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Assange's Lawyers: Follow Swedish Law, Interrogate Him In the UK

samzenpus posted about 7 months ago | from the testimony-in-the-UK dept.

Crime 377

concertina226 writes "Lawyers representing Julian Assange have demanded that he be questioned in London over rape and sexual molestation allegations. 'Prosecutor Marianne Ny must ... start treating him as everybody else who is under suspicion. Assuming that the prosecutor does not have a prejudiced opinion regarding the question of guilt, and is prepared to treat the different versions objectively, it is obvious that an interrogation with Julian Assange would benefit everybody, including the injured parties,' the lawyers wrote."

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or stop hiding... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46236531)

or, how about stop hiding like a baby and face the accusation in Sweden?

Re:or stop hiding... (0, Flamebait)

Goaway (82658) | about 7 months ago | (#46236543)

Like, you know, "everybody else" would have to do?

Re:or stop hiding... (2, Insightful)

jez9999 (618189) | about 7 months ago | (#46236685)

Most "everybody else" is not being hunted by the United States. Frankly, if they want to call this an exception to the rule then yes, make an exception for Julain Assange and get of your ass and question him in the UK. This is indeed a special case.

Re:or stop hiding... (5, Insightful)

Goaway (82658) | about 7 months ago | (#46236777)

So you're saying his request to be treated like everybody else is actually a request to be treated different from everybody else?

Re:or stop hiding... (4, Insightful)

jez9999 (618189) | about 7 months ago | (#46236859)

Well he's not requesting to be treated like everybody else; he's requesting to be interrogated on Ecuadorian soil, which seems reasonable in this case. Why would a Swedish justice system prioritize a technicality over actually trying to move a rape case forward if they really gave a damn about the supposed rape victims?

Re:or stop hiding... (1)

Goaway (82658) | about 7 months ago | (#46236881)

Prosecutor Marianne Ny must ... start treating him as everybody else who is under suspicion.

It's in the summary, you know.

Re: or stop hiding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46236905)

Do you honestly think the US wouldn't plan with the Swedish government to extrdiate him? This is just a means to an end. The Ecuadorian government can see through this, why can't you?

Re: or stop hiding... (1)

Goaway (82658) | about 7 months ago | (#46236913)

Perhaps you could try responding to things I actually said, if you're going to the effort to click "Reply" on my post.

And perhaps you could explain why the Swedish government would while the British wouldn't, since he was quite happy to stay with them for a long time.

Re: or stop hiding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46236985)

Explain why they wouldn't.

He's protected while in the embassy.
Do you honestly believe he wouldn't end up in the US one way or another if he stepped outside? At this point it doesn't really matter which country hands him over.

Re: or stop hiding... (1)

Goaway (82658) | about 7 months ago | (#46237017)

You seem to have conveniently forgetting him happily saying in the UK for quite some time before running to the embassy, without apparently a single fear he would be extradited anywhere.

Or, of course, that he went to Sweden of his own free will in the first place. No fear he'd be extradited then.

Re: or stop hiding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46237067)

That was before his appeal against extradition was denied, or do you have selective amnesia?

You completely skipped my question though, do you honestly believe that if he left the embassy today he wouldn't end up in US custody?

There's a reason the term is Kangaroo Court and not Kangaroo Sentencing. While the outcome is predetermined, you still need to put on the theatrics for the sake of the small folk.

Re:or stop hiding... (5, Insightful)

cycler (31440) | about 7 months ago | (#46236813)

No

It isn't.

And why should Sweden be more likely to hand his as over to the US when the UK has much tighter bonds across the pond??

I call bullshit. /C

Re:or stop hiding... (1)

kbg (241421) | about 7 months ago | (#46236927)

Because the Pirate Bay trial showed that the Swedish courts are easily controlled by the US entertainment industry, so just imagine how much more the US justice system can control the Swedish courts.

Re:or stop hiding... (0)

pantaril (1624521) | about 7 months ago | (#46236931)

This is indeed a special case.

No

It isn't.

Yes, it is. Or do you know about any other case where interpol issued international 'red notice' over such trivial/weak accusations?

Re:or stop hiding... (5, Insightful)

flagboy (670403) | about 7 months ago | (#46236815)

It would be easier for the US to get him extradited from the UK than from Sweden. Our extradition treaty with the US has far fewer safeguards than does Sweden's. And Sweden wouldn't be able extradite him to the US anyway without him going back to the UK first. I don't see why he can't go to Sweden to face questioning. He seems to have a case to answer, as well he would if the allegations against him were made in the UK (not that this matters legally for a European Arrest Warrant to be valid, but it makes a difference morally).

Re:or stop hiding... (1)

kbg (241421) | about 7 months ago | (#46236949)

Really? You don't think that the US can make up some espionage or terrorist charges so that Assange can be extradited to the US from Sweden? Don't be so gullible man.

Re:or stop hiding... (1)

Goaway (82658) | about 7 months ago | (#46237027)

Why do you think they can do that for Sweden, but couldn't do it for the UK during the long time he was staying there?

Re:or stop hiding... (2)

Raul654 (453029) | about 7 months ago | (#46237137)

"It would be easier for the US to get him extradited from the UK than from Sweden." -- except he isn't in the UK. He's in Ecuador. And when Whitehall floated the idea that they could violate the integrity of the Ecuadorian embassy to arrested him, it blew up in their faces. Doing so would effectively open up their embassies to similar retaliation by every other country in the world.

It isn't an exception (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46236835)

It isn't an exception to question him in the UK.

The exceptions are

a) refusing to do so
b) issuing an EAW for someone not actually wanted to face charges
c) issuing an EAW for someone who was allowed to leave by the issuing government
d) issuing an EAW from the PROSECUTING LAWYER *NOT* the judge

(eliding all the errors in procedure that have killed any possible case in the actual docket)

Re:or stop hiding... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46236561)

And win a free plane ride to Gitmo! Fuck yes!

Re:or stop hiding... (2)

Another, completely (812244) | about 7 months ago | (#46236579)

That's something I still don't understand. Why does he claim the Americans could arrange an extradition from Sweden more readily than from the UK?

Re:or stop hiding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46236591)

Isn't he on Ecuadorian soil, that happens to be located in the UK?

Re:or stop hiding... (5, Insightful)

DeathToBill (601486) | about 7 months ago | (#46236605)

Yes, but the reason he's there is that the UK seemed to be about to extradite him to Sweden. He was quite happy living in the UK so long as it didn't mean going to Sweden.

It's the fatal flaw in dear old Julian's argument: He's worried about the Americans getting hold of him, so he'd rather stay in the UK where extradition to the US is easy, rather than go to Sweden where extradition to the US is much harder. Or maybe there's another reason....

What that other reason is is hard to tell, exactly. It might be that he is genuinely guilty-as-not-yet-charged in Sweden. Or it could just as easily be that he has an enormous ego, a superiority complex and a highly-developed paranoia that makes him see persecution in everything, whether it looks plausible to a sane person or not.

Re:or stop hiding... (-1, Flamebait)

Opportunist (166417) | about 7 months ago | (#46236625)

According to Swedish law, you're guilty of rape the moment you had sex with a woman and she changes her mind afterwards.

I don't know if I'd want to be subjected to this kind of idiocy.

Re:or stop hiding... (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 7 months ago | (#46236669)

What utter bullshit, and the usual pro-Assange smears when this shit comes up.

Re:or stop hiding... (0)

pla (258480) | about 7 months ago | (#46236801)

What utter bullshit, and the usual pro-Assange smears when this shit comes up.

You can make a (weak) case for him actually having "raped" Sofia Wilen as a technicality. The whole Arden situation, however, only makes this into a disturbingly laughable illustration of the reactionary misandry coded into Swedish law, with even Arden herself not accusing him of anything more than being a manipulative asshole - Yet prosecutors took the whole ball of wax and ran with it. If you don't to hear people complaining about "rape after the fact", Ny should limit her inquiry to just the one "real" charge.

But wait, this situation has no charges yet! We've had this whole circus going on just because Ny won't even talk to Assange remotely. At this point, the "threat" of him fleeing seems like a moot point; she needs to do her damned job, and either move the case forward or drop it.

Regardless of the facts of the situation, however, you can't seriously believe for even half a second that Assange has any chance whatsoever of getting a fair trial in Sweden.


As for whether or not Assange believes himself when he claims he fears extradition to the US - He only faced two years in a cushy Swedish prison. He has now lived trapped in the Ecuadorian embassy for four.

Re:or stop hiding... (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 7 months ago | (#46236847)

If you think Ny has any control over the situation you are very naive.
I think Assange's tactic is to outwait the current US administration and hope the next one doesn't give a shit about leaks that embarrassed Hillary (eg. the "get something on the diplomats so we can blackmail them" cable).

Re:or stop hiding... (1)

Raenex (947668) | about 7 months ago | (#46237047)

I think Assange's tactic is to outwait the current US administration and hope the next one doesn't give a shit about leaks that embarrassed Hillary (eg. the "get something on the diplomats so we can blackmail them" cable).

If you think the US government only cares about this because of Hillary and the current administration, you are very naive. It doesn't matter who the next administration is, they don't want people leaking state secrets.

Re:or stop hiding... (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 7 months ago | (#46237089)

I used the word "hope" and was writing about someone else's hope so your lack of reading comprehension skills has somewhat derailed your "clever" comeback of trying to shoot the messenger.

Re:or stop hiding... (1)

Raenex (947668) | about 7 months ago | (#46237135)

So you're trying to impose a naive view of "hope" onto Assange? No, that sounds stupid. If you accuse somebody else of being naive, don't get upset when it gets thrown back in your face when you act naive. It's nothing about "shooting the messenger".

Re:or stop hiding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46237145)

"State" of course being the 'Royal We' of modern english criminals.

Re:or stop hiding... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46236705)

Funny stuff there... just a couple of weeks ago a guy was found not guilty of rape in sweden even though the woman protested and tried to get away and kept saying no, screaming and crying the whole time. These facts wasn't even disputed by the guy but he claimed that he thought she was into rough sex and got away with it. He also beat, choked and sodomised her. If anything sweden needs tougher laws against rapists.

Besides, since Assange says that he won't go to sweden for a trial if that would be the outcome of the hearing it's kind of a moot point.

Re:or stop hiding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46236795)

What you are describing fits with S&M as well as rape. I have no problem understanding that the guy could be innocent.

Re: or stop hiding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46236825)

No really, it doesn't. You don't do that kind of stuff without pre negotiation. Rape is rape, and most BDSM practitioners are acutely aware of that.

Re: or stop hiding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46236907)

and the guy most have had water proof evidence that rough sex was negotiated and agreed to, you don't beat a rape charge by saying "I thought she liked it rough"

Re:or stop hiding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46236797)

Interesting thing about the law. I have yet to hear about a nation where it is applied equally in all cases.
Changing the rape laws should be the second thing done.
The first thing to do would be to apply the laws that are in place in the way they are written. First then it will become apparent what the problem with the current laws is.

Re:or stop hiding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46236811)

There is obviously more to the story, you don't get acquitted of rape by saying graded "I thought she liked it rough"

if Sweden had tougher laws against rape, all sex would graded from soft rape to hard rape and considered illegal

Re:or stop hiding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46236843)

The situation you described is outrageous. However, adding a new law or modifying a old law every time a crime happens is not the solution. This is how we get clusterfuck set of ever changing laws that no one understand, not even the lawyers. What's needed is proper enforcement of the existing laws.

Re:or stop hiding... (1)

BlackPignouf (1017012) | about 7 months ago | (#46236989)

[citation needed]

Re:or stop hiding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46236803)

Thought experiment: You go to sleep in bed with Julian Assange, you are terrified of catching HIV and tell him you'll only have sex with him if he uses a condom. You then wake up to find him fucking you without a condom on. You think that would be a pleasant experience?

Re: or stop hiding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46236885)

Where does that "thought experiment" end? Anyone that lies to have sex is now guilty of rape.

Oh sure I'll leave my wife and marry you...

Re:or stop hiding... (0)

dbIII (701233) | about 7 months ago | (#46236653)

Or it could just as easily be that he has an enormous ego, a superiority complex

Nearly everyone in US politics has both of those in far greater quantities. You need to find a better insult instead of that worn out talking point most likely dreamed up but a Senator's intern.

Re:or stop hiding... (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 7 months ago | (#46236757)

Isn't he on Ecuadorian soil, that happens to be located in the UK?

Yes

Actually no. Not that this adds anything to the discussion since the practical situation is effectively the same, and it's a useful colloquial phrase, but an embassy in the UK is still technically "UK soil."

So Assange is in no way "in Ecuador," but the Vienna Convention means the UK has no right of access to him while he's inside the embassy.

I had heard that the only bit of true foreign soil within England is the JFK memorial at Runnymede, but it's also said to have been "gifted back" to the UK, so I don't really know what it counts as.

Re:or stop hiding... (1, Troll)

pantaril (1624521) | about 7 months ago | (#46236981)

It's the fatal flaw in dear old Julian's argument: He's worried about the Americans getting hold of him, so he'd rather stay in the UK where extradition to the US is easy, rather than go to Sweden where extradition to the US is much harder. Or maybe there's another reason....

In the pirate bay case history has shown us that sweden and it's authorities easily succumb to the pressure from U.S. I think that Assange's fear of return to the sweeden is very well justified.

Re:or stop hiding... (0)

thetagger (1057066) | about 7 months ago | (#46237039)

Where your argument falls apart is here: if he had taken a flight and gone to Sweden and found guilty he would probably be out of jail already. Instead he is still effectively "in jail" in an embassy, with no end in sight to that situation, and he is still not free from the possibility of being arrested in the future.

The fact that the British government has deployed rather high tech surveillance equipment against him kind of shows that there is something more going on than just an attempt to grab some random dude who did something wrong.

Re:or stop hiding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46236641)

He wasn't always on Ecuadorian soil, he was in house arrest in the UK for quite some time until he decided to make a run for it and ended up at the Ecuadorian embassy. Amazing how short and/or selective memories people have when it suits them...

Re:or stop hiding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46236659)

Where was it claimed he was *always* on Ecuadorian soil?
He's been there for quite some time, but I don't see anybody asserting he was born and raised there and hasnever left...
Amazing how people can jump to unfounded conclusions when it suits them...

Re:or stop hiding... (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 7 months ago | (#46236873)

No, he's in the Ecuadorian embassy, which is on British soil. Britain does not regard foreign embassies as foreign soil (neither do most countries). The Geneva Convention prohibits forced entry into embassies and grants diplomatic immunity to anyone within them. This means that people in an embassy are still covered by the laws of the host country, but the only redress that the host nation has is to deport them as soon as they leave the embassy.

Re:or stop hiding... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 7 months ago | (#46236877)

The Geneva Convention

For some reason, probably related to lack of coffee, I typed Geneva when I meant Vienna.

Re:or stop hiding... (1)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | about 7 months ago | (#46236621)

Here you go: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]

Sweden is bound by different extradition agreements. It is not meant to grant onwards extradition to a third country without agreement from the extraditing country. But at the same level of the legal hierarchy there is a bilateral treaty between the US and Sweden that allows for extradition without consent from the UK or minimum tests. This is the temporary surrender/conditional release regime - automatic extradition on a loan basis.

Re:or stop hiding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46236647)

All Sweden needs to do is deport him. There are no direct flights to Australia, as in UK.

Re:or stop hiding... (0)

dbIII (701233) | about 7 months ago | (#46236639)

It's fear of abduction instead of extradition. Look up "extreme rendition" for details. I think there was at least one of those in Sweden (it may have been elsewhere in Nth Europe) - but either way that's what he's worried about.

Re:or stop hiding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46236895)

Are there any examples that weren't due to belief that the individual was a member of either al Qaida or an affiliate? Assange doesn't seem to be at much risk there. It seems much more likely that Assange is worried about having to spend some time in an even smaller and more restrictive box than the one he is in now.

Re:or stop hiding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46236645)

It would be a political death sentence for any UK politician to extradite him because the public opinion of the US is at an all time low in the UK. Sweden has bowed to US pressure before, it's run by extreme feminists, and they're extremely beta in general.

Re:or stop hiding... (5, Insightful)

sugar and acid (88555) | about 7 months ago | (#46236711)

Assange's resistance to extradition to Sweden is I think because he believes he is more vulnerable to extradition lock away in a Swedish Jail, not because the extradition process is easier from there to the US than the UK, just that he won't be able to skip bail and the country locked away in a jail. EAW extradition proceedings from the UK to Sweden were in motion, he was out on bail when he skipped off into the Ecudorian embassy. If he had been charged in Sweden for rape, combined with the obvious flight risk someone like Assange represents, bail would have been very very high or not available. Assange's thinking is it would be at that point that the US would start extradition proceedings.

An interesting point here is it is implicit that Assange will not stand and fight any extradition proceedings if he can skip the country. It is a strategy that has left him imprisoned in an embassy in London. Also it has effectively accomplished what the authorities of many countries wanted to achieve, he is trapped, with a progressively smaller political voice.

Re:or stop hiding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46237081)

It has nothing to do with extradition. He believes the Americans will snatch him, aka "extraordinary rendition". They have grabbed people in Europe many times before, and the fact that the Swedish prosecutor is so desperate to get him back instead of doing an overseas interview as per normal procedure lends credibility to that scenario.

Considering that people kidnapped by the US tend to be taken to a third country where they can be tortured for months, followed by an extended stay at Guantanamo and finally a show trial, and that the likely end game would be execution or life in prison you can see why he is keen to avoid that happening.

Re:or stop hiding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46237143)

That could be true. There is no bail in Sweden.

Re:or stop hiding... (4, Informative)

geogob (569250) | about 7 months ago | (#46236585)

My understanding was that there was no charge (or accusation) filed in Sweden. A compaint has been filed and he was wanted for interrogation over the filed complaint. Considering the deeper implications of travelling into Sweeden, I can understand his reluctance to do so, especially if he believes the complaint as no bases.

Under the circumstances, en interrogation in England is the best solution for every parties. If, following the interrogation, formal charges are layed and is is accused of rape, his situation will change anyway and probably won't have the choice to face the charges there, regardless where he is.

Re:or stop hiding... (3, Insightful)

DeathToBill (601486) | about 7 months ago | (#46236609)

What deeper implications of travelling into Sweden, exactly? You mean escaping the UK's we'll-give-you-anyone-you-ask-for extradition treaty with the USA? I can see how that would be a problem for him, yes.

Re:or stop hiding... (2, Informative)

F.Ultra (1673484) | about 7 months ago | (#46236713)

Look at how long it took the UK courts to decide that he really should be extradited to Sweden. That too me shows that the UK system kind of works. When he gets over here to Sweden the question of extradition to the US would not be a court matter but a matter for the Foreign Minister and thus could happen in seconds. At least in the UK he has some protection against that.

Re:or stop hiding... (4, Informative)

AGMW (594303) | about 7 months ago | (#46236727)

Not sure the UK would have extradited him to the US, and if they agreed to do so it would have been _years_ of court battles before it happened (see Gary McKinnon, amongst others), and yet Sweden can, and do, just hand people over to the US, so from the US's point of view, they'd likely get their hands on Assange far quicker if he could be convinced to pop back to Sweden - at least that seems to be the argument put forward by Assange. FWIW, and having read around the subject quite a bit, I tend to agree with him - Assange would be a fool to voluntarily go back to Sweden at this time.

Turns out that, as he's in the Ecuadorian embassy, he's already escaped the UK ...

Swedish police have visited other countries to 'interview' suspects in the past - including murderers - and presumably will do so in the future, so it does seem a little odd that they're so reluctant to pop over to the UK to interview a suspected 'rapist' who has offered to assist countless times.

The whole issuing of the European Arrest Warrant in the first place is decidedly odd too ... and brings into question the general use of such warrants.

Re:or stop hiding... (1)

Viol8 (599362) | about 7 months ago | (#46236747)

"Not sure the UK would have extradited him to the US, and if they agreed to do so it would have been _years_ of court battles before it happened "

If he'd really thought that he wouldn't have run off to hide in an embassy - he'd have waited for any indictment then played it out in court THEN gone to an embassy if things looked bad. The fact that he found a bolt hole almost immediately doesn't exactly convince me of his innocence OR that he has much moral fibre. As with a lot of political noise makers like him , its a case of do as I say, not as I do. He might play the raised fist freedom fighter doing his bit for the oppressed of the world, but in reality he's just another wannabe politician in a bad suit. Put in him in a position of power and he'll bad as venal, grasping and useless as the rest of them.

Re:or stop hiding... (2)

djmurdoch (306849) | about 7 months ago | (#46236849)

If he'd really thought that he wouldn't have run off to hide in an embassy - he'd have waited for any indictment then played it out in court THEN gone to an embassy if things looked bad.

You do know that the British courts have already decided to extradite him to Sweden, don't you? He didn't run off to the embassy until his appeal of the extradition failed.

Re:or stop hiding... (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 7 months ago | (#46236855)

Character assassination is very much a useless response. I would expect it from a politician, but think someone with "moral fibre" would tend to stand up for the rights of people they don't like, not help build the fire for an old fashioned witch burning. The arrogance of believing you know what JA thinks also does not put your post in a good light from a "moral fibre" perspective, it is more likely to be seen as a projection of your own thought processes than an accurate account of JA's thought processes.

Re:or stop hiding... (0)

Viol8 (599362) | about 7 months ago | (#46236899)

Straw man.

I'm not putting myself up as some sort of saviour - who then bails out when the going gets tough.

As for character assassination - judging people by their actions is entirely legitimate and nothing that man has done has convinced me that the way I see him is wrong. He might pull the wool over the eyes of gullible teens and twenty somethings , but when you've been on this planet long enough you've seen plenty of Assange types.

Re:or stop hiding... (1)

N1AK (864906) | about 7 months ago | (#46236977)

He might pull the wool over the eyes of gullible teens and twenty somethings ,

Where as the people making a case against him appear to have pulled the wool over the eyes of another extremely gullible demographic: you. If comparing people who don't share your position to naive teens in a painfully obvious attempt to play the man instead of the ball is the best you've got then debating on the internet is probably about the right level for you.

Re:or stop hiding... (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 7 months ago | (#46236987)

As for character assassination - judging people by their actions is entirely legitimate and nothing that man has done has convinced me that the way I see him is wrong.

Except your not. You're inventing actions then judging him for them.

He went to the embassy because the UK had already agreed to extradite him to Sweden.

That's a fact, you can look it up.

He doesn't want to go to Sweden because they have a history of handing people to the US to be tortured without even a trial.

That's also a fact, you can look it up.

It has nothing to do with him being extradited to the US from the UK. That's simply something you made up in order to smear his character.

Re:or stop hiding... (1)

James_Duncan8181 (588316) | about 7 months ago | (#46237127)

If he'd really thought that he wouldn't have run off to hide in an embassy - he'd have waited for any indictment then played it out in court THEN gone to an embassy if things looked bad.

This is almost exactly what happened, but thanks for your uninformed reckon.

Re:or stop hiding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46236769)

Why is a European Arrest Warrant odd? He *allegedly* committed a crime in one European country and has gone to hide in another - that is precisely what they are used for?

Re:or stop hiding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46236735)

Rules of Evidence.
Discovery - Each side would have to honestly disclose the each sides facts - and if Julian's side asked the right questions or uncovers illegality - bias or worse - other sides case is sunk.
In the UK, Evidence would have to be disclosed (and challenged). The extradition would be exactly for what was heard and no more. If Sweden passed him along - the UK would have to tear up its treaties, and independent minded Judges may not do as expected. It seems there is a lot of inadmissible evidence, hearsay, and non-UK offenses.

Normally not a problem - with a strong UK legal team - a fair trial was possible - until large slabs of evidence became shrouded by secrecy. Being railroaded (because they hate your guts) - is not justice.

Re:or stop hiding... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46236901)

You don't need a treaty to extradite somebody.

Here in the Netherlands, people are eagerly extradited to the US all the time, even though our government is under no obligation to do so. It's often over minor stuff, and sometimes the alleged crimes were not even committed on US soil. There's an agreement about sending such people back to serve time in a dutch jail, but I know of one person (Raymond K.) who was sent to a maximum security prison in the US. He was convicted for xtc smuggling on the testimony of an anonymous witness who had made a plea bargain with an american prosecutor(very dubious in Dutch legal context). The DEA is active in the Netherlands btw, and runs sting operations (=entrapment under dutch law).

Then there's the case of Sabir K., who claims to have been tortured by US agents:
http://wtvbam.com/news/articles/2012/apr/17/dutch-court-backs-extradition-of-bomb-suspect-to-us/

A few days ago, vietnamese student Lee Vu lost his appeal, and it seems the Netherlands will extradite him to the US asap over charges of computer fraud. He claims he is a victim of identity theft.

I don't know about the situation in Sweden, but it may be the same over there. If it isn't, Assange could still simply be abducted, which has happened at least 100 times in recent times in Europe alone:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extraordinary_rendition#Extraordinary_renditions_and_black_sites_in_Europe

If I were him, I wouldn't set a foot on European soil ever again. Same goes for Snowden.

Re:or stop hiding... (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#46236915)

My understanding was that there was no charge (or accusation) filed in Sweden.

Under the Swedish legal system he has to be interviewed by the prosecutors before he can be charged. There are other nations in the EU that have similar legal systems.

Re:or stop hiding... (2)

djmurdoch (306849) | about 7 months ago | (#46236595)

or, how about stop hiding like a baby

... said the anonymous coward.

yeah (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46236615)

yeah, go to the country where you are a wanted criminal... just like Amanda Knox is going to do right?
Difference is, she's not a suspect, she has been found guilty of murder.

Re:yeah (2)

Viol8 (599362) | about 7 months ago | (#46236789)

As far as I'm concerned Knox is either guilty or she knows a lot more than she's saying ... ... HOWEVER , any legal system that can convict someone , then drop the conviction after an appeal and release them THEN reinstate the conviction after a couple of judges get together over a capucino and decide to bow to public opinion, frankly doesn't deserve much respect for its ability to carry out fair trials.

Re:yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46236831)

Well we're talking about Assange here and there are vast differences in the cases. I would say it's more likely your government or someone high up had a "friendly word" with the Italian judges, leading them to release her in the first place. That being said, it showed the at least part of the Italian legal system is messed up, but she should still not get away with murder.

Re:yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46236975)

If the US were to follow their own extradition agreements then nothing is messed up and she would be taken by the US police and send to Italy.

If you are OK with her arguing about that after a murder conviction, why do you have a problem with an extradition request for someone suspected of a less serious crime?

Re:yeah (1)

Viol8 (599362) | about 7 months ago | (#46237009)

My government? You should stop assuming everyone who posts here is from the USA. I doubt my government gives a damn about Amanda Knox one way or the other.

Re:yeah (1)

MrMickS (568778) | about 7 months ago | (#46237071)

Hmmmm ... most legal systems have appeal processes, and the ability to lodge counter appeals with a higher court. I understand it happens in the US all the time. Why should there be a problem with the Italian justice system because following the conviction one court overturns it on appeal, but later another higher court rules that it shouldn't have been overturned? Isn't that the way the law should work, it gets tested in court until a final judgement is found?

If Knox was innocent then she would have nothing to fear from Italian justice. Unless, like most USians seem to, she doesn't trust any country outside of the US.

ahhh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46236957)

Well, the US has an extradition agreement with that is a legal system that is supposed to accept the procedures and the decisions of that legal system.

If you feel free to question the Italian legal system and their extradition requests for a murder conviction, then you should accept that Assage might be questioning the fairness of the request of the Swedish (and the US behind that) legal system and their fairness.

Either everybody abides by the rules (then Assage goes to Sweden and Knox goes to Italy) or everybody argues about the rules and nobody goes anywhere.

Re:or stop hiding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46236687)

Sure, why not. I hear the weather at Guantanamo is nice this time of year.

hmm umm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46236839)

And don't bother to search, for how Sweden's "rape laws" are set-up. Laws aren't universal, forcing yourself upon a women in one country is perfectly normal despite laws against it, if they even have laws against it, while in others it is considered a criminal act. If I remember right if you do not wear a condom while engaging in intercourse, the Law in Sweden can charge you with rape.

I have to research what is exactly going on with Assange and these [what appears to be phoney charges] charges to find out if he in fact forced himself on to a women. The fact remains he is not a 'normal' citizen because he is wanted by the US and the US appears to be bribing other countries to have him in custody.

However, it appears he refuses to make any statements or be interviewed via video conferencing. And I can;t say that with certainty, because the Police in these countries refuse to wan tot conduct anything else but an in person interrogation.

Coward (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46236729)

How about you stop hiding away and come out to answer the charges against you? You can stay there for as long as you like, but don't expect us to listen to any terms you dictate.

Re:Coward (0)

gl4ss (559668) | about 7 months ago | (#46236771)

How about you stop hiding away and come out to answer the charges against you? You can stay there for as long as you like, but don't expect us to listen to any terms you dictate.

the charges in sweden aren't really the problem... even if they went through, they would result in a slap on the wrists.

the problem is swedens history of, how to say, fucked up shipping aways that is the problem (and since the politicians there don't want to guarantee otherwise, it's a resonable thing to do to not risk it. even if the swedish politicians and officials responsible would be sacked like in a case before it would be a bit late for assange if he by that time was in gitmo or some underground facility in USA).

Re:Coward (1)

rvw (755107) | about 7 months ago | (#46236819)

How about you stop hiding away and come out to answer the charges against you? You can stay there for as long as you like, but don't expect us to listen to any terms you dictate.

So tell us, Anonymous Coward - why should be listen to you?

He's not in the UK (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46236731)

Sure, No problem, we agree Julian, just walk thru these gates from Ecuadorian soil into EU territory and we'll totally conduct a deposition in this armored lorry, I mean limo.

Re:He's not in the UK (1)

ledow (319597) | about 7 months ago | (#46237051)

A common fallacy. He's on UK soil.

We just have an internationally-recognised agreement that we do not enter it without permission. It belongs to the UK. We even considered forcing the embassy out of OUR building so that he was no longer in "the embassy". It was legal, but it's dubious and probably immoral and we didn't do it.

But an embassy is the soil of the host nation. There's just an agreement that we won't enter without permission unless there are extraordinary circumstances (e.g. a fire).

Drones will be there first (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46236763)

Don't count on seeing the lawyers. One day we'll see US drones and plenty of dust.
That's how they work!

Internal politics? (5, Interesting)

uffe_nordholm (1187961) | about 7 months ago | (#46236851)

There may very well be good reason for JA to not want being extradited to Sweden, but there may be other reasons than discussed previously here that explain why the Swedish authorities are acting the way they are.

One reason is that the prosecutor in charge of the case may have found herself a useful tool that she can use to further her own ambitions in something completely unrelated: she is known to be a feminist and has stated in at least one interview that it must be possible to punish men even after a court has found them to be innocent. She is also a member of the same political party as one of the (possible) victims. Which just happens to be the same political party to which the defense attorney belongs! My conclusion is that the suspicion of internal politics cannot be put to rest until more evidence appears.

-----------

Just to point out a few strange facts in this sordid case:
- JA found out he was wanted for questioning not by being told be the authorities, but by being told be the media. I cannot remember another case where this has happened.
- the prosecutors office called a press conference to announce JA was wanted for questioning. I have never heard of them doing anything similar in any other case.
- the two (possible) victims of rape have the same lawyer. Also this is a first: it does not matter how many victims are involved in a court case, they get their own lawyer and do not share this lawyer with anybody else involved in the same case.

-----------

Full disclosure: I live in Sweden and it is my personal opinion that the prosecutor handling this case at the moment is doing so for personal reasons and should be removed from her position.

He will (2, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | about 7 months ago | (#46236887)

He'll stand in a British court.

To answer the charge of skipping bail, contempt of court, etc. Then he can - LIKE HE ALWAYS COULD HAVE - argue that he should be legitimately put on trial in a "friendly" country. And he'll go through the legal system, same as anyone else. And then the legal system will decide if the law allows him to or not (I imagine it would be hard to argue UK jurisdiction over Swedish charges performed by an Australian, but it's not infeasible if enough prejudice could be proven).

Problem is, you didn't want to argue that several years ago. And you skipped bail, so we have no reason to believe it's not a delaying / avoidance tactic. So now you'll stand in a British court, probably be imprisoned by us for skipping bail for so long and so deliberately, and then WILL NOT ESCAPE our custody if they are required to hand you over to the Swedish anyway. Which they probably are, given the way EU law works.

Fact is, I'd have had much more respect if he'd done his play to cameras, and then just followed through the legal system properly. We would have all kept an eye on it to make sure suspicious things didn't happen, and at no point would you have broken the law.

But he didn't. He went through the courts and when he didn't get the answer he wanted, he skipped bail deliberately. So go rot in jail for a year or two FIRST and then you can come back to the original rape-charge issue and we'll think about it.

Re:He will (1, Troll)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 7 months ago | (#46236909)

Fact is, I'd have had much more respect if he'd done his play to cameras, and then just followed through the legal system properly.

Why? I don't find stupidity to be wothy of respect.

He followed through the legal system as far as it went and his extradition to Sweden was imminent.

The thing is, Sweden have a proven history of being active in extraordinary renditions---sending people to be tortured by the CIA---and the Swedish authorities refused to confirm that he wouldn't be bundled straight off to the US. Certain members of the US government were also baying for blood at the time. In other words he had a very good point and it would have been a dumb move for him to have gone to Sweden.

Better for him to rot in gaol for a year or two than get tortured by the CIA.

Re:He will (1)

ledow (319597) | about 7 months ago | (#46237031)

Except when he'll rot in jail for a year or two and THEN get tortured by the CIA.

Point is, he's achieved nothing that puts people on his side, especially not the Brits who are paying to supervise the embassy, in trade negotiations with the embassy, and who'll have to charge him when he comes out, and then inevitably jail him BEFORE doing exactly what we were doing anyway (which, I'd like to point out, we followed through as much as legally possible, even refusing several extradition orders on the basis that they contained minor errors, etc.).

We did everything legally possible to help him. When it got to the point where he was having to go anyway, he screwed us. And is STILL costing me money. And will continue to for many years, most likely. And what's he achieved? From being "on the run", he's stuck in an embassy with no escape. Even the latest whistleblower who has REAL cause to worry did better than that and didn't cost me a penny and is currently in a country prepared to host him.

Assange is now just a verified criminal, in a confined space, under constant police surveillance, and going to go to court/jail AND be required to show up in Sweden. Before he was just required to show up in Sweden. I don't get how that's NOT stupid.

Re:He will (2)

MrMickS (568778) | about 7 months ago | (#46237095)

Assange strikes me as someone that's lost in his own self importance. He's become more important than Wikileaks. This often happens to people placed in the spotlight. The reports of his actions in Sweden don't paint him in a very good light.

All that said is doesn't make any sense, other than flexing of muscles, for the Swedish Prosecutor not to call his bluff and interrogate him in the UK (or Ecuador as he is at the moment). Its just posturing and dick waving on behalf of the Prosecutor not to do it. If they have the interrogation in the Ecuadorian Embassy and then press charges the grounds for his asylum become more shaky. Just play out the scenario and let him hang himself.

Re:He will (4, Insightful)

pantaril (1624521) | about 7 months ago | (#46237107)

Fact is, I'd have had much more respect if he'd done his play to cameras, and then just followed through the legal system properly. We would have all kept an eye on it to make sure suspicious things didn't happen, and at no point would you have broken the law.

Suspicious things already did happen. Interpol invovlemnt in this kind of charges is unheard of. The constant monitoring of his residence by several UK policemens is also unheard of. The whole sequence of events after the "sexual assault" case his highly suspicious (he was questioned, than he was released and told he can travel off the country, after he did it, suddenly, both of the "victims" changed their minds and he is wanted for another questioning again). All of this makes me believe that this is indeed political case and mr. Assange is right to be afraid to travel to sweeden.

Police spying on own Police .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46236935)

"The report in a Sunday newspaper suggested that the Ombudsman decided to hire a British security consultancy company after it became concerned that its internal communications system was being bugged.

The consultants allegedly concluded that the commission was being targeted using controlled technology, which was not commercially available or sold to non government agencies ..

A second wi-fi system had been created to allow the data to be examined, using an IP address in Britain while electronically concealing the identities and whereabouts of those involved in the spying." link [independent.ie]

Re:Police spying on own Police .. (1)

ledow (319597) | about 7 months ago | (#46237073)

Not really. "Ireland" isn't part of the UK. It's not British either.

UK = United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (AN ENTIRELY SEPARATE THING!)
GB = England, Wales, Scotland.

Ireland is Irish, uses Euros, has its own government, and is independent of the UK. That's part of what the whole historical Irish/UK problems were about - an independent Ireland free of UK interference and "giving back" Northern Ireland (AN ENTIRELY SEPARATE THING) to Ireland (Eire).

The Garda are Irish. It's the UK spying on the Irish. Which we've been doing since the 70's at least, after all the trouble with the IRA blowing up our buildings and killing our civilians (and, obviously in modern times, us doing things just as illegal back to them).

Re:Police spying on own Police .. (1)

ledow (319597) | about 7 months ago | (#46237093)

For future reference:

http://howbritishareyou.com/wp... [howbritishareyou.com]

Extradition from Sweden is easier (4, Informative)

mal0rd (323126) | about 7 months ago | (#46237055)

I'm really surprised how many highly rated comments claim extradition from the UK would be easier. Extradition from Sweden to the US would almost certainly happen. Take for example this fact: [justice4assange.com]

Sweden has a bilateral agreement with the United States which would allow it to surrender Julian Assange without going through the traditional tests and standards of regular, lengthy extradition procedures.

How could anyone reasonably expect him to willfully submit to that? It seems highly likely he would end up rotting in a US jail for life, unheard and unseen.

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