As @belorn noted , the prosecutors had 3 options, and given it seems like they didn't have enough to make a case or a plan to continue the investigation, it had to be dropped.
Also note, that the UN has sided with Assange. As the confinement in the Embassy is confinement. And he's been unjustly confined for a longer period than the maximum penalty for rape in Sweden .
 "He has offered to be questioned inside the embassy but the Swedish prosecutors only recently agreed." http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/08/11/ecuador-to-let-sw...
> The Swedish assistant prosecutor, Chief Prosecutor Ingrid Isgren, and a Swedish police investigator have been allowed to be present at the interview. They will report the findings to Sweden.
Edit: For people wondering what the problem is, Ecuador asked the questions and "[the Swedish prosecutor] is allowed to ask Assange to clarify his answers, but not to put additional questions, and will receive a written transcript of the exchanges from Ecuador after the interview has concluded." - https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/nov/14/julian-assange...
I think a key part of a police interview is asking new questions based on responses and having an actual conversation, which the Swedish prosecutors couldn't do.
This is problematic.
But this raise a primary question. Is the distinction of being able to instantly make follow up questions of such importance that it will swing the binary choice of charging Assange of a crime or dropping the case?
The primary cause for a guilty and not guilty verdict should not be the quality of the environment for a police interview. Not for a such serious allegation like this.
This is simply not true. The questions was asked by Ecuadorians and had to be approved beforehand. Swedish prosecutors where allowed in the room but could not talk to Assange. IE no follow up questions etc
After a while, a senior prosecutor reopened the case for unexplained reasons, and asked him to fly back to Sweden on his own expenses so he could be interviewed a second time. When he offered to meat in London, but rejected coming to Sweden, she issued an European arrest warrant. I believe he was then interviewed by the British police and was held under custody, until he made the not so brilliant decision to seek asylum in the Embassy.
I've read the police investigation and while I don't want to diminish the alleged victims, I can understand why the (female) police told him to go home in the first place.
Simply put, and I'm basing this not on Assange's statement which was anyway consistent with everyone else's stories - behaving like a total wanker is not a crime, even if you happen to do that towards a politically active left wing feminist.
Everything else than the ass-hat bit in this story is a failure of the legal system in Sweden and it's a consequence of the government's self-image as infallible and that it's relatively unprotected from civil servants with personal agendas.
I don't know who asked the questions, or what the procedure was, but I read the Swedish prosecutor's statement issued today and they do not mention the London interview being an issue.
>It was established that the interview would be conducted by an Ecuadorian prosecutor, with Isgren and a police officer present.
>According to Assange's lawyer, the "shape" of the questions was still being discussed a week before the scheduled interview.
I suspect that this is the case.
One thing that would complicate this matter is that there doesn't seem to be an agreement between Ecuador and Sweden regarding this. Given that JA was under Ecuadorian jurisdiction it's entirely possible that this was one of the reasons why the prosecutor didn't go down that route initially.
Sources (sorry, can only find them in Swedish):
That's valid if Sweden locked him in the Ecuador Embassy. He went there to shield himself.
Personally I think (my opinion, anyway) that the rape charges were work of the CIA, but that's another story.
His refusal to cooperate with the investigation on Sweden's terms wasn't about the alleged crime itself. His concern was that because he was involved in a criminal investigation, he could be taken into custody by either British or Swedish authorities at which point he could be extradited to the US.
If the US wanted him from Britain for national security reasons (or political reasons masquerading as national security reasons), they wouldn't try to get him extradited to Sweden to do it; the US has closer security cooperation with the UK than Sweden.
Not sure what's to doubt.
It's very convenient how this conspiracy theory of the US snatching Assange from Sweden cropped up just as he was accused of a crime in Sweden I would say.
> "On a point of law, the Swedish Supreme Court has decided Ny can continue to obstruct on the vital issue of the SMS messages. This will now go to the European Court of Human Rights. What Ny fears is that the SMS messages will destroy her case against Assange. One of the messages makes clear that one of the women did not want any charges brought against Assange, "but the police were keen on getting a hold on him". She was "shocked" when they arrested him because she only "wanted him to take [an HIV] test". She "did not want to accuse JA of anything" and "it was the police who made up the charges". (In a witness statement, she is quoted as saying that she had been "railroaded by police and others around her".)
> Neither woman claimed she had been raped. Indeed, both have denied they were raped and one of them has since tweeted, "I have not been raped."
'Elisabeth Massi Fritz, who represents the woman who accused Mr. Assange of rape, issued a scathing response after the prosecutors abandoned the case. “A legal examination is very important for someone who has been raped, as is the possibility for redress,” she said. “In this case, there have been many turns and the wait has been very long. My client is shocked and no decision to shut the case down can get her to change her position that Assange raped her.”'
That's very different from "the sex became nonconsensual retroactively". And I don't think it's uncommon for women brave the consequences of speaking out about sexual assault when they believe there's a pattern of behavior they can protect other women from.
Source? Seems to differ from: https://www.theguardian.com/media/2010/dec/17/julian-assange...
>It is now easier for US to obtain Assange's extradition, if they (ever) wanted it.
>Now only UK's consent required, not UK and Sweden.
Part of that fear was presumably based in the unusual persistence of the Swedish prosecutor, which implied something odd was going on. But that "something odd" might simply have been the prosecutors ambitions.
In any case, UK courts have a history of taking extradition hearings very seriously, and there are ample opportunities to appeal both to UK courts, the ECHR, and (for the time being) to the ECJ, so it'd by no means be easy to get him from the UK direct.
The point is that Sweden might very well have seemed perfectly safe despite those past actions until a prosecutor took those steps which still seems exceedingly odd.
To have one prosecutor say there was no case to answer, only to have another prosecutor specifically go after the case and reopen it, is uncommon to say the least.
Assange spent 26 more days in the country and then flew out hours after his arrest warrant was signed.
(ii) there's nothing particularly unusual about a more senior prosecutor overriding an earlier decision of a more junior prosecutor following an appeal from the alleged victims' lawyer and an interview with the accused. Especially when it's a one-party's word against another's case and the accusing party had initially seemed reluctant to pursue a prosecution.
You are spreading many falsehoods here, first of all, it was NOT a junior prosecutor who dropped the case, chief prosectutor Eva Finné was the one who first handled it and immediately dropped it due to there not being any grounds for a case.
It was a junior prosector Karin Rosander who then suddenly brought the case up again, at this point (20/10 2010) Assange WAS questioned by the police.
The day after this, senior prosecutor Marianne Ny decided to restart the preliminary investigation.
At this point Assange left the country, three weeks later, Marianne Ny filed an arrest warrant on Assange for further questioning.
Assange agreed to be interviewed by video link, something Swedish prosecutors have done many times before, by Marianne Ny refused and demanded that he'd return to sweden for further questioning.
This for accusations which even well known feminists working daily against rape say are laughable:
The prosecutor who dismissed the case was senior, and not junior in any sense of the word, rank or age.
You say it's not unusual (in Sweden). I've never seen a single example of another rape case which was dismissed and reopened in this manner. Can you give a few examples of other re-opened Swedish rape cases, seeing that it's "not unusual" from your point of view.
> The prosecutor who dismissed the case was senior, and not junior in any sense of the word, rank or age.
Marianne Ny was Överåklagare and she was senior to Eva Finnè who had the title Chefsåklagare. According to her, she reopened the case because new relevant information had become available.
> Can you give a few examples of other re-opened Swedish rape cases, seeing that it's "not unusual" from your point of view.
It's rare but it happens: http://www.nsd.se/nyheter/forundersokning-om-valdtakt-aterup... https://www.svt.se/nyheter/lokalt/vast/forundersokning-om-va... http://sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=83&artik...
Because I have seen only one reopened, but I happen to know about exactly one, so I wouldn't presume to talk about it's irregularity.
Whether or not it was unusual enough to justify Assanges fears is irrelevant. The question is whether or not they were enough to cause him to start fearing something else was going on.
Where would you suggest he should go?
UK courts have a long history of letting extradition cases take years and/or denying extradition, and UK courts have a history of reacting to political pressure by standing firm rather than yielding. There are few places where I'd trust the legal system more.
Which other countries do you think have courts willing to stand up to political pressure, and where the US can't or won't just pick him off the streets without causing a major diplomatic crisis, and that would be somewhere you'd be able to get visas and where you'd want to live?
I can't think of many countries that'd fit those criterias. Most of the places I can think of where I'd believe the US would be unlikely to be able to get at someone are places I'd rather not want to live.
But the UK would be high on my list of places where I'd feel the risk would be low.
I have heard people say things like "Sweden has co-operated with NATO in [....]". Maybe Sweden does co-operate with NATO, but it's not a member and the UK is.
The UK courts might seem wonderful in merry old England, but just look at what happened in Northern Ireland, and you'll see a different face of the British legal system. Interment without trial, torture, extrajudicial killing, all of UK citizens on UK soil.
The UK has a history of both courts and the Home Office denying extraditions. Theresa May is a "law and order" authoritarian to boot, but even she is not prepared to fall over herself to satisfy US extradition requests.
The law is the law, and Assange stood accused of a serious crime in Sweden. The idea that Sweden would simply forget about it because Assange had holed himself up in an embassy for five years seems misplaced.
It is a rather common meme to accuse Swedes of not conforming to concepts of British/U.S. law (common law system) when Swedish has another system, not any worse but somewhat different in the usage of terms like "charge".
I'm not expected Sweden to be like the UK/US - I'm Norwegian, and our system is much closer to the Swedish and to the UK/US systems.
I am expecting a prosecutor to not stubbornly refuse to take actions for fours years while claiming it to be impossible, while being contradicted by legal experts, just to suddenly decide it's possible after all.
If that's too much to ask of Swedish prosectors, you have a big problem with your legal justice system.
Can you clarify this? I'm honestly confused - the topic seems to be the refusal and then acceptance of an in-embassy interview. I could understand if the refusal was a procedural issue, but in that case why was it eventually accepted?
UK is hardly a bastion of freedom and liberty.
But the question here is where Assange would have reason to feel safer in the UK than in Sweden, and just like many other places through history, a place can both be incredibly safe for one group of people and unsafe for other groups of people at the same time.
Prosecution guidance on the offence: http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/a_to_c/bail/#a32
There is a serious point as well that bail needs to be enforced otherwise its effectiveness is reduced, which in turn makes it easier for the arguments limiting the right to bail to be made. Assange has made it more likely that future defendants will be denied bail.
In the history of UK, how many times have this set of circumstances happed?
But it is about politics. No other bail-skipper in recent memory was ever granted the attention and resources that the UK police granted to the Assange case. It's also pretty clear by now that the Swedish charges were overblown, with very strong suggestions that it was done for political reasons. Hiding behind procedures will not change that.
A "strong and stable" government, relishing its independence from foreign states, would drop this in a second and reconsider its procedures for future cases, so that other countries cannot abuse UK law to enforce bogus prosecutions. In the context of Brexit and the noise about "security cooperation", this would also be a strong message.
That's not clear at all and there are no such strong suggestions from any reputable source. Assange has not been charged with anything in Sweden, he was merely wanted for questioning before any such charges could be made. People suggesting Sweden wanted him back just to hand him over to the US don't know what they are talking about, no matter how strong they are suggesting it.
It was claimed upthread that "Assange has made it more likely that future defendants will be denied bail." That sounds good, except that Assange skipped bail by getting political asylum. It's not exactly a generalizable argument against bail, and even within the context of leakers it appears unprecedented. The case is exceptional, which is what makes it politicized and irrelevant to 'normal' bail skip situations.
Regardless of why Assange was wanted, we can still say it's political when Britain threatened to storm a foreign embassy to recover an asylum-seeker. That's an inherently political decision, in the sense that no domestic police force in the Western world would do it without political guidance.
None of which is to say what's true in Assange's case. But I'm not impressed by the arguments "now everyone can beat rape charges by receiving asylum and spending 5 years trapped in a foreign embassy" and "threatening to raid an embassy to capture an asylum grantee is apolitical".
Unfortunately now it's very late, and I find it hard to believe the person responsible for this stupid position in the first place, currently leading the country, will do anything smart to resolve this for good.
No one is suggesting that a celebrity like Drake could apply for political asylum at an Ecuadorian embassy to avoid rape charges. But if that's what you're taking away from the argument it's probably worth reading it again and engaging with more good faith.
They would arrest anybody who did the same thing.
How would you characterise the difference in the treatment of these gentlemen and I use the word gentlemen quite wrongly.
I honestly don't understand how in our democracy there is even such a concept as "secret charges". It just sounds mind-bogglingly corrupt and out of place.
God, I wish this terrible term didn't remind me of this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuEQixrBKCc
I don't like words that hide the truth. I don't words that conceal reality. I don't like euphemisms, or euphemistic language. And American English is loaded with euphemisms. Cause Americans have a lot of trouble dealing with reality. Americans have trouble facing the truth, so they invent the kind of a soft language to protest themselves from it, and it gets worse with every generation. For some reason, it just keeps getting worse. 
Wonder how much sleep Obama's been getting these days.
It's nowhere near the first kill list the US has had, it's just the first one called "Disposition Matrix". Previous administrations had other names. For example: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_actions_of_the_CIA
Because, in that case, wouldn't you want to keep that information under wraps in quite a few cases, and completely legitimately? Preparing to arrest a foreign drug dealer when he's expected to come to the US comes to mind.
Just because it's "secret" doesn't make an evil conspiracy against democracy. The accused's rights are protected at trial, where the public cannot be excluded except in extreme circumstances. But they don't get to watch the investigations on C-SPAN.
Instead of going after the betters a secret indictment was passed which was then used to arrest an exec of the company because of course American laws apply to any business done over the internet...
The general view of people in that industry was that it is A-Ok for Americans to gamble, but not ok for them to gamble abroad.
Specifically, the suggestion was made that by several political figures that he shouldn't be charged until after extradition. Since treason charges can carry the death penalty, and would thereby block extradition from no-death-penalty Sweden, it was proposed that he should be extradited to answer a subpoena (no legal issue), and then immediately charged when delivered to the United States.
To my knowledge, this is pretty bizarre. It blatantly circumvents the intent of most extradition agreements, which is to only extradite where the crime and penalty are acceptable in the host company. Not exactly 'secret charges', since it made the news, but at least an open secret where a subpoena would be issued specifically to avoid normal procedures.
(Of course, nothing ever came of it that I saw. I don't mean to claim there are secret charges, only that this idea might be what people meant.)
"Prosecutors may request a secret indictment if they are concerned that someone may flee if he or she becomes aware that trial proceedings are being set in motion. It is also possible to ask for one to protect witnesses and other people involved with the case. "
> before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Comey was asked why the United States had not charged WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange with a crime. Comey said he had to be careful with his answer, because he did not want to confirm whether there were charges pending against Assange, but then responded: “He hasn't been apprehended because he is inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London.”
Comey can't comment on classified or open cases (which Assange would be because, duh, WikiLeaks) just procedural things. Which that was.
It says nothing other than they have an investigation- well we knew that.
To me, the words “he hasn't been apprehended because he is inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London" strongly imply, in context, that the US has an intention to "apprehend" Assange.
The US already wanted to apprehend him while he was walking around London before his Embassy period so it's clearly not a snatch & grab situation.
He's not been officially charged with a crime in the US yet either so extradition isn't an issue.
> > > > The best info we have is from Comey's testimony which says 'maybe' and they want to arrest him
> > > It says nothing other than they have an investigation- well we knew that.
> > and they want to arrest him
> Well yes. We knew that already too.
Anything else that we already know you would like to add?
So you are saying the US has laws which within US jurisdiction says that it's OK to file for extradition of non-US citizens anywhere in the world, if the US doesn't like what they do?
Good for them, I guess, but why should the rest of the world comply?
If we should comply with this for the US, surely we should do so too for Iran, China and Russia, just to mention a few. Is that a direction which anyone have any illusions about ever ending well?
The US certainly has laws which criminalize behavior outside of the US by non-US citizens; and certainly has attempted extradition (and simple forcible seizure, even in the presence of an extradition treaty with the country where the target was located) based on those laws.
> Good for them, I guess, but why should the rest of the world comply?
That depends on the specifics of the particular case.
Fifth Amendment to USA Constitution:
>nor shall any person [...] be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;
Sounds like quite a strong right.
FWIW this contrasts with the pages referring to "the people" which are limited and not universal, "any person" means any person.
More recently, I recall the case of David Hicks, an Australian citizen. He was declared an "enemy combatant", detained without charge and tortured in Guantanamo bay until he signed a confession to a law which did not exist at the time he was detained.
You should read more here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Hicks#Guantanamo_Bay
Regardless of the stupidity and provocativeness of Hicks' actions, he is a citizen of a nation that is supposedly a US ally, and one would think a person under the US constitution, but he received no protection. The US abused him while the AU government did nothing.
The US government ignores it's own constitution whenever it finds it inconvenient, and any objections are arm-waved away as being legal by the findings of a secret court no US citizen is allowed to know the inner workings of.
It doesn't matter what's written on some crusty paper in a museum somewhere if no one actually abides by it. The US constitution is dead, and I would certainly not trust my liberty to the tender mercies of those who have nailed it's corpse to their standard.
Nowhere in the Constitution is there any support for the idea that the Constitution only limits the actions of the US government that happen to be within the US rather than on territory leased from another country and subject to full control by the US government.
an officer can order hundreds of soldiers to charge into certain death without repercussions - as long as the military goal he's trying to achieve is justifiable.
There was never a formal declaration of war on Iraq. Just saying.
No declaration of war was made on Iraq.
Yes, it was; no special language is needed in a declaration of war; the "Authorization for the Use of Military Force" was plainly and unmistakeably a conditional declaration of war, the conditions for which were fulfilled.
The applicability of the Geneva Conventions is affected by the fact of war, but independent of whether there is a declaration. And even if it wasn't, violations of the Conventions would not reach back in time and change whether a declaration had occurred.
I have a feeling that there's enough material to put him on trial in USA and he has gone tit-tat with many three-letter agencies. They have a long memory and don't like challengers. Whether he gets convicted or not that's another thing.
On a related note, for those unaware, the asylum seekers who helped Snowden escape Hong Kong are currently under threat of being sent back to their own countries (which they left for various reasons including violence, torture and rape). Snowden has called for people to help them. 56% of the €100k goal has been raised so far.
I thought this all was pretty obvious :/
I don't know... it doesn't look like fake accusations to me. It was more like things that were there and US used for an entirely political reason, but the claim still seemed legit.
Also, it seems they dropped the charges due to a technicality: "Marianne Ny said his arrest warrant was being revoked as it was impossible to serve him notice of his alleged crimes"
I mean, when you get in so deep, you can't just back off anymore.
Also, the background isn't know.
Those victims could be agents or be threatened by some governments.
That was the best they could come up with in a setup?
Assange's private reactions to the rape allegations seen in the film seemed pretty telling to me. He is clearly made uncomfortable by them, and offers somewhat misogynistic conspiracy theories in his defense. I really got the sense watching it that it was more likely than not he committed some kind of sexual assault. I think even the most dyed-in-the-wool Assange supporter would be left with a lot of uncertainty at least after watching it.
1: Drop the charges.
2: Drop the arrest order but continue the investigation. To do so require a plan which would progress the investigation.
3: Charge Assange with rape, arguing that the evidence collected so far is enough for a case.
And we got the first option, and thus we can conclude that the prosecutor don't have enough evidence to go to court and have no plans on how to further the investigation.
Another perspective on this whole story is that Swedish prosecution did what they are meant to do in such a case. They spent the time they were meant to spend trying to build the preliminary investigation and could not complete it.
So not wanting to give this case special treatment over other cases they chose to end it at this point. I'm sure this case has already received its fair share of special treatment considering the press conference today was held in both Swedish and English.
Fact is that if any other suspect of a sexual crime would flee custody and go into hiding for 5 years they would most likely drop the preliminary investigation.
What was special about Assange was that he was in a known location on foreign soil and in a politically charged situation.
So there is a more pragmatic and less conspiratorial view too but I can't say which is true. All I know is that Assange is a journalist being treated like a terrorist.
You're right. The Swedish prosecutor and police were present but indeed the questions were posed on their behalf.
> On Monday morning, a Swedish deputy chief prosecutor, Ingrid Isgren, and a police inspector, Cecilia Redell, arrived at the Ecuadorean Embassy, in the Knightsbridge section of West London, as journalists gathered outside.
I don't think this means that Sweden didn't get the chance to ask question though - and if there were any they were prevented from asking, I'm sure they would have stated this in the aftermath.
>The questions were prepared by prosecutors in Sweden, where an arrest warrant for Mr. Assange was issued in 2010, but were posed by a prosecutor from Ecuador under an agreement the two countries made in August.
>“For some reason that I am not aware of, I am not on the list of approved persons that Ecuador has established,” Mr. Samuelsson told Radio Sweden.
Assange has already stated that he had sex with both women.
They could just have decided they didn't get good enough questions and kept the case open. They didn't because there isn't a case.
 "He has offered to be questioned inside the embassy but the Swedish prosecutors only recently agreed." http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/08/11/ecuador-to-let-sw...
What do you mean? The Swedish prosecutor has been invited to question Assange for the last 5 years and declined to do so until a few months ago.
2. The swedish courts have found that it was in fact the swedish authorities job.
2. The Swedish court found that it was ok to do so because it was being dragged out, not that that it was their job.
I always wondered why they did not do that.
Trial in absentia is not a universal feature of justice systems. Germany, for example, doesn't have it. Neither has Sweden.
Use google translate: http://lawline.se/answers/8630
 - https://www.loc.gov/law/help/miranda-warning-equivalents-abr...
"“I can conclude, based on the evidence, that probable cause for this crime still exists,” she said on Friday, the deadline for prosecutors to respond to a court-ordered deadline in the case.
But prosecutors felt that they had no choice but to abandon the investigation because they had concluded that Ecuador would not cooperate, and because all other possibilities had been exhausted."
This just doesn't add up.
Assange is a strange case, hes (Wikileaks is) really a journalist, and should be protected by laws and conventions protecting journalists. But he doesn't seem to identify too strongly with the press and presents more like a political dissident.
I used to live in Melbourne (where wikileaks is sort of based). I stopped to sign a petition in his support. The petition mentioned Assange at the top of a long list of dissident left issues: release off-shore asylum seekers, withdraw from afgahnistan, free palestine, jail Blaire & Bush, stop Tasmanian timber harvests, overturn some ruling on Aboriginal land title... They were also inviting people to a dissident-socialist gathering later on that day.
Now, I don't want to misrepresent the situatoin. This wasn't Wikileaks petitioning. It was a local activist group promoting their agendas, headlined by the Assange cause. That said, I do think it's kind of indicative of how present themselves & why the Assange debate is associated with the Manning or Snowden cases. They were US operatives "gone rogue." He wasn't. He was just a journalist receiving and diseminating leaked information.
I in now way suggesting the protections of a free press system are mooted because he doesn't act or present recognizably as a journalist. But I do think that statements like the CIA Director's (Wikileaks is a hostile non-state actor) would be a lot harder to say if he presented as " Senior Editor of The Wikileaks Times."
Journalists need to be protected from persecution for their work as journalism, but they don't get a free license to violate laws in completely unrelated cases. Rape is still rape.
And his recent grandstanding trying to manipulate elections through mostly bluff, is really disgusting. I'm done with him. He doesn't stand for anything I support anymore.
For that reason I support his freedom, even if I don't really care too much about his cause. The free press is important to me.
He (they) were at some point. Ask anyone that once worked with or volunteered for them back around 2010. They have long since become a wing of Russian intelligence and Assange's personal ego play.
I think if he had kept a level head and a more serious approach to these things it would at least be easier to defend him...
Which is pretty undeniable at this point.
It's a shame, because the idea of WikiLeaks is decent... but it requires someone with no agenda to skew it. Assange isn't that guy.
He'd probably be convicted, which carries a maximum sentence of [EDIT] 1 year in prison.
I'm not sure why the parent thinks he would be looking at 10 years?
So, will the police presence now simply disappear?
There are endless reasons against, but just to state an obvious one: prosecution should not depend on the subject's ability to raise the costs for the government–both because it would create an incentive for such shenanigans, as well further tilting the justice system in favour of the rich.
If they'd allow Assange to skip bail without effectively trying to detain him, they would create a precedent for others.
In a system with rule of law, you can't make up different decisions, on the go, for people you happen to like or happen to dislike.
Likely the police presence will not disappear, it might actually be intensified for a moment. He's now not wanted for extradition to Sweden; he's wanted for skipping bail.
No. He is wanted by the UK courts for failing to appear when on bail and so will be arrested if he leaves the embassy.
Here's the NYTimes story: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/19/world/europe/julian-assan...
'Elisabeth Massi Fritz, who represents the woman who accused Mr. Assange of rape, issued a scathing response after the prosecutors abandoned the case.
“A legal examination is very important for someone who has been raped, as is the possibility for redress,” she said. “In this case, there have been many turns and the wait has been very long. My client is shocked and no decision to shut the case down can get her to change her position that Assange raped her.”'
> The plaintiff in the rape case was "shocked" by the decision, her lawyer said, and maintained her accusations against Mr Assange, Agence France-Presse reported.
Question kind of still remains: how "free" is he now?
When was the last time the US kidnapped someone from London's streets?
I'm being literal on purpose.
Look at the other replies to me; everyone talks about the CIA, yourself included, and ignores the fact that Italy was working hand-in-hand with the CIA:
That's very different, and it remains absolutely disgusting nonetheless.
My contention is that the US would not kidnap him from London's streets.
Word choice is important; I'm sick to the back teeth of hyperbole backed up with "wouldn't be the first time."
Surely a precedent means the suggestion is not hyperbolic?
The UK government was roundly condemned and the practice stopped (including refueling US rendition flights from elsewhere).
This will not happen to Assange.
So while we don't know yet about the US, the intention of the UK is clear.
I don't think that they'd need to really. Much easier to have a quiet word with the co-operative British authorities who would assist with the matter and then hand over the individual in question. All soft language and avoidance of publicity, you see. But the same result.
Yet we continue to go after whistle blowers and journalist instead of the ones who committed these crimes against humanity.
But he may have committed other crimes in his attempt to flee the rape charge (not sure if 'failure to appear' is a crime in the UK, that differs by jurisdiction).
None of all that has anything to do with Wikileaks, by the way. A person's good deeds in one domain don't make him immune to criminal charges for unrelated matters. The idea that two average Swedish women are somehow recruited by the CIA to smear him with (rather weak) rape accusations is rather preposterous.