It will be interesting to find out which extradition request gets precedence. On the one hand, Sweden originally "filed first", but then dropped the warrant and now the US has "filed first".
I'd prefer him to go to Sweden, though.
Sweden's deputy director of public prosecutions Eva-Marie Persson is reopening an investigation into WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange regarding allegations of rape. In early April the lawyer for the injured party in Scandanavia asked prosecutors to resume the preliminary investigation. The allegations date from August 2010. …
"It will be interesting to find out which extradition request gets precedence."
Assagne won't be seen ever again if he steps on Swedish soil: NSA black plane flies him directly to Guantanamo.
That's what Persson has agreed with US, and that's why she re-opened already expired case, illegally of course.
>NSA black plane flies him directly to Guantanamo.
Letting your imagination get away with you. This is the UK, you don't need conspriacy when bumbling incompetence will achieve the same result: the UK authorities will put Assagne on a flight to Sweden, only it will be operated by American Airlines or similar...
Agreed. Sweden should get priority for several reasons. Theirs is the more serious crime. They filed first originally, and only suspended because Assange fled to the embassy. Assange has already contested the EAW so if the new one is the same, there should be less scope for delays. And the Swiss statute of limitations runs out in a year or two, so if Assange does get sent to America he'll likely to be there so long that he can never be tried for the alleged rapes.
"should have priority as it was their charges Mr A was trying to run from originally."
I don't know if extradition law works on a first come first served basis, or if it is more dependent on the severity of the alleged crime. But in both cases, Sweden's claim trumps the US one. Unless, of course, there are additional factors in the decision, like 'our 5-eyes chums get precedence just because'
If the UK sends him to Sweden, then he should get a fair trial for the serious crime he's accused of. If they send him to the US then it will be the political trial he said would happen and any verdict will reflect how angry the US government is rather than the facts.
The US may actually prefer him to go to Sweden first in the hope that he is convicted there. They can then ask for an extradition of convicted sex offender. That would play much better in a US court. They love to sway the jury with unrelated issues there.
(not saying he's guilty of anything here, just looking at a possible US justice system way of thinking)
The Beeb's report includes a statement from Wikileaks that they hope the Swedish case goes ahead so that he'll have a chance to clear his name. I suppose that explains why he left Sweden for the UK and then jumped bail into the Ecuadoran embassy but I have to admit I find the logic a tad difficult to follow.
But obviously the Swedes are so much more closely aligned with US, what with their 'Special Relationship', and shared language and everything, they were much more likely to give in to an extradition request from the US, so fleeing to the neutral UK made much more sense.
Wait, I think I might have made a mistake somewhere above...
There may be legal subtleties I have not considered, but this may actually be good news for him - if I ever was unfortunate enough to be facing prison in both Sweden and the USA, I'd definitely hope to end up in the former.
Can he shorten the process by dropping any opposition to the Swedish request, while still fighting the American one?
That's partly what makes it so clear he fled from justice. Sweden doesn't have a bend over backwards extradition treaty with the US.
"Can he shorten the process by dropping any opposition to the Swedish request"
He can't object to it at all, so it doesn't matter. He tried that route before he fled to the embassy.
Can he shorten the process by dropping any opposition to the Swedish request, while still fighting the American one?
Dunno. AFAIK, he'd exhausted all appeal options with the previous EAW, hence taking up residence in Ecuador. So not sure if he'd have any new grounds to appeal any new EAW, or if the US would have priority seeing as they asked first. Given we've got the body, it's the UK's challenge to keep him detained until the lawyers figure that out. I guess the US could let the Swedes go first, then have marshalls waiting when he's released to escort him to the States.
It's a strange case though, so bit of deja vu given Assange is now back to where he was 7 years ago, with the additional interest of the US. Curious who advised him to take this route, or if he just ignored his legal advisors.
The Swedish Prosecutor says that they can interview him in the UK (this interview is required before they can actually charge him) only if he gives permission. I don't know who was stopping that process happening when he was hiding in the embassy, but it took over a year to fail to negotiate that interview - and I very strongly suspect it was him obstructing it. So I guess he'll publicly say he will, but actually refuse - while claiming it's all a conspiracy as usual.
However a European Arrest Warrant is supposed to be quick and easy. And it's already been tested in court in his case. I've no idea who decides priority between the Swedes and the US though - but I'm betting the Home Secretary. Although the EAW system is supposed to be automatic and free from political interference. So maybe that's one for the courts. Can Assange managed to delay it with multiple appeals until the clock ticks down? The Berlusconi option...
"I don't know who was stopping that process happening when he was hiding in the embassy"
I think the english word "interview" is slightly misleading as applied here. IIRC Swedish law requires an interview be carried out as part of the procedure to charge someone with a crime, and I think that's what the Swedish authorities were actually trying to do.
I also seem to remember that the negotiation to interview Assange within the embassy failed because Assange's side were trying to place restrictions on the Swedish investigators - chiefly that they couldn't charge Assange at the end of the interview and take him away for trial. Those restrictions meant that no progress could be made by the Swedish prosecutors, so there was literally no reason for them to go ahead. Of course, Assange and co just claimed that their generous offers to speak to Swedish investigators were refused, and implied that the Swedes were acting in bad faith, rather than just following their own (proper) legal processes.
I think the Swedish system sounds rather neat, ie the formal interview pre-charging. AFAIK in 'normal' cases, there's a kind of reciprocity, ie Swedish investigators could interview a suspect in a UK custody suite and that satisfies Sweden's formal procedures. And like you say, I think the problem for Sweden is the conditions that were imposed on the interview. As it's a legal process, I doubt there's much flexibility allowed. So it'd be like the UK conducting a non-PACE interview in a basement full of used phone books, and inadmissable.
Same with attempts to impose other conditions, ie a guarantee that Sweden would not extradite to the US.. Which would presumably violate existing extradition treaties.
Probably multiple Swedish convictions. But the UK isn't done with him yet. He still faces serious charges here; they slapped a year in him in a summary trial so they can hold him while they decide what to do. There are a whole sheaf of perverting the course of justice charges that could be brought, including very serious ones like witness intimidation.
One solution to the whole mess is for the UK to give him multiple life sentences on those charges, at which point he's never getting out anyway.
Probably the best Assange can hope for is a successful M'Naghton plea and subsequent treatment for whatever personality disorder led him to claim it was impossible for anyone to refuse consent to St Julian. But I still doubt he'd ever be considered safe to release.
"One solution to the whole mess is for the UK to give him multiple life sentences on those charges, at which point he's never getting out anyway."
It costs £23k per year to keep someone in prison. Why should UK taxpayers pay to keep him locked up?
Do the world a favour and stick the sad little coward on the next plane to Guantanamo.
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"If he hadn't jumped bail he'd probably have served any sentence in Sweden"
False. The US had an unmarked plane waiting for him in Arlanda airport already, so he'd never been seen again. And Swedes would claim he somehow "escaped". That play was already written.
No court in Sweden, not anything else than hopefully quick death by CIA. Instead of decades of torture in Guantanamo.
Here is a list of detainees in Gitmo. Look down the names. Anything jump out at you? Anything at all?
True, there is one name among the 500-plus that's as western as "Julian Assange'. David Hicks was detained there for a bit over five years before being deported to Australia. But he maintained his name was Mohammed Dawood, and he was captured in Afghanistan during the US invasion, so still not quite like Assange.
.. as far as I know, no EU state entertains the idea for prison sentences to run concurrently so he can look forward to a somewhat uncomfortable and limited tour of prisons. UK, Sweden, US, and no Ferrero Rocher in sight this time.
On the plus side, there's no cat litter box to clean either.
"Assange has always denied the accusations."
No, he has never denied them. He admitted the facts as alleged are true, and claimed they don't constitute a crime: his defence was solely a point of law. Obviously, physically holding down a woman while she begs you to stop is rape everywhere, and when he was told that by the UK courts he fled to the Ecuadorian embassy.
It's also simply not true that Sweden ever dropped or closed the case against Assange.
As for extradition priority, Assange has to serve any further jail time the UK gives him before he can be extradited anywhere. If the US request takes priority then Assange has successfully evaded Swedish justice by fleeing UK custody and so faces a life sentence for perverting the course of justice. More to the point, the US doesn't need to extradite him, because he's spending the rest of his life in jail anyway. The nature of his defence is such that there are undoubtedly a whole string of previous offences which haven't become public yet because he wasn't around to be prosecuted. Once he's convicted by Sweden, he'll face charges around the world.
We're talking about Sweden, here. If there is a country in the world where I would be confident to go on trial if I was innocent of an accusation, it would be Sweden. Before my own home country of France, actually.
So he should go deny the accusations in Swedish court, where he will undoubtedly get a fair trial.
I can't help but think his first motive is to avoid a fair trial. I wonder what could possibly be the cause of that ?
The Swedish prosecutor is just doing her job. But I bet the Swedish government is less than thrilled at the prospect of having to deal with an extradition request from the US.
If he goes to Sweden, I wonder how it'll play into the scenario that's been speculated on whereby Uncle Sam, having grabbed him, then presents a much more serious charge than on the extradition order? It is said that the country that handed him over has a veto on that. Blighty vs Sweden: who would exercise such a veto vs nod through whatever the 'merkins might try?
It's all fitting right into the paranoid descriptions but delayed by 9 years. No charges in the USA was a lie; the political pressure to get him exposed to that is real; the unprecedented treatment of a warrant for questioning... when they Skipe murder suspects. Don't forget they openly let him leave without charges or questioning until a US "friendly" prosecutor was found to bring back the charges. Now we have the elevation of charges to Rape to make the 10 year limit when the previous charges ran out? Not to mention the early charges that were already thrown out by their supreme court which shouldn't have even been listed in the first place... Remember, the UK has prevented people from being sent to the USA because of it's inhumane justice system... something that should be even more apparent TODAY than 9 years ago... kidnapping, Trump encouraging abuse and stating torture is OK again...
The leaked documents about smearing and seeding trouble within wikileaks have proven true (and Assange has sure helped them to that end but that is the clever kind of stuff that the CIA can do; remember, the Russians are masters of such techniques, so it's not unreaslistic.)
The problem has never been facing court in Sweden or even jail time if he loses in the he said/she said zero-proof legal case. THE REAL PROBLEM was Sweden has zero confidence in standing up to the USA, the UK did have some hope. Ecuador did until a new president and billions from the world bank that they sorely needed; with such bad timing and their unprofessional character attacks along with them having to put out statements DENYING they were paid and not to look at the man behind the curtain in the back...
The USA will make an example of anybody messing with them. Expect Assange to continue to be made miserable and ineffective for decades. Many ignorant Americans (synonymous by now, no?) think Assange is some kind of traitor despite not being a citizen! He could be put on trial here for that and the majority wouldn't grasp what is wrong... it's not like the media here is remotely competent.
" Persson is reopening the rape investigation"
I see the US foreign minister has been giving "advice" to her on this thing, just like in the last time where no rape did exist, until Persson personally forced the females involved to succumb her demands and claim rape, several months afterwards.
No proof whatsoever. Not then, not now.
100% made-up accusation because of US-Sweden politics. Just like Sweden spying on all internet traffic that crosses the border and selling everything to NSA.
This Persson is an asshole, first class.
"The allegations date from August 2010."
Which means they've expired in 2015, 4 years ago.
But obviously mere legalese is not stopping this Persson-person to try again, as US-Sweden agreements are still valid: If Swedes get him, he's 'escaping', i.e. given to CIA/NSA and will vanish for ever.
The manuscript to that play was written in 2010 and it hasn't changed an iota.
Some Anonymous Coward is throwing an awful lot of pro-Assange talking points into this "debate".
I wouldn't mind, except that every single one of them is clearly and demonstrably complete bollocks. Please, link to something that makes an explicit argument rather than innuendo, or STFU.
(This "expired' point, for instance - as you very well know - applies to lesser charges but not to "rape", which believe it or not is considered a serious crime, not the sort that expires after five years.)
I know it's not popular to say so here but I still think that Brexit could throw a wildcard into the UK's decision. If we decide that as an EU member the European warrant takes precedence, then that would settle it one way. But if by then we have crashed out via a hard option that has no extradition agreement then we might have to suspend any and all EU extraditions and hand him over to the US instead. Not saying that either is good or bad, just that the issue is there.
It's amazing how much drivel the loons can invent:
- Unmarked planes waiting at Arlanda
- Sweden providing the NSA copies of all material (whether true or not, the NSA actually has a publicly disclosed station IN THE UK, so hard to see the relevance)
- Sweden allegedly being willing to extradite than the UK (which is demonstrable bollocks: to be extradited by Sweden the offense needs to be a crime in Sweden _and_ the Swedish statue of limitations must not have expired _and_ the offense cannot be military or political _and_ the accused's fundamental human rights would not be abridged in _Sweden's_ eyes)
- Sweden working hand in glove with the CIA, despite the fact that Sweden refused to extradite a former CIA officer and US citizen accused of spying for the Soviet Union back to the USA -- a guy called Edward Lee Howard.
So that takes us to the dual criminality issue; it appears that under Swedish law Assange might be liable for prosecution for having made preparations for a data breach (via Manning). That might satisfy the dual criminality, but the maximum sentence is 2 years, so one suspects rather that, like the lesser sexual assault charges, the statute of limitations will have expired....
He didn't hack any US computer, he was in contact to someone who did and may have egged him on. Apparently he also tried to hack a password hash (unsuccessfully) that he was sent by Manning.
We all know that the US authorities are mad, but do they have an actual case that would call for extradition? The US behaves like a bully in this case. Somebody was publicly embarrassed and now tries to ruin some lives for payback. I personally cheer for team transparency in this one.
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