not requesting asylum from the UK (but from Ecuador).

                1. flayman

                  Doctrine of Speciality

                  Doctrine of Speciality does not apply only to criminal offences committed in the country the person is being extradited to, according to any source I can find on it. The person can only be prosecuted for crimes named in the extradition request. This includes a prosecution to determine whether or not to extradite to a third jurisdiction. Julian Assange was prosecuted in the United Kingdom and given the opportunity to defend himself against the Swedish extradition request, a criminal justice process that concluded at the UK Supreme Court. Your bold text adds nothing. At any rate, the Swedish prosecution authority have stated publicly that they are bound by this doctrine in this case.

                  Non-refoulement

                  The word "refoulement" either alone or as part of "non-refoulement" appears 15 times in the opinion of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, for example: "...without any guarantee of non-refoulement to the United States where he faced, in its view, a well-founded risk of political persecution and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment." Much is made of the UN report, which claims that the UK fail to honour the granting of political asylum by Ecuador. But there is no basis for political asylum because the crime for which he's wanted in Sweden is a sexual offence, not a political one. Assange is currently enjoying diplomatic asylum, which is not recognised. If a requesting nation sought him on the basis of some political crime, then he would be entitled to political asylum. Ironically, the best host in that case would have been Sweden, since it is coded in their extradition treaty with the US to refuse political extraditions. This is why Assange applied for residency there.

                  Also, why are assurances needed from a democratic country who is a signatory to all the relevant conventions that they will not violate norms of international law? So yes, as they have stated (how the hell do you do a blockquote?):

                  "Every extradition case is to be judged on its own individual merits. For that reason the Swedish government cannot provide a guarantee in advance that Julian Assange would not be subject to further extradition to the USA."

                  Quite right. He might be requested for a crime that is judged to be non-political. Sweden can't say before the fact that they will never extradite Julian Assange to the United States under any circumstances. Yet he would enjoy the benefit of two possible vetoes.

                2. Gerhard Mack

                  A better link is this one: http://www.government.se/government-of-sweden/ministry-of-justice/international-judicial-co-operation/questions-and-answers-about-extradition-from-sweden/

                  It clearly states:

                  "If the person has been surrendered from another EU country to Sweden under a European arrest warrant, Sweden must obtain the consent of that country to be able to extradite the person to a country outside the EU."

                  1. 2+2=5 Silver badge

                    @ Gerhard

                    Thank-you for such a specific link. It seems very clear. Except that the extradition treaty between the EU and the US makes no provision for refusing an extradition request because of any previous extradition. So I'm not clear why Sweden is making such a definite statement.

                    Confusingly https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/117679/european-arrest-warrant1.pdf does require that consent - but only for 45 days (article 28).

                    However Sweden has made a clear statement, so I'll concede that the judge was right to say that Assange wouldn't be further extradited without the agreement of the UK.

    2. richard?

      If he leaves publicly, there is basically zero chance of some sort of clandestine rendition that bypasses the courts. And if the US does get him legally, then fine, that's the point of having laws and courts, and the recent Laurie Love case showed it.

      So what exactly is the US going to do?

    3. Lee D Silver badge

      So you want to have potential, unknown, theoretically possible actions, which could or could not occur, with no hint of any such request, and may or may not be in accordance with UK law to be taken into account when discussing whenever he should be nicked for deliberately, definitely, absolutely, categorically, provably, self-confessedly skipping bail?

      The Chinese could send a hit-squad of crack ninjas in tutus to capture him. It doesn't mean that it gets any more consideration by the court on a basically unrelated matter.

      And the answer basically is: If the US want him, they need only ask. They don't have to do anything illegitimately, they could just ask for him when the time comes, dot the i's, cross the t's and they'll likely get him. Not arresting him on an unrelated matter IN CASE that times comes is a nonsense.

      I don't think you understand jurisdiction, charges vs arrest, the charges in question, the arrest warrants in question, international due process, extradition procedure, or how a court is obliged to operate within the rule of existing law (i.e. not on the basis of "this random illegal thing that has almost no precedent - note how we mention other cases where they didn't get their way - could happen by one of our legal allies who could just request him, which may be harmful to him").

      Spend a day in a court and you'll see much more difficult decisions being made inside laid-down legal frameworks. This is basically a rubber-stamping exercise of the only result that could have come out of such appeals etc. There's almost ZERO interpretation available to the court here. Maybe on the issue of "amount of sunlight", that's about it. And that's just common sense, not even requiring a court to make that decision but just about anyone with eyes or - worst case - a doctor.

      Sorry, but I feel the one who's missed the point is yourself.

      He'll be arrested for bail, no matter what, probably charged, probably sentenced (I think they'll probably go for the maximum which is, what? A year in "real" prison?). Then after that, the SAME REQUESTS that would be made if he were freely released, or escaped back into the public domain, or whatever else happened will play out from whatever countries want him anyway.

      I'd actually go for "US makes token effort to obtain him, gets bored and silently gives up". But that won't even start until he's in a UK jail, most likely. And then we'll be asking for him to serve his full UK sentence first.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        He'll be arrested for bail, no matter what, probably charged, probably sentenced (I think they'll probably go for the maximum which is, what? A year in "real" prison?).

        I wonder if his lawyer will argue that his time in the embassy should be considered as "on remand", and therefore his client should walk free immediately? The thought amuses me, anyway.

        But I can think of people who need to be inside our prisons far more than Assange, and at what, £35k per prisoner per year, I'm not too keen on paying for him to spend another year indoors.

        1. veti Silver badge

          @Ledswinger: IIRC they tried that line of argument a couple of weeks ago. The answer was "you don't get to choose where you serve your sentence, that's kinda the whole point'.

        2. JohnG

          "I wonder if his lawyer will argue that his time in the embassy should be considered as "on remand", and therefore his client should walk free immediately?"

          His lawyers already made such a suggestion and the judge ripped this idea to pieces.

          1. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

            "His lawyers already made such a suggestion and the judge ripped this idea to pieces."

            Indeed. And a UN Special Commission disagreed. For whatever that is worth.

            https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/feb/04/julian-assange-wikileaks-arrest-friday-un-investigation

            But then, its not like the UK to be in disagreement with international rulings, is it?

            1. flayman

              Not a UN Special Commission, but a Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. This is not a body of law in any jurisdiction and it does not make rulings or judgements that are in any way binding on anyone. From the working group's summary, they find that his initial detention in isolation followed by 550 days under house arrest were a continuous deprivation of liberty which was arbitrary, in part "because of the lack of diligence by the Swedish Prosecutor in its investigations, which resulted in the lengthy detention of Mr. Assange". It further "requests" that the UK and Sweden assess the situation with a view to restoring his liberty and "considers" that he should be afforded compensation. The initial detention and lengthy house arrest may have been arbitrary, though it obviously was lengthened by fighting the extradition order and exhausting all avenues of appeal. However, it is odd to conclude that a self imposed exile to a foreign embassy is a form of detention in itself. One of the working group members disagreed that this constitutes detention. Assange is, and has always been, free to leave the Ecuadorian embassy. In doing so he would trade a self imposed limit on his free movement with an arrest and prosecution for the crimes he has committed in the UK, including defying a court's bail conditions. Having amply demonstrated that he is a flight risk, he would certainly be denied bail, not that anyone would volunteer now as surety.

              http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=17012

              1. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

                "Not a UN Special Commission, but a Working Group on Arbitrary Detention."

                Thank you. I stand corrected on that point.

                1. flayman

                  You should read the dissenting opinion, because it's quite spot on. Arguably it's not even within the working group's competence to deliberate on the submission.

        3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          "I wonder if his lawyer will argue that his time in the embassy should be considered as "on remand","

          That point has already been raised and dismissed.

      2. hititzombisi
        Pint

        My vote is for the Chinese crack ninja team wearing tutus.

        For a rapist, Mr. Assange protests far too much. He can walk out any day and face the music - and if he's proven to be not guilty, fine.

        1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

          "My vote is for the Chinese crack ninja team wearing tutus."

          mumble...welcome...tutu-wearing...mumble...overlords.

        2. Adam 1 Silver badge

          > and if he's [not] proven to be not guilty, fine.

          TFTFY. It's a subtle but significant difference.

        3. Archtech Silver badge

          Unsupported libel

          "For a rapist, Mr. Assange protests far too much".

          Now who is it who has no respect for law? Assange has not even been charged with rape; he was wanted for interview only (and that interview has now been granted and completed). The two women whom he allegedly raped have made it perfectly clear that they don't think he did, and they didn't want him prosecuted.

          Why does it satisfy you so much to libel someone who has only tried to make your life better?

          I have never seen such a grotesque, colossal case of multiple Stockholm Syndrome.

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: Unsupported libel

            I have never seen such a grotesque, colossal case of multiple Stockholm Syndrome.

            Oh I dunno - you surely have a mirror don't you?

      3. Scorchio!!

        "And the answer basically is: If the US want him, they need only ask."

        Yup. That's the bend over and give everything to the US agreement Blair signed with the US, though it's been relaxed for Asperger's syndrome it would seem. If he wanted to avoid the US he should have let the British send him to Sweden; under the terms of the EAW they cannot send him to the USA and, in any case, we're more cooperative with the USA.

        As an aside, Assange (who once said he wanted to live in Sweden) described the Swedish CJS as being of 'banana republic' standards; aside from the faux pas here, they have to comply with the EU standard.

      4. PNGuinn
        Go

        "The Chinese could send a hit-squad of crack ninjas in tutus to capture him"

        Wow THAT'd be worth watching.

        Bring it on.

      5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "I think they'll probably go for the maximum"

        If he was arrested, charged and pleaded guilty he'd be unlikely to get the maximum. I still think there's scope for a bit of negotiation, "come out, surrender to bail, plead guilty and we'll ask for a suspended sentence if you give an undertaking to leave the country forthwith". And heigh, ho, off to a new life in his new country, Ecuador. They made him a citizen didn't they? Could they revoke that the moment he's out of the door?

    4. Franco Silver badge

      "Dear Emma, you seem to have completely missed the point. The problem is not what the US has done (past tense) but what the US will do (future tense)."

      What may or not happen is not within the remit of the court at this point. A specific request for extradition would be assessed on it's merits (as has happened with Lauri Love), this hearing is to assess whether or not charges should be dropped for an offense that Assange is blatantly guilty of.

      1. 2+2=5 Silver badge

        >> "Dear Emma, you seem to have completely missed the point. The problem is not what the US has done (past tense) but what the US will do (future tense)."

        > What may or not happen is not within the remit of the court at this point. A specific request for extradition would be assessed on it's merits (as has happened with Lauri Love), this hearing is to assess whether or not charges should be dropped for an offense that Assange is blatantly guilty of.

        That is kind of the point: if she is supposed to be addressing the issue of Assange breaking his bail conditions then she need not mention the US at all. But she didn't: she chose to make a one-sided statement. If she'd made a balanced statement or none at all then I wouldn't have called her on it.

        1. Gazareth

          one-sided statement

          The judge is responding to his claim that the US want to extradite him. Assange brought it up. If he hadn't, then yes there's no need to mention the US; and it wouldn't have been.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        re. A specific request for extradition would be assessed on it's merits

        I'm afraid you overestimate the independence of the courts in "special circumstances". US want him badly, to make a point to others. And you might call UK a "faithful servant", or a "key strategic ally to the US", but the fact is, he would be put on the first plane heading west, if the US requested it. And the courts? Fuck the courts, don't we have "in the interest of national security" and "in the interest of the public"? Haven't we had those phrases used before when steamrolling over such minor details as "rule of the law"? :(

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: re. A specific request for extradition would be assessed on it's merits

          US want him badly, to make a point to others

          And your evidence of this is? (I can't even believe that I'm typing this..)

          And no, mouth-breathing conspiracy-nut websites are not "evidence".

          1. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

            Re: re. A specific request for extradition would be assessed on it's merits

            "And your evidence of this is? (I can't even believe that I'm typing this..)"

            Yeah, I can't believe you typed that either.... here you go. No mouth breathers involved. Unless you consider these sources as such. If you do, there are plenty more to be obtained from a simple search.

            https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-u-s-can-get-julian-assange-1495403122

            https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/apr/21/us-wants-to-arrest-julian-assange-but-uk-suggests-sweden-comes-first

            https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/the-government-wants-julian-assange-in-jail-thats-bad-for-the-rest-of-us/2017/05/05/c8e153dc-3197-11e7-8674-437ddb6e813e_story.html?utm_term=.c3385104abfe

            https://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/feb/13/judge-refuses-to-withdraw-julian-assange-arrest-warrant

            https://finance.yahoo.com/news/us-justice-department-wants-arrest-wikileaks-founder-julian-225426922.html

            https://edition.cnn.com/2017/04/20/politics/julian-assange-wikileaks-us-charges/index.html

            http://www.thejournal.ie/julian-assange-arrest-3350725-Apr2017/

        2. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

          Re: re. A specific request for extradition would be assessed on it's merits

          "Fuck the courts, don't we have "in the interest of national security" and "in the interest of the public"? Haven't we had those phrases used before when steamrolling over such minor details as "rule of the law"? :("

          We can downvote this as much as we want, but we'd have to willingly forget the process of "extraordinary rendition" that was a part of our recent history. That happened, and we willingly took part.

          Whatever we think of Assange, if you were to believe, as he does, that the US is out to get you, then maintaining a highly visible public profile like this is not a bad defence against being "disappeared".

          Don't kid yourself that this doesn't happen. *IF* the US want it.

    5. Joe Gurman

      Oh, come on

      If you don't like the fact that the UK has an extradition treaty with the US, work to elect MPs who will vote to abrogate the treaty. Otherwise.... *snore*

      1. rcx141

        Re: Oh, come on

        Yeah good luck with that - anybody wanting to get their nose into the Westminster trough knows that grovelling to the USA is job #1 as far as the UK is concerned.

        1. Archtech Silver badge

          Re: Oh, come on

          "...anybody wanting to get their nose into the Westminster trough knows that grovelling to the USA is job #1 as far as the UK is concerned".

          Eleven people actually pretend to disagree with that?

      2. Archtech Silver badge

        Re: Oh, come on

        "...work to elect MPs who will vote to abrogate the treaty."

        Hahahahahahahahaha!

        I suppose you think the UK is a democracy.

        Obviously, no such person could be elected. The Force of Money is strong in Washington. As is the Force of murder.

    6. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

      Her job is to consider the law as regards the facts that have been put before her, and come to a decision based on that. The length of time he has spent in the embassy has no bearing on the case.

      What the British authorities/Americans might do certainly has a bearing on the case. But Assange needs to provide evidence to support his concern, which I don't think he has. Some evidence certainly exists - the British authorities have a track record of supporting the American practice of kidnapping people and holding them for torture, and perhaps his barrister should have mentioned that fact.

      However, the Judge would probably have taken into account that this was unlikely to happen to someone so well known publicly - so it would probably not fly....though he might...

    7. flayman

      The problems with your problem

      "The problem is not what the US has done (past tense) but what the US will do (future tense). Do you really need me to point that out to you?"

      There are two problems with this. First, what the US will do in the future is something which would be assessed on its merits at that time. He could be extradited to the US if there is a case to answer there. However, there is scope for the UK to refuse extradition requests from the United States, as we've seen recently. Ultimately the decision lies with UK courts and ministers. Second, you appear to misunderstand what the judge is suggesting. She is extrapolating from the time that Assange skipped bail, because he is arguing that his action of skipping bail was reasonable due to his reasonable fears. It imagines an alternate future in which Assange had actually been rendered to Sweden and then Sweden were later requested to extradite to the US. Sweden would be in no position to consider that request. It would be decided by the UK because as the extraditing country, we would still be responsible for him.

      1. flayman

        Re: The problems with your problem

        Whoever gave this a thumbs down please tell me what you think I got wrong here.

    8. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Do you really need me to point that out to you?

      It's good to see that your logic is as good as your arithmetic.

    9. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "Dear Emma, you seem to have completely missed the point."

      Dear 2+2=5...erm...I think that's all I need to say.

  5. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "I find arrest is a proportionate response"

    Indeed. You can lock yourself up for as long as you want, it makes no difference to the law.

    What this whole affair shows is how twisted the mind of that man is. His ego is probably just a byproduct of that.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: "I find arrest is a proportionate response"

      Wrong choice of words. He hasn't "locked himself up". He's hidden.

      He's in hiding, and should get as much sympathy for "time served" as Ronnie Biggs did for all that time he was "forced" to spend in Brasil.

      This can all be over any time he wants. That UN decision was both stupid and offensive, he was given full legal due-process at all times, and I'm glad the judge laughed it out of court.

  6. alain williams Silver badge

    What would happen if Assange stepped out ?

    OK: he would be arrested, but the charge would be skipping bail. This seems to carry a penalty of 3 to 12 months inside. Now that the Swedes have said that they do not want him, he might as well accept a spell eating porridge as being preferable to continuing to have whatever Ecuadorians have for breakfast ... he might be free more quickly.

    I suppose he might worry that the USA would seek to extradite him on the grounds of exposing their criminality^W^W^W^W spying, or something. I don't know how real this might be.

    1. Luke Worm

      Re: What would happen if Assange stepped out ?

      I think the US / CIA would just send over one of their private jets to pick him up, with help from their British friends, and take him to Guantanamo. Quick and easy, no due process needed.

    2. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: What would happen if Assange stepped out ?

      Fact is, that will all happen anyway.

      Hiding away isn't going to change ANY PART of that. The Swedes already dropped the (immediate) charges. There's nowhere else to go from here.

      So whether he came out the day they did that, whether he gets charged and spend a day or a year in UK prison (inevitable anyway, I would guess), or whether he stays in there for another 70 years... the day he steps out, all the same actions occur in pretty much the same order.

      - Arrested by UK police

      - Charged by UK charge

      - Serves UK sentence / pays fine / whatever.

      - Then whatever would have always happened anyway.

      He thinks that hiding there 6 years instead of 5 will make everyone involved give up and go away and I don't buy that for a second. Certainly the UK courts won't give up. And it's costing no-one else but the UK (and the Ecuadorians) anything to just hang back and wait to see.

      Pretty much, I would also suspect that the last five years of trade with the Ecuadorians reflects the increased cost of having their embassy in the UK, by some roundabout negotiating and accounting methods. So it's probably only the Ecuadorians (who seem to have stopped defending him, so much as tolerating his presence) who really care about changing the situation - which is great because they are the only ones able or likely to change anything at this moment anyway.

      And when they get sick of him and eject him, guess what... THE SAME THINGS HAPPEN ANYWAY.

      All he's done is served 5 years in a self-imposed prison annoying people on top of whatever would have happened anyway.

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: What would happen if Assange stepped out ?

        The Swedes have NOT dropped the charges, I really wish that people would stop saying that. What's happened is that they have suspended the case until such time as they are able to progress further. When the pale little shit steps foot outside of the embassy, he will be arrested and then the process will start up again. Further details here.

    3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: What would happen if Assange stepped out ?

      Not only have Sweden not dropped the charges against him, they haven't even charged him.

      They can only charge him after he attends a formal interview at a Swedish police station. And he fled the country the evening before that appointment was made. Then fled UK jurisdiction a week before he'd lost his last appeal and was due to be sent back there.

      They've stopped pursuing the case. If he turns up in a UK police station, all they need do is cross out the charges that have passed the statutue of limitations, change the date, and re-submit the old International Arrest Warrant. He's over 5 years into the 10 year statute of limitations on the 2 rape charges, so he's only got 4 and a bit more years to go to wait those out.

      If the US really do want him, they don't have a statute of limitations on espionage - if that were the charge.

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: What would happen if Assange stepped out ?

        Upvote and beer for better clarification then mine.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
          Happy

          Re: What would happen if Assange stepped out ?

          Aladdin Sane,

          Cheers. When can I expect my beer to be delivered? I'm quite thirsty now, as happens.

          Promises on the internet are binding right? I'm still waiting for that bloody Nigerian Prince to come up with the ten million quid he owes me...

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: What would happen if Assange stepped out ?

            Promises on the internet are binding right?

            Definately. When sealed with the traditional handshake..

            1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

              Re: traditional handshake

              I thought that was the exchanging of public keys?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Haven't seen such vindictiveness in a Court of Law...

        ... since they dug up Oliver Cromwell's corpse and put it on trial for Treason.

        Now there's a new elected leader of the Commonwealth for you.

      3. gnasher729 Silver badge

        Re: What would happen if Assange stepped out ?

        I wouldn’t be too sure about statute of limitations. When you intentionally leave the country to escape prosecution, the clock might stop ticking. (Most definitely the case under Californian law, for example)..

      4. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: What would happen if Assange stepped out ?

        "If the US really do want him, they don't have a statute of limitations on espionage - if that were the charge."

        Thing is, espionage is a potential capital crime (remember, it was espionage that did in the Rosenbergs), so both the UK and Sweden are under legal obligation to NOT extradite a person to a country where a potential capital crime awaits. So it cannot be done OFFICIALLY.

        What Assange keeps claiming is that the US will do it UNOFFICIALLY through Extraordinary Rendition (or simply chuck International Law out the window and stage an "accident").

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Re: What would happen if Assange stepped out ?

          Which is obviously bollocks, because if the USA were willing to do that kind of extra-judicial thing to Assange they would have already done it.

          What exactly has stopped the US from walking straight into the Ecuadorian Embassy and bagging him over the last few years?

          Or back when he was contesting the EAW?

          Or when he flew from Sweden to the UK?

          They didn't render him then because they didn't want to. He just doesn't matter to the USA.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: What would happen if Assange stepped out ?

            "What exactly has stopped the US from walking straight into the Ecuadorian Embassy and bagging him over the last few years?"

            The fact they want to do it with plausible deniability, thus why I mentioned staging an "accident".

            1. Andrew Norton

              Re: What would happen if Assange stepped out ?

              And the reason they didn't do it for the year and a bit he was on a daily walk, in a rural area, unprotected, at hte same time, over the same route to a rural police station for his bail is?? a so-called snatch-squad could easily have made off with him in 2011. or half of 2012.

              They didn't because they don't want him.

              1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                Re: What would happen if Assange stepped out ?

                "They didn't because they don't want him."

                They didn't want him THEN. They want him NOW. Several senior US government officials have been QUOTED on it, as noted by earlier commenters.

        2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: What would happen if Assange stepped out ?

          Charles 9,

          European countries have extradited plenty of murder suspects to the US. They have to give a legal undertaking that they won't seek the death penalty, in order for that to happen. Their own courts would enforce that agreement, and if they should break it, no European country would legally be able to extradite on any potential capital crime again. He's just not worth it.

          I suggested espionage, because I think he can get out of most lesser charges by claiming to be a journalist. The US have much stronger legal protections for this than the UK do.

          Were he in Sweden, I believe he'd be safe from espionage, as it's a political offence the Swedes won't extradite for.

          1. nugge

            Re: What would happen if Assange stepped out ?

            Sweden cannot extradite him for political crimes nor any crimes that can result in the death penalty. This is in the Swedish core laws.

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: What would happen if Assange stepped out ?

              But Assange figures he'll get nabbed in transit, between countries. Thus the claim of Extraordinary Rendition or just a staged "accident".

    4. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: What would happen if Assange stepped out ?

      "but the charge would be skipping bail. This seems to carry a penalty of 3 to 12 months inside. "

      Not for a first offence and certainly not for charges which no longer exist, especially as he's not been found guilty of anything. Causing the state to spend shedloads of money staking out the embassy isn't grounds for a harsher penalty.

      Local habitual bail breachers get a £100 fine and told not to do it again.

      If he got more than a suspended sentence or an afternoon in the cells he'd have grounds for an appeal.

    5. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: What would happen if Assange stepped out ?

      Now that the Swedes have said that they do not want him

      That's not quite the situation - they have withdrawn the EAW until he is available.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Clearly he's getting bored of the embassy maids and has run out of money for prostitutes. Maybe he could launch wikicoin,

    1. hititzombisi

      I really don't want to think Assange + Farage slashfic.

      You made me go to some horrible places in my mind palace.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Pint

        hititzonmbisi,

        You've got a filthy mind! All the last post was suggesting was wikicoin. But you had to sink to new levels of depravity! There's no blaming other posters for it, I'm afraid it was generated by your own (far too) fertile imagination.

        Ugh! I need the mind-bleach now. Short of that, 20 pints of chemical forgetfulness.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          These days you can deepfake anything anyway. 2 wankers one cup.

          Now I need mind bleach.

        2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Short of that, 20 pints of chemical forgetfulness

          You can drink 20 pints of whisky?

          Respect!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MRI for frozen shoulder

    In the absence of further information to comment on the pale one's need for a medico, I'll just mention that when I had frozen shoulder (and I think "frozen" for me meant scared of moving the arm above shoulder height for the crippling pain that ensued) my GP stuck a needle full of anti-inflammatory into the joint.

    1. IsJustabloke Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: MRI for frozen shoulder

      That was the treatment for you....

      For me it was keyhole surgery; after a course of anti-inflammatories, a course of physio, a general steroid injection and a guided steroid injection, all of which was preceded by an MRI scan.

      So while I happen to think* Assange is a bit of prick it's not for the reason of needing an MRI scan.

      *when I think of him at all which is usually when I'm reminded of him by an el-reg article

      1. hititzombisi
        Facepalm

        Re: MRI for frozen shoulder

        If he stops masturbating furiously, I think his shoulder should get better a bit.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: MRI for frozen shoulder

      Could he not just take his shoulder out of the freezer?

      Then roast it at a medium heat, with garlic parsnips, potatoes and serve with steamed veg.

      1. wallaby

        Re: MRI for frozen shoulder

        "garlic parsnips, potatoes and serve with steamed veg."

        you forgot swedes

        I know he's trying to and hoping they forget him

  9. wolfetone Silver badge
    Coat

    I know it's only February, but I wonder if Mr.Assange will be on Judge Arbuthnot's christmas card list?

  10. ZanzibarRastapopulous

    Sheltering Criminals.

    Is this really an acceptable use of an embassy?

    1. 8Ace

      Re: Sheltering Criminals.

      "Is this really an acceptable use of an embassy?"

      No matter what the alleged offence, he isn't a criminal until he is convicted of something. I think we owe him that at least.

      1. ZanzibarRastapopulous

        Re: Sheltering Criminals.

        Yeah sure, I'd be interested to see how he defends skipping bail.

        1. 8Ace

          Re: Sheltering Criminals.

          "Yeah sure, I'd be interested to see how he defends skipping bail."

          Yep that's how it works, he defends himself in court against prosocution. The court then decides guilt based on the evidence.

          1. ZanzibarRastapopulous

            Re: Sheltering Criminals.

            > Yep that's how it works, he defends himself in court against prosocution.

            > The court then decides guilt based on the evidence.

            Would you watch a thug beat an old lady unconscious and then pompously insisting that he's not a criminal until the court says so?

            Unless you're saying he hasn't skipped bail and hidden in the Ecuadorian embassy to evade the police?

            Is that not what happened? Are those facts incorrect?

            Ecuador should be fucking ashamed.

            1. heyrick Silver badge

              Re: Sheltering Criminals.

              "Would you watch a thug beat an old lady unconscious and then pompously insisting that he's not a criminal until the court says so?"

              Depends upon the context. The "thug" might be an undercover agent and the "old lady" about to make the Manchester bombing look like a mere rehearsal...

      2. Lee D Silver badge

        Re: Sheltering Criminals.

        I think you'll find that it's more akin to conspiracy to obstruct justice, maybe even contempt of court, yes, but pretty much the same question applies.

      3. Ben Tasker Silver badge

        Re: Sheltering Criminals.

        Splitting hairs, he is actually a convicted criminal. Back when he went as Mendax he was caught and pled guilty to (IIRC) 20 charges.

        So technically he is a criminal and has already been found guilty of some crimes.

        That,of course, should have no real bearing on the current case, but the OP referring to him as a criminal isn't actually incorrect.

    2. Natalie Gritpants

      Re: Sheltering Criminals.

      Absolutely, that's why embassies have their special legal status - to protect the citizens of the embassy country from being persecuted by the host country if they disagree with the host country's policies.

      Under the established protocols in a spat the embassy staff are told to leave. If they didn't have that protection they would end up in prison or executed and no-one would want to be a diplomat.

      The Ecuadorians are perfectly within their rights to shelter Mr Assange for as long as they like but as he is not a diplomat he cannot get to Ecuador under their protection. Instead he will have to leave and be arrested or die in the embassy. I'm fine with either as a Brit that believes he has skipped bail and should serve jail time for that.

      1. ZanzibarRastapopulous

        Re: Sheltering Criminals.

        > The Ecuadorians are perfectly within their rights to shelter Mr Assange for as long as they like...

        The UK is also perfectly within it's rights to turf the lot of them out of the country.

        1. veti Silver badge

          Re: Sheltering Criminals.

          Sure, the UK could chuck out (withdraw accreditation from) the entire Ecuadorian embassy.

          But that would be tantamount to "severing diplomatic relations". Which is generally seen as a pretty extreme step, most often an immediate prelude to "declaring war". Nobody thinks Assange is worth that.

          Keep it in proportion, please.

          1. ZanzibarRastapopulous

            Re: Sheltering Criminals.

            > "... most often an immediate prelude to "declaring war"."

            Is it bollocks.

            Generally embassy staff get dragged home in disgrace before it gets to such a point as most countries hold their reputations in high regard.

            Evidently not Ecuador.

      2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Sheltering Criminals.

        Absolutely, that's why embassies have their special legal status - to protect the citizens of the embassy country from being persecuted by the host country if they disagree with the host country's policies.

        No it's not. Embassies are there to allow communication between governments. Their immunities are provided in order to facilitate that. The Vienna Convention, which is the international law in question, says that they are not to be used for other purposes.

        They are not there to circumvent the judicial system of their host country.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Sheltering Criminals.

          "They are not there to circumvent the judicial system of their host country."

          It is if it is in the interests of diplomatic relations. It's part of the give-and-take. If the host country decides to just barge in, then the guest's safety (diplomatic or otherwise) cannot be guaranteed, meaning the most likely course is to sever relations, meaning there is no more communication between the countries. Basically, if an embassy cannot protect its own citizens, it cannot protect the diplomats, either: part and parcel.

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Re: Sheltering Criminals.

            Charles 9,

            Embassies are NOT there to protect their own citizens. They are there to allow communication between governments.

            Admittedly they do have consular services, to help their citizens who get into trouble. But, they do not hide you from the police. If a Brit gets arrested abroad, the U.K. embassy will help them get a lawyer, and help their family to get money to them. Maybe make the odd visit, and try to ensure they get decently treated.

            But that's it. It's not their job to break them out of prison, hide them in the embassy and smuggle them out in the diplomatic bag. That pisses off the host government, and buggers up communications.

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: Sheltering Criminals.

              "Admittedly they do have consular services, to help their citizens who get into trouble. But, they do not hide you from the police. If a Brit gets arrested abroad, the U.K. embassy will help them get a lawyer, and help their family to get money to them. Maybe make the odd visit, and try to ensure they get decently treated."

              They WILL if they don't agree with the host country's policies. It's called Political Asylum. That's what Assange is exploiting right now (Otherwise, why hasn't anyone just stormed the embassy?). It's a historic and well-known policy. Made for such famous scenes as the egress from the US Embassy during the Fall of Saigon. OK, common crimes is one thing, but if the crime is politically motivated, then those same consular services can step in. And because of the give-and-take, defying political asylum can be grounds for severing diplomatic relations.

              1. flayman

                Re: Sheltering Criminals.

                Assange is not exploiting political asylum. He is exploiting diplomatic asylum, which the government of the UK do not recognise. In spite of this, they have not stormed the embassy or taken any action other than posting police to ensure he can't slip away again.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Sheltering Criminals.

      He's granted political asylum. It pleases Ecuador - or at least it did at the time - to believe his claims. In general asylum overrides criminal charges. One option available to Ecuador would be to review his case, decide it has no merit and chuck him out.

  11. Jove Bronze badge

    Great news

    Chop his balls off.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: Great news

      I'm pretty sure that's not in the sentencing guidelines for bail-jumping...

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Great news

        "I'm pretty sure that's not in the sentencing guidelines for bail-jumping."

        Maybe Jove misread it. These sans-serif fonts can be tricky.

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Great news

          These sans-serif fonts can be tricky

          Nowt wrong with Comic Sans.

          (Said no-one ever)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Great news

      with gloves, you don't know where he's been,

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Great news

        "with gloves, you don't know where he's been,"

        Given the lack of prostitutes, possibly Farage.

        1. Wulfhaven

          Re: Great news

          A full and proper hazmat suit is more in order then?

    3. tony trolle

      Re: Great news

      https://youtu.be/04clpd7h0b0?t=48s

  12. Joe Gurman

    Meanwhile, back in Ecuador

    The PAIS party candidate who was elected in 2017 won only 51.1% of the vote in the second round of voting. If the balance shifts in favo[u]r of a more Conservative party by the 2021 election or a subsequent one, Mr. Assange may find himself without Ecuadoran citizenship and asked to leave the embassy.

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Re: Meanwhile, back in Ecuador

      Mr. Assange may find himself without Ecuadoran citizenship and asked to leave the embassy.

      That would be such a shame...

      Anyone up for some Ecuadorian vote-rigging?

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Meanwhile, back in Ecuador

        Anyone up for some Ecuadorian vote-rigging?

        Contact the Russian Embassy - I'm sure that they can help.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Meanwhile, back in Ecuador

      The timing's off. The 10 year statute of limitations on the 2 rape charges run out sometime around Summer 2020 I think.

      Just had to look it up, as I was sure it was last year that the other charges timed out. But it was actually 2015. Time flies when you're having fun...

      1. YourNameHere

        Re: Meanwhile, back in Ecuador

        The question is the Statute of limitations on jumping bail? Does this start the day he jumped? Does it matter that they know where he is?

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Meanwhile, back in Ecuador

          I don't believe there's any statutes of limitations in UK criminal law. Though there are time limits in civil law. So the bail-jumping will never go away, even after the Swedish case is timed out.

  13. anothercynic Silver badge

    Good.

    Skipping bail does not excuse you from going to jail for skipping bail just because the original offence that you've been placed on bail for has gone away. You're *still* on the hook for skipping bail. End. Of.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Good.

      "Skipping bail does not excuse you from going to jail for skipping bail just because the original offence that you've been placed on bail for has gone away."

      Which, with all appropriate detail, is what the court said. It's amazing how many commentards, mostly anon (is that you, Julian) fail to grasp that.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    absent any evidence from Mr Assange on oath

    I think he's a dick,, but hard to feel a little bit sorry for him, when the judge gleefully says: "no evidence Uncle Sam's after you?! Well, I'm afraid IT'S YOUR PROBLEM..."

    I guess he should have handed himself in, would have been doing quadruple lifetime in the US already, eh? :/

  15. YourNameHere

    Vacation Pay

    The real question is though is he getting paid while in the embassy? He's still working from the embassy.

    Also, he's seems to have a many year all expense paid stay. So is this kind of double dipping? Free room and board plus still drawing a paycheck while working.

  16. dmck

    What they need is a large diplomatic bag and shove him in,

    1. Andrew Norton

      They can do that, and the moment they do, it no longer becomes a diplomatic bag.

      Diplomatic bags are not allowed to contain anything alive. If they have reason to suspect there's a person in a diplomatic pouch, that's actually one of the few reasons for the courier to be stopped and the pouch opened as by definition, it's not protected.

  17. midcapwarrior

    I do not accept there is no sunlight

    "Mr Sommers contends he has been punished enough. I do not accept there is no sunlight; there are a number of photographs of him on a balcony connected to the premises he inhabits"

    Well it is London so I'm not sure whether having a balcony helps with sunlight

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: I do not accept there is no sunlight

      Well it is London so I'm not sure whether having a balcony helps with sunlight

      Indeed. And our chosen profession neatly proves that daylight isn't a requirement for a heatly life. Right? Right?

      Excuse me, I'm feeling a bit odd. I might go to lie down for a while in a darkened^W sunlit room.

  18. heyrick Silver badge

    the arrest warrant was not in the public interest and therefore ought to be scrapped

    Sorry. This "public" wants the arrest warrant to terminate upon death, not before.

    Otherwise it's sending a clear sign that the simplest way to avoid the law is to run into some random embassy with no extradition agreements, incarcerate yourself, then bitch and moan until everybody is like "oh poor you, let's forget about everything shall we?".

    Screw that. If he's guilty he will be judged. If he is innocent he will be cleared. But hiding is neither, hiding is evading the process of law. It is not even remotely in any public interest to permit that to succeed.

    1. Archtech Silver badge

      Re: the arrest warrant was not in the public interest and therefore ought to be scrapped

      Read this thread carefully, everyone.

      This is what a lynch mob looks like. Are you part of it?

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: the arrest warrant was not in the public interest and therefore ought to be scrapped

        Not a lynch-mob. I want him to get a fair trial.

        And that means he has to fucking turn up and face his accusors, like anyone else would have to. He's no more special than anyone else.

        Or do you not care about the victims of rape? They deserve their day in court too. That's how we try to determine who's telling the truth and who isn't.

        If he's found not guilty, which he probably will be because there were only two people in the room at the time, then all's well and he can be off on his merry way. Until then it is important that he face justice. And that those women get their chance at justice.

        Personally I think it's appalling that the Swedes have a system that allows you to get away with such a serious crime as rape if you can manage to hide for ten years. Though I understand that there are good reasons for statutes of limitations.

        He's entitled to the presumption of innocence. But I'm entitled to draw inferences from the way he's lied, twisted, smeared his accusors and run. Particularly as he was happy to wander round Sweden and the UK before the allegations, seemingly not in fear of the US - but suddenly developed that fear immediately afterwards.

      2. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: the arrest warrant was not in the public interest and therefore ought to be scrapped

        "Are you part of it?"

        Yes. Because this isn't a lynch mob. Maybe you read the first line of my message and didn't bother reading the rest before you clicked the reply button?

        It's not a lynch mob, it's a mob that simply wishes for an accused person to undergo the same judicial process as is applied to you or I.

        That he thinks he can cry and whinge about the unfairness of it all is sickening. What about the supposed victims of the act that he has been accused of? Where do they get to make a big drama? Remember, nobody forced him into hiding, that was his own choice. Nobody forced him to staying all those years there, that was his own choice. The arrest warrant should not expire. It should be annulled by him being found innocent of the charges against him.

        I don't want to see him dead (so sorry, no lynchings today). I just want to see him in front of a judge to answer his accusations. You know, like how it's supposed to be.

        Clear enough for you?

      3. LucasNorth

        Re: the arrest warrant was not in the public interest and therefore ought to be scrapped

        Yeah we want to lynch him all the way to court where he can have due process

  19. Faceless Man

    I remember an interview Assange gave many years ago, long before all this started. In it, he compared himself to Tony Fitzgerald, QC, of the eponymous Royal Commission into corruption in the Queensland Police and Government.

    For people who were living in Queensland at the time, like myself and Julian Assange, Tony Fitzgerald represented a kind of folk hero who cam into town, kicked all the corrupt officials out of office, and instigated massive changes in the government and police force. I don't see Julian Assange doing anything like that, although I will grant that he could have a worse ideal to live up to.

    I'll admit I must have missed the bit where Tony Fitzgerald had unprotected sex with a sleeping woman, holed himself up in an embassy to avoid extradition on rape charges, and then complained about how his self-imposed exile was ruining his health.

    Julian, if you're reading this, if living in the Ecuadorian embassy is really causing you this much distress, then you can solve all those problems in one easy step. In fact, I'm sure the Home Office will more than happily help you get the health care you so desperately need.

  20. sisk Silver badge

    So, basically, "I put myself under house arrest so you can't arrest me" doesn't fly. So, anyone surprised? No?

  21. Phil W

    Leave in a box

    Assange could leave in a box, literally.

    If they put him in a large box which is marked as a diplomatic pouch they could take him out of the embassy to a ship or plane and take him to Ecuador. Once outside of UK airspace/waters he could safely leave the box.

    UK authorities couldn't legally open the box under the Vienna convention.

    Less of insane option would be to designate Assange as a diplomatic courier to take a diplomatic pouch to Ecuador. Although the UK has to officially accept designated diplomats for them to be allowed to operate in the UK, an option Ecuador has already tried and failed, under the Vienna convention diplomatic couriers can be designated ad hoc so the UK can't refuse him if he is issued with the correct papers.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Leave in a box

      Incorrect. One, under the Vienna Convention, a diplomatic pouch can ONLY be used for official diplomatic communications. Anything that doesn't conform to that specification can be considered suspect and NOT allowed the immunity. IOW, the UK can say they're "taking the mick", search the box and be proved right if there's anything in it other than official diplomatic documentation. And it's highly unlikely the Ecuadoran embassy would be keeping enough official diplomatic documentation at any one time to require a box big enough to house a human; SOP would be to ship the documents more often: in smaller, more manageable sizes.

      Two, the UK doesn't adopt the entire Vienna Convention verbatim. What they obey is the Diplomatic Privileges Act, 1964, and that act specifically grants the UK the power to override and revoke a diplomatic privilege (it's in section 3).

      PS. This ALSO means the UK can deny Assange status as a diplomatic courier. Under the DPA, the UK holds final say over matters within its borders.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Leave in a box

        Charles 9,

        Although it would be interesting if the Ecuadorians were to take the Foreign Office to court over their refusal to grant diplomatic status to Assange. Ecuador having asked for it a couple of weeks ago.

        The FCO sent them a note pretty much daring them to sue. The Vienna Convention seems pretty clear that any country can make anyone a diplomat, below the level of ambassador, and make that stick at least long enough to get them diplomatic privileges to enter and leave the country.

        However, what I've read from some diplomats is that this isn't how things happen in practise. And letting them pull that stunt doesn't seem reasonable. However it's a far better legal argument than the crap Assange's lawyer tried to argue in this case. But I think it would have to be Ecuador that took the case up - and either their legal advice is similar to what I've read, or they don't want to spend the money. Or piss the FCO off more than they already have?

  22. Adrian 4 Silver badge

    astroturfing

    I see the pro-politics astroturfers are out in force again. As Assange's supporters get bored with the endless moans, they push harder. Soon the crimes he whistleblew on will be completely drowned in the rape charges.

    It's easy. You just follow the money. When you find a rape suspect that the establishment will spend as much chasing as they claim to have spent keeping watch on the embassy, then you'll have found someone who matters enough to be worth looking into.

    Until then - and it will be a long wait - make sure Assange and his sources are protected.

    `

    1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      Re: astroturfing

      A thumb-down already.

      Come on, don't just sit there pathetically propping up the home office and their US cronies with ad hominen attacks : if you've got a better argument, I want to hear it.

    2. Anakin

      Re: astroturfing

      Murky water

      https://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/feb/13/judge-refuses-to-withdraw-julian-assange-arrest-warrant

      https://translate.google.se/translate?sl=sv&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=sv&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.gp.se%2Fnyheter%2Fdebatt%2Ffallet-julian-assange-ett-brott-mot-anst%25C3%25A4ndigheten-1.123969&edit-text=

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: astroturfing

        lots of 'control the communications channel' goings-on here,

        remember from the FOI released papers - the ones that the CPS didn't erase - the CPS lawyer who recently retired insisted that - paraphrasing - in this particular case the money spent on Policing Assange(tm) was not a factor to be considered! He went further to suggest to the Swedes that they shouldn't drop the Assange(tm) investigation, and he suggested that teh Met were publicising the multi-million pound costs of the policing off their own bat, perhaps to force a change in the situation.

        where in austerity 2018 does UK police/court system get multi-millions £££$$$ from, that is not worth considering?

        finally @ Anakin, your Swedish legal news-story mentioned this line "If Sweden is not compliant in the case of Assange, we can be frozen out of exchange of information with US security services and blocked from the purchase of military technology, say those who know."

        sounds like there is a lot going on, and astroturfing+millions+strongarming nations are some of the breadcrumbs left behind whilst the idiot Assange(tm) suffers the aftermath of his soft-assassination, perhaps?

    3. Archtech Silver badge

      Re: astroturfing

      Well said, Adrian 4. It was worth while reading down the first umpteen dozen comments to find one that shows the commenter's brain is working and he is not seeing red and screaming "Rip him apart!"

    4. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: astroturfing

      make sure Assange and his sources are protected

      You mean the sources that Assange doesn't protect because he's too lazy to properly redact the documents?

      1. 2+2=5 Silver badge

        Re: astroturfing

        > You mean the sources that Assange doesn't protect because he's too lazy to properly redact the documents?

        It was a journalist from The Guardian who blabbed the password allowing anyone access to the leaked material. Up until then the documents were being properly redacted.

        https://wikileaks.org/Guardian-journalist-negligently.html

        (Other sources available if you care to Google)

    5. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: astroturfing

      Adrian 4,

      What's a "pro-politics astroturfer"?

      Obviously I know what an astroturfer is.

      BTW I downvoted you for calling people who disagree with you astroturfers. Particularly as there are plenty of well-known posters on here who've been pretty consistenly rude about Assange over the years. I'm one of them. I mean, I'll happily take money for posting my crap online, if someone's stupid enough to offer. Where do I sign up?

      There is a difference. 5 years ago I got more downvotes than upvotes for being rude about Google or Assange. Now it's the other way round? Now it could be that the CIA are manipulating El Reg's voting system? Or it could be that people are just sick of the bugger - and have had longer to look at Google and see some of the sinister behind the shiny.

      1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

        Re: astroturfing

        By 'pro-politics' I mean those who are more supportive of the machinations of governments than they are of basic freedom. Perhaps pro-politician would have been a better name.

        I think people are indeed sick of the bugger. His personal life is hard to defend. He is, after all, a publicist : drawing attention to himself is what he's aiming to do. But what's happening is that he's being intentionally targeted as a person in order to detract attention from the outrages he publicised. Ad hominen attacks rather than reasonable debate.

        Look at the voting - large numbers of anti votes for perfectly well-argued comments. This is not thoughtful consideration or even deep cynicism. It's the same mindset that we see in the partisan US politics discussions - vote pumping and shutdown of discussion.

        Thank you for at least responding : I can respect a point of view while disagreeing with it. It's the thoughtless downvoting with no comments to back it up that I find irritating. I wish el reg demanded more of voters.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: astroturfing

          Adrian 4,

          It is true that you'll often post an argument and get downvotes but no counter-argument. I'm sure part of that is just laziness. I might downvote what I disagree with, but not have time to post. If I have time, and nobody's put my point of view in answer, then I will. Also, I try to downvote obvious bollocks, not just something I disagree with. But other people use thumbs as votes on the argument itself, which is fair enough.

          In the case of your post, I downvoted it because you called people posting the opposite point of view to you astro-turfers. Which shows as little respect to their opinions as does down-voting a well-argued post. If I see a post calling people shills, I tend to just downvote it - unless there's something to back that up - after all I have seen what looked like Russian-paid shills on articles on Ukraine.

          If you meant things have become partisan - then you may be right. As it happens, I never particularly supported Wikileaks. When he published the war logs and the diplomatic cables I didn't think they particularly revealed any crimes - and they were disclosed in a way that risked doing actual harm. I think he's irresponsible, and is in it for the fun of being a media star and a celebrity-hacker. The fact that he's accused of being a rapist and won't face his accusors, means I respect him even less.

          I think some people who do support his Wikileaks project seem to have been awfully cavalier about the rape charges. Particularly in the early days when he was publicly smearing his accusors and lying about the tiemline of events that led to him fleeing Sweden. Something that came up in court cases.

          So I could accuse them of partisan posting. Maybe this was becuase their first thought was it was a conspiracy? Or more likely because people don't like to change their minds all that quickly. I supect now that some of those people are even harsher on him, because he let them, and their ideals, down.

          Finally, to go back to your point - I don't think it's a conspiracy. If you're high profile, the justice system will spend more on trying to catch you. Because it has to. Justice has to be seen to be done. I'm also sure that the Met lied about how much money it was costing them to hang around outside the embassy - and they probably overdid it anyway. The police might get lazy in cases where there's no scrutiny - but in serious cases (like rape say) where the suspect is well known, they're going to look awfull bad letting them get away. Plus this is an unusual case. I can't remember the last time someone sought sanctuary in an embassy in Britain.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Infamous cupboard-dwelling WikiLeaker Julian Assange Try Wooser:

    As an Aussie, If I was NOW the "UK", I would say to Ecuador politely

    It's been 6 years and that is well beyond your diplomatic privileged, please hand him over.

    One of the situations of a leaker is the potential to go to prison, it should be considered before things are leaked or leaks facilitated, and while no one wants to go to prison it's part of the principle of the thing,

    To take a stand for what one believes in and not hiding in embassy, he is not a political asylum seeker seeking asylum. but ran away from a trustful home detention situation.

    Julian you have long ago made any point you might make,

    do the correct thing ring the police and come out.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ray of light

    At least some rank and file coppers are making bank from the easy overtime.

    All, allo, allo, lovely lolly.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's very important to separate the man/personality/person from the actions related to WikiLeaks.

    Judging by these comments the smear campaign (which may or may not have solid grounding and accusations - no trial has yet been held to affirm the facts) has been successful in some of your minds.

    WikiLeaks has helped to display the hypocrisy of US and UK foreign policy, lack of detailed legal basis and has provided incentive for governments to re-examine their actions and hopefully, in future, make a better case for employing certain methods - many of which involve spying on their own innocent populations.

    I am not convinced of his innocence or guilty either way, because I consider those matters separate to the management of whistleblower leaks. We believe we live in 'free' countries when we live in the USA or UK, but it is has emerged as patently obvious this is not the case, with the governments and intelligence agencies spying on all our lives, quite literally the most Orwellian actions since, well, the novel 1984.

    Journalists make errors, particularly when redacting info, WikiLeaks make errors and likely should have redacted things they missed/didn't bother to look at, humans make errors - we all do. To focus on the entire point of this article: Do the UK/USA ignore due legal process when it suits them and try to skip due process in order to 'make political points': absolutely resoundingly: YES!

    One can remain ambivalent about Assange as a human being, but if you disagree with my penultimate sentence then you are either mentally blind or have been living under a remote rock for the past two decades.

    1. Sheepykins

      Disagreed.

      The connection needs to be made to the person.

      If Bubbles from the Trailer Park Boys came to you with information on illegal black ops activities by the American government, would you believe him?

      The people throwing out all this info into the public domain need to be above reproach, otherwise you have to question their motives for doing something like this and if the information is actually legit

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        We don't really know what his motivations are, but WikiLeaks is not just a single person. It is an organisation containing many different types of individuals around the world. They all aided in the publication of the leaks.

        The quality of the whistleblowing and leaks from WikiLeaks have been excellent. Sources are often protected to prevent assassination or other concerns. As can be noted from the lack of denials from the USA intelligence services and government it would appear the Vault7 leaks, for example, are complementary to the Snowden leaks.

        I do think more analysis and redaction should have occurred, but to judge by the quality of the leaks, regardless of our fluid moral analyses, they are top drawer. If you start to get bogged down by bias and WikiLeaks' manipulation by selective whistleblowers, then that's simply another thing to be analysed. Some suggest WikiLeaks should never have released a single document - can you imagine the state of affairs of our knowledge against our own governments if we solely relied upon newspapers owned by billionaires with vested interests?

      2. Archtech Silver badge

        Politicians too?

        "The people throwing out all this info into the public domain need to be above reproach, otherwise you have to question their motives..."

        Would you apply that criterion to political leaders too? If so, you are insane. If not, you are hopelessly inconsistent.

    2. Archtech Silver badge

      Funny people should accuse Assange of disrespect for the law

      "I am not convinced of his innocence or [guilt] either way..."

      Innocence or guilt of what? Assange has not been charged with any crime in any country.

      The Swedish authorities asked to interview him; he waited for several weeks during which they chose not to, then returned to London at which point they immediately issued a warrant for his arrest.

      He sought political asylum because he believed - I think rightly - that if he gave himself up he would find himself, first in Sweden, then in the USA, and finally in an unmarked grave before he could blink.

      "Unmarked grave" may be wrong. Maybe they would just have imprisoned him in a secret dungeon for the rest of his life, or rendered him to Egypt, Uzbekistan, or Afghanistan to be tortured to death.

      1. Andrew Norton

        Re: Funny people should accuse Assange of disrespect for the law

        "Innocence or guilt of what? Assange has not been charged with any crime in any country.

        The Swedish authorities asked to interview him; he waited for several weeks during which they chose not to, then returned to London at which point they immediately issued a warrant for his arrest."

        Sorry, no matter how bold the font on Assange's website making those claims are, it doesn't make them true. We've known this claim has been false for about 7 years now, ever since his first UK court hearing. You know, the one where Assange's own lawyer was forced to admit that this story was - in fact - a deliberate lie. You know, where he then was asked to read out the text messages on his phone, one of which was from the prosecutor, reminding him about the scheduled interview the morning after Assange traveled (NOT RETURNED) to the UK.

        Oh, and at that interview, he was to be arrested and charged. His lawyer was informed of that too, the day before. That's why Assange suddenly traveled tot he UK, as he was not scheduled to be there (and in fact knew NOT to go, because he'd applied for residency in Sweden, which meant he couldn't go). It is also an odd country to go to if you're wanting to avoid extradition to the US, especially after having boasted 2 months earlier how you're going for Swedish residence because they don't extradite to the US for political crimes. It's your only choice if you have to leave Sweden THAT DAY, are an Australian citizen, and have under 30 days left on your Schengen visa, because you don't need a visa to enter the uk for upto 180 days.

        Oh, and he had been interviewed a few times before then too, that's why there was the arrest scheduled.

        "He sought political asylum because he believed - I think rightly - that if he gave himself up he would find himself, first in Sweden, then in the USA, and finally in an unmarked grave before he could blink."

        Again, as mentioned, he made a press release when he announced he was applying for Swedish residency, that it was because they don't extradite to the US for political crimes. he knows as well as we all do, there was no risk. And if he did believe that (which he didn't) the last place he'd go would be the UK, with its express extradition agreement.

        Also, less than a year after he ran to the embassy, I was invited to have lunch with one of the people who was also involved in the Manning leak and was investigated with Assange by the Grand Jury (but they actually worked on the leak, processing it - specifically the Collateral Murder video - not writing press releases which is all Assange reportedly did), the lunch was in... New York City, where they were visiting, and where they had no problems entering or exiting the country. Funny that, eh? (for the record, I couldn't make it to New York, but other friends did and had an enjoyable time)

        1. flayman

          Re: Funny people should accuse Assange of disrespect for the law

          "Oh, and at that interview, he was to be arrested and charged. His lawyer was informed of that too, the day before. That's why Assange suddenly traveled tot he UK, as he was not scheduled to be there (and in fact knew NOT to go, because he'd applied for residency in Sweden, which meant he couldn't go). It is also an odd country to go to if you're wanting to avoid extradition to the US, especially after having boasted 2 months earlier how you're going for Swedish residence because they don't extradite to the US for political crimes. It's your only choice if you have to leave Sweden THAT DAY, are an Australian citizen, and have under 30 days left on your Schengen visa, because you don't need a visa to enter the uk for upto 180 days."

          I wish I could give 100 up votes for this. Brilliant.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Well, If he is innocent, and knows anything about the world, he would have stayed in Sweden and faced the groundless charges, wouldn't he?

      Doesn't he know that the UK has a far closer relationship with the US, and Sweden is a law-and-order country, if there ever was one?

      1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

        The current talk seems to be that Sweden would have to ask the UK if they wanted to pass him to the US (not that that would be much of a barrier .. the UK government would jump at the chance to do it while Sweden gets the blame).

        But what was said at the time ?

        Swedish prosecutors were asked to guarantee that he would only be questioned in Sweden, but wouldn't do it. As I read it, they knew they could be overridden politically and weren't prepared to guarantee something they would be powerless to prevent. Good for them. They could have given a guarantee and then been left hand-wringing when he was extradited anyway.

        Sweden had just rolled over for something the US had asked for - I forget what, maybe some copyright stuff. But it made the idea that Sweden, despite having no extradition agreement, was the US's lapdog entirely plausible.

        I agree that the UK seems an odd choice. Although the rape allegations look completely unreliable on the face of it, it may well be that Assange had enough guilt about it that he wanted to run.

        And then there's the bail thing. Lots of people getting apparently worked up about that, too. I wonder how many people jump bail (and disappear completely, not continue to stay in plain sight) every year. Hundreds ? Thousands ? It's an administrative offence, especially given that Assange hasn't actually kept his freedom in any practical sense. Baying for his blood because he failed to turn up in court just makes no sense when you compare it with shooting unarmed civilians and journalists for entertainment.

        1. flayman

          Swedish prosecutors would not guarantee Assange would be spared hypothetical extradition to the US because it would be prejudicing an application that had not even been made. The US might adduce evidence of a crime that Sweden might decide was not political in nature. They reserve the sovereign right to make that determination. They did acknowledge being bound by the Doctrine of Speciality, meaning they could not extradite to a third country without Britain's consent: https://www.aklagare.se/en/nyheter--press/media/the-assange-matter/kan-assange-utlamnas-fran-sverige-till-usa/

          Jumping bail is one thing, but he has fled bail for around 6 years now, and cost the UK millions in honouring its obligations to Sweden.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            "Swedish prosecutors would not guarantee Assange would be spared hypothetical extradition to the US because it would be prejudicing an application that had not even been made."

            Sure they could. Doesn't their standing law prohibit extraditions for (a) political reasons or (b) potential capital offenses, of which espionage counts in the US?

            1. flayman

              Yes, but without seeing an application you can't judge one. So suppose the United States could adduce evidence of some non-political crime committed by Assange. Who can say? But to give an assurance of no extradition to the United States under any circumstances would be to disregard the extradition treaty. It would be a nonsensical assurance.

              1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                No, because they could read through the application and realize the US is lying through its teeth, meaning ANY attempt to extradite Assange, based on their own words, is going to be political by default. Plus, about the only charge they could realistically pin on Assange is espionage (which is again potential capital). IOW, you're claiming Sweden is stupid.

                1. flayman

                  They could read through WHAT application? There is no application. If and when there was, they would probably read through it and realise it was a ruse. Are you supposed to say that in the absence of anything concrete? Any request from the US will be a ruse? Might as well tear up the treaty.

                2. flayman

                  Have a read of this, my friend: http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/08/18/would-sweden-ever-extradite-assange-to-the-united-states/

                  "Foreign Policy discussed his case with UIf Wallentheim, the director of the division for criminal cases and international judicial cooperation at the Swedish Ministry of Justice. He said that Swedish courts tend to see through such ploys to circumvent Swedish extradition agreements’ exceptions. Swedish judges often examine a case’s underlying factors when making their determinations, he said."

                  If and when the United States requested extradition from the Swedish authorities, it would be judged on its merits. But you can't just say outright that the US would attempt to circumvent the exceptions, without risking diplomatic relations. What is required here is to give the United States the benefit of a fair reading in the future.

    4. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      separate the man/personality/person from the actions related to WikiLeaks

      Why?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Simples: WIkileaks publish leaks

        They recently published a leak of the Russian intelligence services internet monitoring capability. They seem to be consistently anti-side and publish what they are provided.

        They weren't chosen to publish the Snowden leaks, but the reality is most people do not realize their internet activities are constantly monitored - not everybody reads the Guardian over here in Europe. If they had published it, could we argue it would lead to a free-er society? I'm not so sure. But I do think Wikileaks have proven invaluable in leaking what whistleblowers wish. Some have political or short term motives, but whistleblowing is important.

        Are any professional highly paid IT pundits here suggesting that we shouldn't have been informed of the extent of surveillance? Obama said they were recording metadata ONLY. It seems they are logging ALL data about everyone in massive data centers throughout the world. This is entirely dangerous to our civility, liberty and future - we just don't realize the magnitude of this yet.

        The media have successfully made people think of Assange when they think of Wikileaks. Instead I think of corruption, government betrayal to their voters and mass monitoring of domestic and foreign peoples. Still, let's focus on the guy with a questionable haircut and poor taste in word-choice shall we?

        1. heyrick Silver badge

          "Are any professional highly paid IT pundits here suggesting that we shouldn't have been informed of the extent of surveillance?"

          Just to throw something "out there"...

          We got a glimpse of the extent of surveillance both from WikiLeaks and Snowden. We have seen stories about FISA and we all know about warrant canaries and we even know some of the stuff our government and security services have been doing for others...

          AND?

          It seems to me that this shit just keeps on happening, and rather than curtail the unwarranted surveillance, any and every excuse just leads to asking for more yet more (from encryption back doors to police with portable fingerprint scanners - all recent stories here on ElReg), while the general populace is being conditioned to blather loads of irrelevant shit about themselves to as many people as possible.

          So, in short, what the hell did it matter the knowing of what is going on? It's not changing. It won't change. It's business as usual. So ultimately whether or not "we" know doesn't really change much. A few extra people might use VPN or TOR, but the majority don't care. They value convenience over security and will be easily led with trite statements such as "if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear".

          We know. They know we know. We know they know we know. And it's business as usual.

          Where's the fucking grumpy cat icon?

    5. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      @AC OP

      "I am not convinced of his innocence or guilty either way,"

      I am convinced of his guilt with regard to jumping bail - he did it, he admits it - therefore guilty, and it is irrelevant whether he is a journalist or anything else. It cannot be ignored. Regarding allegations of impropriety in Sweden, I am convinced of his innocence - he has not been proven guilty of anything (or charged with anything, for that matter). My opinion might change if there was ever a proper court hearing, but for now he is innocent.

      Wikileaks comprises of more than Assange. Yes, they have done some fine work, even if they have been careless at times. However, suggesting that JA should get away with blatantly breaking a fundamental law just because Wikileaks is overall a force for good speaks of special pleading.

  26. Sheepykins

    He does think hes above the law though.

    Every single thing he's done is exploit a loophole, to remain free from a custodial sentence whether in Britain, Sweden or the U.S

    Usually when people believe in a cause they follow it through, even if he were framed he should have gone through the proper legal proceedings and if found guilty, campaigned and done things properly. He could have become a martyr for his cause and that would have strengthened his position.

    Same with Snowdon, instead they run scared after dumping all the info they squirrel away into the public domain.

    That judge is right, they only ever want justice if its in their favour

    1. Archtech Silver badge

      Incorrect

      "Every single thing he's done is exploit a loophole, to remain free from a custodial sentence whether in Britain, Sweden or the U.S..."

      That turns out not to be the case.

      Assange waited in Sweden at the request of the authorities until it seemed they had lost interest. Then he returned to the UK, at which point the Swedes immediately issued a warrant for his arrest. (Still without preferring any charges). He gave himself up to the police and went to court. When it seemed that he would be sent back to Sweden, he sought political asylum.

      If he had not done so, his life would likely have been over - one way or another. As you very well know, the US government has not the slightest interest in any law - from the UN Charter to the US Constitution itself. As you very well know, the US government has lawlessly killed literally millions of people who had done nothing to deserve any punishment, let alone death. They would kill Assange as carelessly as they would tread on an ant.

      But the most important fact is that Assange has done nothing either wrong or illegal. The leaks he facilitated were an act of great selflessness and bravery. He is not a US or UK citizen, so he cannot have committed treason against those governments.

      1. flayman

        Re: Incorrect

        There is a misunderstanding here about the Swedish justice system. A person cannot be charged in their absence. There was deemed to be sufficient evidence to charge. The only thing holding it up was the formality of questioning the suspect, which could conceivably have resulted in dismissal of the charges. This has been examined thoroughly by the UK courts and Assange's argument on this ground was rejected. I don't believe that the United States wants Julian Assange dead. They may want him to face charges. He is not going to be assassinated. It would cause such a sh1t storm that it really would not be worth the trouble. He will also not be rendered extra-judicially. This process is one that really shuns publicity. It is reserved for what are believed to be extremely dangerous people that the public are generally unaware of. Julian Assange is a very public person and he is not extremely dangerous, though I'm sure he likes to thinks he is.

        "But the most important fact is that Assange has done nothing either wrong or illegal."

        He has defied the British courts by skipping bail and refusing to turn himself over for extradition after exhausting his legal challenges. That is itself a criminal act, and that is entirely the thrust of this judgement. Assange has tried to argue that skipping bail was lawful here, but that had zero chance of success.

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Incorrect

        Assange waited in Sweden at the request of the authorities until it seemed they had lost interest

        That's a very strange way of saying "left the country when his laywer illegally told him that an interview and possible arrest were going to happen the next day"..

    2. gnarlymarley
      Stop

      That judge is right, they only ever want justice if its in their favour

      Isn't this the real reason that everyone goes to court? To get it to rule in their favour?

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Isn't this the real reason that everyone goes to court? To get it to rule in their favour?

        That's the whole bloody point of this case! And the reason Assange is hiding in an embassy. He doesn't want to go to court!

        What he should do, is man up and head off to Sweden to face his accusors. The Swedes have a perfectly good justice system.

        All of his recent court cases have been exercises in avoiding facing this one.

        Well he's only got 4 more years to wait, and then he's safe. That statute of limitations kicks in, and those women are denied their right to their day in court. And if he gets away with that, then it really will be a miscarriage of justice.

  27. Archtech Silver badge

    Apparently homo sapiens is not intelligent

    You would think that, quite apart from the ethical aspects of the matter - which I would never expect governments or courts of law to respect - human beings would have a lively eye to their own advantage.

    Apparently not.

    What Assange and his colleagues have done is to reveal to the public what their governments have been doing in secrecy. It was like lifting a large flat stone to uncover masses of disgusting bugs and worms.

    So I would expect anyone who doesn't wish to be exploited, robbed, deceived and oppressed to be profoundly grateful. But it seems a large majority prefers to abuse Assange and call for his punishment.

    Please don't forget that the crowd insisted that Jesus be crucified instead of the well-known robber and murderer Barabbas.

    And the crowd demanded that Socrates should be executed for the unforgivable crime of trying to educate the Athenian youth.

    Well, you have made your own beds: I hope you find them comfortable in the years to come.

    1. flayman
      Thumb Down

      Re: Apparently homo sapiens is not intelligent

      Automatic down vote for the Jesus comparison. I can't even...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Apparently homo sapiens is not intelligent

      As a species we have been intelligent enough to think up not one, not two, but at least hundreds of different religions. But what does old myths have to do with Assange?

  28. Joe Harrison Silver badge

    "Julian Assange, as featured by the Russia Today propaganda station"

    Unlike, naturally, the professional, unbiased, and even-handed journalism of The Register.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      This is a very important point:

      ALL media is propaganda. It is inherent to our human make up from birth, particularly as journalists! Is the BBC better than RT? Yes, I would say so.

      But: from a non-'western' perspective is the BBC biased? Of course it is. To believe too much in your institutions is frightening. Question all media, why they are saying things, the sources, the aim.

      The BBC has just as much an aim as others; but it is through incompetence and obedience to rank that the bias occurs. On RT it is policy.

      To reflect upon this is to try base knowledge as factually as possible, as we cannot ever know all the facts. The media in the UK and USA may be 'free', but they still have a scarily lenient view of their government's capability. Just look at how scared TheGuardian were when they received the Snowden documents - they didn't engage technical professionals and instead tried to publish some documents, trashing the vast majority. How does that help our society?!

      We need adult debate about the nature of our intelligence agencies, Wikileaks and Snowden encouraged this through their methods. Snowden was remarkably controlled and the media output was amongst the most refrained in their history! Wikileaks, on the other hand, dumped most with some filtering online. I respect that too, in a way, as the public can read and decide for themselves.

      Focusing on Assange is to miss the golden eggs that have been before us for years. We need leaks, we need whistleblowers and they need protection. The US and UK have prosecuted whistleblowers in the past on skewed charges, which they seem to think disguises the fact they are corrupt and permitted evaluation. Not so long ago they seem to think they were beyond the law.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        All media is not propoganda.

        All media suffers from bias. Though some places that's a deliberate editorial line - while other try to avoid that and will be more affected by the individual bias of their journalists. Because you can try to be un-biased, but the questions you ask are coloured by your experience, beliefs and expectations.

        There's also groupthink, particularly a problem if you're recruiting from a limited pool of people with similar experiences.

        But propoganda is a deliberate choice. It's different from bias, because it's an attempt to skew the facts to give the editorial line you want - and not report facts that don't meet that line. Whereas a bias can be unconscious - and good media organisations that have an editorial line will try to separate their news and comment.

        RT is propoganda. It's about trying to de-legitimise democratic systems in a sort of nihilistic attempt to claim that although the Russian sytem is awful, the democracies are no better. An argument that's clearly bollocks. Although obviously our systems are far from perfect - which is the whole point.

        At least in the early Soviet days there were people who genuinely believed in Communism. But the current Russian leadership will have mostly joined the KGB in the 70s and 80s - when it was clear their system was both evil and rubbish. So they'll have been a generation that joined the party, cynically, to get ahead. And then the KGB, where a lot of them got involved in corruption. And they've nothing positive to say about their system - hence the campaign to attack ours.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Isn't it about time that Mr Assange got a ASD diagnosis?

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      That won't keep him out of Sweden. And it's becoming increasingly clear that all of this is about avoiding facing those rape allegations in the Swedish courts. And he's already lost that case - so long as Sweden re-issue that EAW, he's off to sunny Sweden with no right to appeal.

      I think he'd have a pretty good chance of fighting extradition to the US in Sweden - I'm not sure the UK governement would lift a finger to help him. So long as the US promise not to seek the death penalty. But he'd be able to tie it up in our court system for many years - and of course would have to do that from prison - as there's no way he's getting bail again.

      But I've no idea if the US will bother. They'd be stupid to, unless they've got cast-iron proof that he was actively assisting Manning in hacking the army computer system. And it had better be good, given the way Manning was treated - as they've got to establish the credibility of her testimony to standards acceptable to a civillian court.

  30. LucasNorth

    smoke him out

    Expel the diplomats, turn off the utilities and smoke this rat out. If he wants to undermine western democracy by colluding with the Russians he can do it somewhere else.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: smoke him out

      Without proper justification (and Assange isn't), the UK would risk retaliation from the rest of South America since they tend to act as a bloc to strengthen their own trade negotiating powers. And since Guyana (a Commonwealth country) is in South America, things can get complicated.

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