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Sweden tried to drop Assange extradition in 2013 (theguardian.com)
155 points by DyslexicAtheist 6 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 155 comments



The persistence of the British CPS in pursuing Assange shows how tight the militaries are between the US and Commonwealth nations. AFAIK, Britain had no personal stake in Wikileaks / Assange. But because America badly wanted to suppress Wikileaks and its ilk from future revelations, Britain has persisted in its surrogate prosecution of Assange.

I wonder, is there no blowback among Brits for the Crown so baldly adopting the role of America's attack dog? Or is that de rigueur now?


I don't think it is that simple. You thumb your nose at a judge at your own peril, regardless of how much merit there was to the original case and regardless of where your sympathies lie with respect to WL and Assange the fact is that there is absolutely no way the UK govt/judicial branch would let a known fugitive skip like this even after the original case was dropped.

It is bordering on the farcical how much money they have spent on this and just because of that they eventually have to show a result. The only other alternative is that Assange leaves the embassy in a coffin.


There’s the third option of him leaving in a diplomatic bag: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diplomatic_bag


Assange isn't a document or an article.


Diplomatic bags have, in various instances, been used to transport people. The bag can essentially be any sort of container. This was usually against their will, but Assange may find it agreeable.


Please cite a believable example in modern times.

I'm pretty sure that if this was an actual option that the Ecuadorians would have jumped at it.


These are from the Wikipedia article in the comment you replied to:

---

> In 1964, a Moroccan-born Israeli double agent named Mordechai Ben Masoud Louk (also known as Josef Dahan) was drugged, bound, and placed in a diplomatic mailing crate at the Egyptian Embassy in Rome, but was rescued by Italian authorities.[4] The box that he had been sealed into "had almost certainly been used before for human cargo,"[5] including possibly for an Egyptian military official who had defected to Italy several years before but then disappeared without a trace before reappearing under Egyptian custody and facing trial.

> In the 1984 Dikko Affair, a former Nigerian government minister, Umaru Dikko, was kidnapped and placed in a shipping crate in an attempt to transport him from the United Kingdom back to Nigeria for trial.[4] However, it was not marked as a diplomatic bag, which allowed British customs to open it.[4]

---

The Egyptian diplomatic box "almost certainly" worked as intended, and it is quite believable that the Nigerian diplomatic crate would have worked without the obvious omission.


Ok, so, the first example makes it plain that the host country can and will open diplomatic cargo, the second is not really evidence because it did not work for different reasons.

Either way, I strongly suspect the UK government not to be so stupid not to check any container large enough to contain an Assange shaped object that is marked as diplomatic mail from the embassy in London to the home country.

It makes for a nice movie plot but it would be pretty shoddy if they went for it.


This isn't even a UK case. What do they care if Sweden wants to drop it?


Loss of face. They put so much money (10M+!) in they would look like idiots if they eventually decided to drop it and Assange gets to make a victory lap on the way to Paddington Station to catch the Express to Heathrow.


There was a warrant out for the guys arrest as far as I'm aware. IYO should we simply let people with arrest warrants walk free?

The correct place to answer the justice question is in a law court.

Basically you're asking the UK to [publicly and openly] forgo the rule of law.

Yes, it's highly annoying that Assange's actions have led to this cost in seeking to fulfil the warrant to have him answer for this alleged crime. But I can't see how we can maintain rule of law if we let people who have allegations to answer in court simply hunker down for a bit and avoid having to do so.

The British legal system may look like idiots to you, but that's immaterial. What they look like if the let Assange walk free is a system in which the rule of law doesn't apply to people who can muster the right social supporters.


All part of government should operate to maximize their appointed goals within a specified budget.

Should we let all departments operate without budget considerations? For road and rail maintenance, is it acceptable to simply let some problems be left alone if the cost goes beyond budget?

Police do not spend infinitive amount of resources on all crimes. Those 10M+ represent assaults that don't get investigated, ironically also sexual assaults. How many future crimes, murders, rapes, or theft is the UK allowing because funding to stop those criminals are being spent on this single case?

The Assange case is like the government building a hospital in the middle of London, employing thousands of employees and treating exactly 1 patient. Telling them to not do so is not to forgo having health care or telling them to disband government, but rather demanding that government funding is held to some minimal standard.

Can we have a rule of law while accused criminals of crimes that has a maximum of 4 years jail time, who then can run to a embassy, be granted asylum, and 8 years later have the case dropped? Is that such an massive loophole? How many potential criminals should we expect to use such loophole over the next 100 years? My prediction: 1 if we count this case.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-5zEb1oS9A


I'm not asking for anything merely giving a possible explanation of what drives the continued stand-off.

It should be clear to all parties by now that nothing is to be gained from continuing it and yet it is continued.

I totally understand the British governments perspective.


They already look like idiots.


Him skipping bail is a UK crime he has committed and is wanted for.


How many other wanted criminals or bail-runners could the UK police have caught for 10M+£?

The resource-usage is wasteful to the point of irresponsible.


This[0] from 2016 shows 13,500 outstanding cases of those "who skipped court bail while facing charges including murder, child sex offences and rape" in the UK.

It appears that Assange can be tried for "Bail, failure to surrender"[1][2]. (Maximum 3 months sentence unless sent for trial.) I'm not aware that he's be charged with anything else, so, on the face of it, the money could have been more usefully dispersed to protect the public.

[0] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-36024690

[1] https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk/offences/item/bail-fail...

[2] https://www.cps.gov.uk/legal-guidance/bail


> The resource-usage is wasteful to the point of irresponsible.

Agreed, but that's not how the law works. The law should prosecute everybody they have on their lists, regardless of the economics, it should be a matter of principle rather than one of cost-benefit analysis.

Not saying that this isn't how it often turns out to be, but that's how it should be.


I think 'farcical' appeared in the rear-view mirror years ago. The word that springs to my mind more closely resembles 'Dreyfus'.

Another alternative (to a coffin) is the expiration of the statute of limitations on the charges against Assange. Britain may choose to refile/renew them indefinitely, but it now appears that they'll do so alone, without collaboration from Sweden. I think eventually the political odor of this will sufficiently embarrass the Brit electorate and the CPS' charges will finally expire, with more whimper than bang.


Dreyfus was an army officer who was tried and convicted for treason, sentenced to life and sent to Devil's Island to be imprisoned and tortured, for the sole reason that he was a Jew (and a convenient scapegoat for a crime obviously committed by someone else). It was a disgusting display of virulent anti-Semitism that prefigured the Vichy Regime and one of the most shameful events in French history.

Comparing Assange to Dreyfus is obscene.


UK does not generally have a "statute of limitations"; civil litigation and minor offences do, but serious crimes can be prosecuted after any time period.

The longer the investigation into Russian involvement in the US elections goes on the less Assange looks like a brave leaker and more like a (voluntary or otherwise) Russia apologist.


I thought that the statue of limitations requires you to not leave or flee. Since he's in the embassy, isn't he technically on foreign soil?


It's not foreign soil, but it is inviolable.


I'm not familiar with the UK system, but this is certainly not the norm for western legal systems.


There are some caveats, I believe.

Go to an extradition treaty country? Clock keeps running.

Go somewhere that you "can't be reached"? Clock is paused.

Again, similar reasoning. At least in the UK.


"Unlike other European countries, the United Kingdom has no statute of limitations for serious sexual crimes."


Indeed they don't, but Assange isn't being charged wit those in the UK. He's charged - rightfully so - with skipping bail.


That's one way of looking at it. Another: a warrant was issued for his arrest in relation to a crime that was accused. He used a foreign embassy to avoid that arrest. Giving up would not be setting a fantastic precedent for future alleged criminals who do not wish to answer questions.

(EDIT: changed "committed" to "accused" as per discussion below)


Crime? I'm aware only that a charge was made against Assange by an individual for an infraction that had nothing to do with Wikileaks. This is strikingly convenient since it bypasses the introduction of any Wikileak-related evidence in Assange's prosecution, and thus prohibits it.

In light of Assange's political activity, and now the astonishing level of CPS persistence in pursuing him, the Swedish charge against him appears: 1) awfully convenient, 2) increasingly implausible (i.e. politically trumped up), and of course, 3) not a crime until his guilt is proven.


He was charged with rape and molestation. Those are crimes. But if you want to call them "infractions" I suppose that is up to you.

To look at your logic in the reverse direction, you are basically implying that in light of Assange's political activity he cannot be credibly accused of any crime, because it will be a false accusation trumped up by state actors.

That doesn't stand up to any logical scrutiny. Just because it could be the case doesn't mean that it is. It doesn't mean it isn't either, but you can't just assume it is because it is "strikingly convenient".


>He was charged with rape and molestation.

No, he has never been charged, he is wanted for questioning regarding an accusation of rape. Funny is that he was already questioned for that exact accusation BEFORE he left Sweden, then he was told to return for further questioning.

Also the first prosecutor immediately dropped it, then another prosecutor decided to re-open it, which is very unusual.

As for the actual rape accusation: first they had sex, then the woman says she fell asleep and awoke from him entering her, she asked if he was wearing anything (protection) and he said 'only you'. She stated that she was too tired to argue so they had sex.

Next day they joked about him having to pay her student loans should she get pregnant, and naming the kid 'Afghanistan'. He was to go on a meeting in Stockholm so she gave him a ride down to the train station on her bike, and then paid his ticket since he didn't have any swedish currency. Later after talking with friends, she realized that she had been subjected to a crime and went to the police station.

This is the actual rape allegation (in swedish): https://info.publicintelligence.net/AssangeSexAllegations.pd...


Frankly, the fact that the case was a bit vague and woolly and was initially dropped then reopened after an appeal from the accusers' lawyer, at which point Assange avoided charges by moving jurisdictions is a point in favour of the argument that Assange is considerably more likely to be trying to avoid an awkward trial than the victim of some massive government conspiracy against him.


Maybe you're not clear about the actual background. There are no charges against him in Sweden. He was ordered to be questioned related to his vile cheating trick that isn't even recognized as rape outside of Sweden.

I think the guy could be called one of the biggest assholes. But let's not add to be pile of rubbish and defamation that deliberatley has been amassed regarding this case.


> isn't even recognized as rape outside of Sweden.

Having sex with an unconscious person, even someone asleep, is against the law in some jurisdictions. Really depends on how they define consent (in England's case sleep is "black-letter" lack of consent).

Specific to England: https://www.cps.gov.uk/legal-guidance/rape-and-sexual-offenc...


> Having sex with an unconscious person, even someone asleep, is against the law

The allegation is not that he had intercourse with someone unconscious.

The allegation is that he re-initiated sexual relations with a coitus partner who was initially asleep and who then woke up, asked about a condom, then later regretted not stopping because of the lack of a condom.

There is a distinct legal difference between non-consensual intercourse with someone drugged or passed out and engaging in petting of a naked person who did the naked-nasty with you a few hours ago to see if they're keen on round 2...


> who was initially asleep

And that right there makes it non-consensual. The law (in England and other jursidictions) specifically mention asleep (amongst other conditions) that render a person unable to consent to sex.

Once Assange stuck his penis into a sleeping woman's vagina means he's guilty.


> He was ordered to be questioned related to his vile cheating trick that isn't even recognized as rape outside of Sweden.

Um, the Supreme Court's view was that under English law what he was accused of would be rape.


> you are basically implying that in light of Assange's political activity he cannot be credibly accused of any crime

No, I think he was implying that until he's been successfully using the phrase "a crime that was committed" is premature. It is still alleged.

If you want to know who did say "in light of Assange's political activity this crime is likely not credible" well... that would inconveniently be GCHQ:

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2013/may/20/julian-assange...

>That doesn't stand up to any logical scrutiny

Straw men usually don't.


> It is still alleged.

Of course it is, Assange never came in for questioning! That's the reason people are arrested: so that they can be charged. Since he evaded arrest, he hasn't been charged. It's absurdly circular logic to suggest that this implies innocence.


I am not implying here that he is innocent - though I think he probably is. I'm just stating that the crime was and still is alleged. The fact that the Swedish prosecutors never took up his invitation to question him in the embassy doesn't change that.

You did a little more than imply he was guilty. You directly called him guilty when you used the phrase "a crime was committed".

You are now contradicting yourself by agreeing that the crime was alleged.


Good grief, if that was your original point you really could have phrased it better, it wasn't clear at all. That said, mea cupla: you're right that my own phrasing could have been better, I've amended it.

(it certainly wasn't directly calling him guilty in any case - people are arrested "in connection" to crimes all the time without being accused of being the perpetrator of that crime)


>people are arrested "in connection" to crimes all the time

Where the crime is known while the criminal is not this is true.


All warrants for arrest refer to allegations. Is that your whole point. I'm pretty sure we all realise this.


> because it will be a false accusation trumped up by state actors.

Not to mention the other glaring hole in some of this, those that believe it was a plot, a smear.

Really? A state attempts to destroy someone's character and credibility and the best they can manage in their set-up of him is "may have had 'sleepy sex' with someone while lying about a condom"?

Not much of a smear. Politicians are accused of far worse every day in the US and many times it barely affects their career, if at all.

I realize people like to joke that governments/security/intelligence services are "bozos", but I've never had any patience for the "it was all a smear to destroy him".


> Really? A state attempts to destroy someone's character and credibility and the best they can manage in their set-up of him is "may have had 'sleepy sex' with someone while lying about a condom"?

Worked like a charm, didn't it?

I remember it being brought up. People immediately believed it. A more serious accusation (say, a murder) wouldn't be so easy to buy.


The accusations against Assange could very well be a conspiracy involving the US, Sweden and the UK to silence wikileaks because they leaked videos of civilians being killed by American military.

Or it could just be him raping or sexually assaulting two women in Sweden and the police and prosecution wanting to follow their rules and interview him about it.


> it could just be him raping or sexually assaulting two women in Sweden

1) He is not accused of that

2) If we're gonna translate legal charges we should be consistent and honest -- Assange is accused of what the rest of the world calls 'sexual misconduct'

3) This article is showing the intense and continued irregularities in this case that are so large as to be visible from orbit. Even if Assange is guilty as fuck it does not change the verifiable nature of "special" treatment he has received, implying a strong political motive

4) Conspiracy is a collaborative effort to break or subvert the law -- the national governments pissed off at Assange are asserting preferential treatment to support a political end. That's sketchy, and maybe scary, and maybe immoral, but totally legal.

5) US military and top leadership gets egg on face in every paper in the world at the same time, and gets nailed by every diplomat in the world at the same time, and... what? Says 'no biggie' and walks away? ... That is improbable. That would be historically uncharacteristic.


1) He is accused of that. He is still accused of rape its statue of limitations expires 2020, ten years after it was alleged to have happened. Although that investigation has been closed because there is little hope of it going to trial, since he fled the country and is hidden away.

2) Now you're being dishonest with your translation. Julian was accused of "Olaga tvång", "sexuellt ofredande" and "våldtäkt". If you want to translate "sexuellt ofredande" to sexual misconduct I guess that's fine but it seems most news papers translate it to sexual molestation or sexual assault. "Våldtäkt" cannot be translated to anything other than rape.

3-5) This is more conspiracy theories. The only special treatment Assange has gotten is by Ecuador and large part of the internet that claims the US is behind all this.


1) Opining aside, you are agreeing with my point. He is not being charged with molesting/raping two women.

2) I have read the entire allegation and accordant police reports, på svenska, in the allegers own words. Våldtäkt directly and literally translates to rape, yes. Know of any examples where direct and literal translations don't work? ... You have not understood my point and answered another. His alleged behaviour is described as sexual misconduct for english speakers the world over. This point is brought up many times in this thread and whenever the case is discussed, it's equally disingenuous each time its wilfully conflated.

3-5) I have directly addressed the fallacious use of the word "conspiracy" in this context. I have shown explicit objective facts, including those detailed in this threads article, to articulated a highly unspeculative pattern of behaviour with deep historical precedent and blatant irregularities. You have dismissed that without addressing any of the content or fact and proffered a verifiably untrue assertion in return.

---

You have not read what you have responded to, or not taken the time to think it through.

Seek first to understand, then to shitpost ;)


>In light of Assange's political activity, and now the astonishing level of CPS persistence in pursuing him, the Swedish charge against him appears: 1) awfully convenient, 2) increasingly implausible (i.e. politically trumped up), and of course, 3) not a crime until his guilt is proven.

It was not "trumped up". It was followed up on disproportionately, but let's not pretend there's no substance there.

And it's hard to hold a trial to prove his guilt when he's hiding in an embassy closet.


Foreign embassies generally don't permit random alleged criminals to claim sanctuary.


Unless it happens to suit whatever goal the host state wants to pursue.


Isn't it right of any government to grant sanctuary, though?


It's the right of any government not to have police enter their embassy without permission, but not their right to retrospectively grant immunity from prosecution under UK or European law to anyone they choose to.

Not setting that precedent is likely one of the main reasons the UK wasted so much money on policing.


s/accused|committed/alleged/g


>The persistence of the British CPS in pursuing Assange shows how tight the militaries are between the US and Commonwealth nations. AFAIK, Britain had no personal stake in Wikileaks

They're members of Five Eyes and NATO. So yes, they do have a "personal stake".


I think you need to take a closer look at the Coalition - Five Eyes nations, plus a few lap dogs - and see just how nefarious the relationship has become.

Australian Defence Force troops, for example, are a puppet military force deployed in places where it would be illegal to have American troops. ADF can get away with doing a lot of things the Americans cannot - just like their counterparts in the Israeli Defence Forces.

The truth of the matter is, there really is an inner state within our states, consisting of the coalition of military entities, and yes: they do rely on each other to do each others' dirty work. This should come as no surprise to any citizen of a Five-Eyes state; the new world order is well and truly upon us.


The Lauri Love case proves there’s zero probability of Assange being extradited to the US. He’s wanted here for skipping bail. The government can’t let the precedent be set that you can get away with it, or everyone would do it.


I don't think it proves that. I think that the US would like to get their hands on JA a lot more than they ever wanted to get their hands on Lauri Love.


What would the US do with Assange? He hasn't been indicted. It's not obvious what crime he'd be charged with and how a case against him could proceed let alone produce a conviction.


It was leaked in the Stratfor emails that they have a secret indictment against Assange.

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/wikileaks-stratfo...


That's a very biased interpretation of the very article you quote.

Stratfor, a _private company_, with no connections to the DOJ, had one of its employees say in an internal email seven years ago that they had an indictment.

Based on "conversations" with "people".

In among literally thousands of emails doing little more than smearing Assange and Martin.

And this was in context to Bradley Manning, though no confirmation of the indictment was mentioned in the grand jury.

I have zero love for Assange. Quite a bit of contempt, actually. But it's not particularly verifiable to note that "they" have a "secret" indictment that hasn't been heard of much since a private security firm rumored it seven years ago.


It is sort of the problem with secret indictments though, they are secret. So absence of proof is not the same as proof of absence.


In 2013 (i.e. after these emails came out), US officials denied there was a sealed indictment against him. Lots has happened since but this talk of indictment has been going on for 8 years and nothing has happened. And again, the actual question is 'what would they charge him with and what could you prove against him in court?'. The notion that the US just can't wait to get their hands on Assange seems to come mostly from Assange.


I'd say the time when we will know for sure is when Assange visits Disneyland, Florida and nothing happens. And if I were him - just being prudent - on the off chance that the US government is only about 1% as vindictive as various statements by various officials have suggested I'd visit Paris instead.


There's no Disneyland in Florida so we'll never know that one for sure.

More seriously, you're moving the goalposts. There are lots of people who are better off sticking to Disneyland, Paris rather than Disneyland, Anaheim. That doesn't mean the US government is actively trying to get a hold of them or considers their apprehension and prosecution in US courts important or even feasible.

The idea that the USG is actively hunting Assange is his main excuse for hiding out in the Ecuadorian embassy. The main source of that idea, as far as I can tell, is Assange and the evidence for it is very thin indeed.


> There's no Disneyland in Florida so we'll never know that one for sure.

Excuse me, Disneyworld. I'm not exactly their target demographic.

> The idea that the USG is actively hunting Assange is his main excuse for hiding out in the Ecuadorian embassy. The main source of that idea, as far as I can tell, is Assange and the evidence for it is very thin indeed.

Well, yes. But given some of the statements of US officials and the way people on the US govt's shitlist (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Carruthers for instance) have been dealt with in the past lends some credence to this claims.

If any foreigners made it to the doubtful status of being on a list of secret indictments I would very much expect Assange to be one of them.

The fact that there is no proof is the expected status, it does not in any way reduce the likelihood of this being the case.

> The idea that the USG is actively hunting Assange is his main excuse for hiding out in the Ecuadorian embassy.

No, he most likely really believes this. Whether or not it is true is another matter but since the US government has never stated the opposite without qualification it will have to remain in limbo.


Disney World. It's two words.


No, but there's a spectrum between "oh, this is leaked truth", and "even in the leak, there's just one person with no connection to the DOJ saying 'shh, we have a secret indictment against him!'."


I'm assuming Stratfor doesn't just make stuff up, their connection to the US government is far too sensitive for that. It's not just some random conspiracy group or tinfoil hatter saying that, it's Stratfor. You know, this one:

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


That's interesting, because everyone I talk to, including to a one everyone I talk to with any experience in the IC, does assume that Stratfor just made shit up all the time.

Are you sure you know what you're talking about here?


Stratfor isn't some random company. We know from the leaks that they were the private cybersecurity firm taking point on Wikileaks.


What else could it mean?


That it was a rumor. The parent to my post painted it a verifiable fact. "There is a secret indictment against him. See this leak.", when in fact said leak verifies nothing of the sort.


Also, Gary McKinnon in 2012.


Both are UK citizens, Assange definitely is not, besides that he was never - as far as we know - on a wanted list of people wanted specifically for any computer related crimes but for an arguably much more serious offense.

Also: Assange's fear was not to be extradited from the UK to the USA but from Sweden. Whether that is realistic or not is another matter entirely but there is some precedent.


How afraid is he though? Not afraid enough to tweet an offer to "agree to US extradition" if Obama showed clemency to Manning.


Obama did, and Assange reneged.


I don't understand why this comment is getting down voted? Obama granted clemency over a year ago, and Assange is still in the embassy...


> Also: Assange's fear was not to be extradited from the UK to the USA but from Sweden. Whether that is realistic or not is another matter entirely but there is some precedent.

If he's extradited from the UK to Sweden, they then they UK consent to a further extradition from Sweden, and he can fight extradition in both the UK and Sweden. (Unless, of course, they go for an "extraordinary" extradition, which seems unlikely in such a high-profile case.)


“Everyone” is not going to have an embassy aiding and abetting you; and any diplomat or spy worth his/her salt already has procedures to skip the country.

The principle is a fig leaf on top of a political issue. This situation will not change until a different party gets in power, carrying a different view of the UK’s relationship with their traditional military allies.


This situation will not change until a different party gets in power, carrying a different view of the UK’s relationship with their traditional military allies.

I’m not sure the PM actually has the power to do that. Assange is wanted right now for skipping bail. No government is going to pass an Act declaring that not-a-crime.


What's the penalty for that crime? If extradition to the US was absolutely impossible, Assange might be willing to turn himself in and suffer the penalty in order to regain his freedom.


What's the penalty for that crime

Max 12 months in prison.

The ONLY way Assange’s actions make sense is if he expects to be found guilty in Sweden.


Given the eagerness of the CPS to prosecute, seems like paranoia was a good strategy, no? There's some hidden agenda here, and it's hard to believe it's something as mundane as CPS bloke doesn't want a new case before he retires when emails conveniently get "deleted". I think you can expect better from lawyers. But it's especially galling for a lawyer who works for the government, they should have procedures to retain this information.

The only thing that doesn't make sense to me is fleeing to the UK, who's government isn't known for it's integrity.


I don't think he was "fleeing". When he left Sweden, the issue seemed closed, and he was just going on about his life - had tons of contacts in the UK so he went there to continue his work. He was constantly jumping from country to country before this; it just happened that he was in the UK when Ms. Ny escalated proceedings.

But yeah, we've seen over and over in the last decade that the UK is one of the last countries you want to be in, if you have anything to do with cybersecurity and digital rights. Assange, the Guardian computers after Snowden, the Snoopers' Charter, DNS censorship...


How did he feel the issue had been closed? He'd not even been interviewed in any way, shape or form. Someone makes an accusation against him, they don't interview him, and just close the issue and he wanders on his life, and only then do they trick him into having to seek refuge?

That's more than a little whitewashed, to me.


> He'd not even been interviewed in any way, shape or form.

He had been contacted already, as part of the process under which charges were initially dropped. The case was subsequently resurrected by Ms. Ny, and it's the interview under this second process that was outstanding when he made arrangements to move on. The warrant was issued two months later.


> was a good strategy, no?

Yes. Assange is most assuredly to be applauded for his wise strategizing in running from accusations.


> The ONLY way Assange’s actions make sense is if he expects to be found guilty in Sweden.

Or in the US, where there was (still is?) an active criminal investigation of Wikileaks for publishing government secrets.


There is no need for an Act. The Police answers to the Crown, i.e. the Government, not to the Courts. Should the government accept his diplomatic status, they could tell the Police to step aside.


No. The purpose of the Crown in the reporting line is so that when the PM says “do this illegal/extrajudicial thing” everyone replies “I don’t work for you, I work for Her Maj”.


The PM could absolutely decide to recognize the diplomatic immunity Ecuador wants to grant him:

https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2018/01/11/uk-rejects-ecu...


>any diplomat or spy worth his/her salt already has procedures to skip the country.

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


> and any diplomat ... worth his/her salt already has procedures to skip the country.

It’s called diplomatic immunity. Diplomats don’t have secret plans for bailing out of countries because they don’t need them.

Diplomats don’t hide in embassies. They walk onto airplanes and fly home.


> They walk onto airplanes and fly home.

Unless they have been declared persona non grata by the receiving nation ( Article 9 ).

Usually the individual is given 72 hours to get out but that is not codified.


That’s exactly when they get on a plane and fly home. Declaring a diplomat persona non grata means they need to leave. It doesn’t mean they are suddenly subject to prosecution. If it did, then diplomatic immunity would be meaningless.


Tell that to the US Embassy workers fleeing Hanoi? Or those killed by insurgents elsewhere? Of course they have many pre-determined safety procedures including rapid retreat.


There's a difference between an established functional government and a revolutionary government.


That’s not “skipping the country”. That’s fleeing a failed state, where diplomatic immunity generally no longer applies but neither do whatever other “skip the country” plans one might have had since infrastructure is likely disrupted as well.


I completely agree. It would set a terrible example. Thing I find annoying the most, is that as there is no US extradition warrant placed, if he did come out he'd probably do 18 months for missing bail and be released. If the US wanted him, really wanted him then they would have a warrant out now for him.

EDIT : Down voters - why are you down voting? Are you down voting because I've made an error or breached the posting guidelines or just because you don't agree with me?


How do you know there aren't any secret warrants (like the ones issued by the FISA court, but international/between UK and US)?

In other words, the "rule of law" has become a farce recently - the powerful (= government, RIAA, etc) get whatever they want, one way or another.


Why would they need a secret warrant? In this case, it would have no advantage at all. Also, the US have said on record I believe that they have not placed any extradition warrants on him. I see it more that they can't actually arrest him for anything, as he hasn't broken any laws _in_ the USA. He has done things the don't like for sure, but as a non US citizen how can he be bound to these laws? If this were the case, Russia could extradite Gay rights activists all across the globe for breaking hideous Russian obscenity laws.



Interesting. I note it's from 2012 but guess could still be current. Thank you for supplying the link.

Again though, seems odd they would need to keep it sealed. I wonder what Assange would actually want to do regards to what would happen after he leaves the embassy (legal issues aside). I can't think there are many countries that would allow him entry, bar Ecuador and possibly Russia. Most likely Russia I'd assume as he seems on good terms with Russian media (thinking of his RT show)


> Again though, seems odd they would need to keep it sealed.

Why would they unseal it?


Given all the allegations that have been made, there will be intense media attention on any extradition case. I would have thought having clear intentions from the outset would be in their favour, considering the scrutiny they will be under.

I by no means want to see him extradited to the US, nor anyone come to think about it. I genuinely don't believe their judicial process to be fair. Maybe cultural bias, and I'm not suggesting my country is much better.


The US passed a law saying "WikiLeaks and the senior leadership of WikiLeaks resemble a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors and should be treated as such a service by the United States." No one is really sure how that means they should be treated, but makes it clear the US wants him.


The President of the United States also asked the same organisation to hack an opponent. So I take most of what they say, especially these days with a pinch of salt.


Dunno what organization you're talking about, but this passed both houses of Congress and was signed into law by the president.


> The CPS lawyer also told Ny that year: “It is simply amazing how much work this case is generating. It sometimes seems like an industry. Please do not think this case is being dealt with as just another extradition.”

Pure government corruption and waste. If those lawyers was speaking of an official policy decision of the CPS, how many laws would they be breaking?


I don't like when things that are clearly not nation state issues is written about as if it was nation state issues.


Who would you put the blame on?


Judicial systems consist of individual people attempting to interpret sets of rules, sometimes with conflicting opinions over interpretations and priorities that change over time.

It's reasonably evident even from the limited number of emails quoted that this was not "Sweden wanting to do X, but the UK prevented them because $politicalagendaofUK" but prosecutor Marianne Ny notifying her UK counterpart that Swedish procedure may require her to drop the case and the counterpart expressing exasperation given the amount of resources the UK had dedicated to fulfilling their own obligations to honour European Arrest Warrants...


I'd like the press to shine a light on the lawyer who was so keen to get Sweden to pursue the case. I'm sure he prefers being nameless.


Or the CPS' policy of email "retention". In this day and age, something like that cannot be allowed to happen by accident. There should be backups, and there's no reason not to keep emails he wrote in his professional capacity as a part of the judiciary.

By the way, the lawyer's name is Paul Close [0], and it's shockingly difficult to find anything about him on on search engines, but more so on Google than others IMO. (Although given his age, this isn't too surprising in context to personal artefacts, but journalistically speaking it's interesting why he's mentioned so little.)

[0] https://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/oct/19/julian-assange...


It wasn't a lawyer, it was the Swedish prosecutor that did this, and it wasn't a 'he' but a 'she' (Marianne Ny).

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


That's not who the parent is talking about - who was on the UK side, the person who retired and caused their email archives to get deleted.


Right, my bad. Weirdest thing though, you'd think that they would at least preserve any and all emails related to a case that is so strongly in the public eye.

And for the longest time the UK was if not outright promoting the idea that the Swedes wanted the case to be continued definitely not denying that and claiming that instead the UK was pushing things forward.


I am just sad for all the victims of rape in the UK that haven't probably seen, even remotely, the same police efforts made for this accusation. It happened in a different country, and parts of the accusation wouldn't even be a crime in the UK, and obviously there are political goals behind, given the strange sequence of police work.

I'm thinking about what would happen if instead of Assange we were dealing with a person from a country where religion and government are intertwined, and that person was asking for asylum to the UK for accusations that are not crimes in the UK.


My prediction is the same that it has been for the last years: At some point, Assange will leave the embassy, possibly for medical reasons, be arrested and extradited to Sweden

In Sweden he will be interrogated and set free without any conditions. Not "illegally rendered" to America, but "you're free, go wherever you want".

At that point Assange will be able to ponder his need for drama and attention on the one hand. And all those lost years on the other hand. But hey, he got Pamela Anderson!

I would find that ending almost poetic.


The article says (paragraph 4) that Sweden dropped the arrest warrant last year. So I'm afraid that your preferred ending of the story is unlikely.


Separately, Pompeo described WikiLeaks as a “non-state hostile intelligence service”. ... as opposed to a certain state-hostile intelligence service


This is much more complex than a lone hacker being persecuted by an oppressive US government. There is suspicion that Wikileaks is one arm of Russian propaganda, and while I do not know if this is true or not, it does turn the entire Assange story into an intricate mess of international politics and power plays.


While circumstantial, the timeline of WL threatening to release leaked Putin documents (~2010, IIRC), never releasing those docs, then getting spots on RT is fairly damning, as well as the Russian bot amplification of WL document drops, especially during the 2016 election.


counterpoint: putin is willing to befriend enemies for pragmatic reasons, as is WL.

i believe that this is actually the case rather than longstanding collaboration based on WL originating as a russian intelligence program. anything is possible, of course.


This one arm of Russian propaganda is US propaganda. Just another current "enemy" that the US is trying to link with Wikileaks because it's convenient.

Watch this shift to China or NK when Russia is no longer a "current enemy".


> There is suspicion that Wikileaks is one arm of Russian propaganda

You can sufficiently explain all WL actions by simply assuming that they will do whatever it takes to hurt US interests.


As a US Veteran and a US Citizen... if exposing truth hurts US interests - maybe US interests deserve to be hurt?

All politics aside (as if that's possible), we should always strive to learn and expose truth...


> All politics aside (as if that's possible), we should always strive to learn and expose truth...

Agreed, but selectively exposing the truth requires that if the net effect is a positive one that enough parties are exposing truths to ensure some kind of balance. If not then it becomes a political force in its own right rather than there is an overall gain in transparency.

I'm pretty conflicted about this, on the one hand I applaud WL for the degree to which they have exposed various wrongs, on the other I am disappointed in how they decided to become a political player rather than to just be a conduit.


selectively should be stated as, protecting your own ass. Releasing negative information about the US is far less likely for you to end up dead that releasing about countries who have little interest in human rights other than lip service.

not saying the information should not be out there, just saying that there are far too many nations who would as soon kill the messenger


No, 'selectively' can just be to help one side rather than to expose all you have on a country.

So it is about selective releasing information about parties in the US rather than about differences in approach from one country to another.


You're implying that Wikileaks did not release everything they have. Is this an assumption or is there evidence of this?


https://www.wired.com/2016/07/wikileaks-officially-lost-mora...

Stating that Assange hoped that the leaks of the DNC emails would hurt the Clinton campaign clearly shifts WL from being 'just a conduit' for leaked material to being a political operator in its own right.

An organization devoted to transparency should not have an agenda of its own, this in contrast to Assange's previous claims that he did not have a favorite side.


The Wired article makes Wikileaks look bad in other regards but does not contain evidence that material was not published. You implied that Wikileaks has a selective publication policy. I still don't see any evidence of that.

Of course it's hard to prove existence of what they didn't publish. And it is plausible their personal opinions would influence their publication decisions. But that's simply an allegation, not evidence of it happening.


Short of leak from within Wikileaks (or what's left of it) that will be a hard (or even impossible) one to prove. In the meantime, Assange taking sides in an election battle does not help to promote the independence of WL. There is other evidence of WL heavily editing their output so witholding stuff that does not suit their agenda would seem to be a reasonable assumption, absent hard proof to the contrary (which they could easily provide!).


You're saying it is easy for Wikileaks to provide hard proof they're not withholding stuff not suiting their agenda. How could they do it?


3rd party audit of materials received and materials leaked to the public. Not that they'll ever agree to that, but if they really valued transparency they could do that. Choosing the auditor would be an interesting exercise. Glenn Greenwald would be an interesting choice, Edward Snowden another.


What you suggest is actually a way.

How would the auditor verify having received the complete dump though? It's not like there is a verifiable index of the material available to Wikileaks. Also I think it would be hard to satisfy the critics; next to the impossibility of securing funding for such an undertaking. On top of everything else Wikileaks would risk exposing their sources.

So please don't say it's easy for Wikileaks to get an audit.

Looking at it from another angle: If leakers are unhappy how Wikileaks is publishing, they may well decide to leak somewhere else too. That happening would actually lend credence to the claim that Wikileaks is redacting for political reasons.


I do tech DD for a living and from my own experience it is very hard to fudge the record for someone who deals with this kind of thing regularly.

I thought I had covered any fears about source exposure and being believable with my two suggestions for who could do this.

> That happening would actually lend credence to the claim that Wikileaks is redacting for political reasons.

Openleaks and the Intercept come to mind.


> I do tech DD for a living and from my own experience it is very hard to fudge the record for someone who deals with this kind of thing regularly.

I assume it would be hard to pre-redact documents to hide your omissions. Outright omission of documents from a dump would be harder to detect in my view. But I must admit I'm ignorant of the techniques available.

> I though I had covered any fears about source exposure and being believable with my two suggestions for who could do this.

Partly. In my view it's up to the sources to decide who gets to see the original dump. They chose Wikileaks. Maybe they did so for reasons we'd judge nefarious but we are not free to assume they'd agree with sharing the originals more widely.

> Openleaks and the Intercept come to mind.

Did they get dumps Wikileaks had published before? Where the version published by Wikileaks turned out to have been selectively redacted for political reasons?


Wouldn't you be a little salty if the runner up for President of the United States once asked if she could order your extrajudicial killing because she didn't like what you were saying about her?


This is much older though, started (as in WikiLeaks become a sort of household name) with the release of US military fuckup videos in Iraq, and the US handling it like dumbasses, then the diplomatic cables.

Though they also published climate scientists' emails, which was not a sign of great rationality on behalf of Assagne.


>There is suspicion that Wikileaks is one arm of Russian propaganda

They also said Snowden and MLK were working for the Russians/Soviets


This whole situation is a laugh at the "democratic freedom" situation that we live today. At least in some countries ruled by a dictatorship there is no such hypocrisy.


Oh yeah, dictatorships are famously irony-free.

cough Democratic People’s Republic of Korea cough


"Every faction in Africa calls themselves by these noble names - Liberation this, Patriotic that, Democratic Republic of something-or-other... I guess they can't own up to what they usually are: the Federation of Worse Oppressors Than the Last Bunch of Oppressors. Often, the most barbaric atrocities occur when both combatants proclaim themselves Freedom Fighters."

-- Lord of War


I'm not in favour of a dictatorship, but I neither think that our democracy is so much better in the current state, with border patrol with almost unlimited power for ex.


Everyone is owed due process to some extent. But in this case, are we really bothered about a guy who isn't in the UK, has broken UK bail conditions, and is quite likely to have actively participated in attacks against some of the UK's closest allies.

I think he should go round to his local lawyer and ask about taking the UK police to court. He deserves to see stand in that court room and hear them answer for why this happened.

He doesn't seem to want to though... He just seems to want to moan on twitter without leaving his home...


Stop spreading FUD. Wikileaks has not actively participated in any attacks.

Wikileaks has exposed some of the most horrific crimes committed by the Unites States and others yet we are still trying to kill the messenger.


Serious question, what crimes has Wikileaks exposed? I'm sure there are some, but off the top of my head the most serious crimes the US has committed in recent history have been exposed by Snowden or Congressional investigations.


They leaked the Baghdad airstrike video that got people mad for a few days before not doing anything about it.

They also released tons of military files relating to the Iraq / Afghan war and Gitmo that confirmed a lot of popular theory about the goings on over there - torture, Geneva violations, etc.


Sure, but torture in Guantanamo Bay was also the subject of a lot of coverage, including the results of an extremely detailed and exhaustingly documented Congressional inquiry, that I found to be of much greater value. I consider that inquiry to be much more valuable because, not only did it go into great detail when and why torture took place, but also demonstrated that torture resulted in no useful intelligence data.


Which publication do you consider an attack?


As an activist the goal is often to create noise rather than to avoid prison. People don't want to portray him in that light as it elevates his position and might not be accurate.




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